Što je Flaminije donio Grcima?

Što je Flaminije donio Grcima?



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U Montaigneovom eseju "Kanibali" Montaigne piše:

"Ne znam", rekao je, "kakvi su to barbari" (jer su tako Grci zvali sve druge narode) "to mogu biti; ali raspored ove vojske koji vidim nema u sebi ništa od barbarstva."-[ Plutarh, Pirin život, c. 8.]-Koliko su Grci govorili o onome što je Flaminije donio u njihovu zemlju; i Filip je, gledajući s eminencije, poredak i raspodjelu rimskog tabora koji je u svom kraljevstvu formirao Publije Sulpicije Galba, govorio isto.

Na što se odnosi rečenica podebljana kada govori o "onome što je Flaminije donio u njihovu zemlju"? Čini se da wiki veza za Flaminiusa implicira da je samo prodao jeftino žito u Rimu, ali ne znam kakve to veze ima s rečenicom.

(Postoji i druga osoba koja se zove Flamininus, pa je li to možda bila pravopisna pogreška?)


(Budući da sam to zatražila u komentaru, a čini se da neće doći do zatvaranja ili drugog odgovora ...)

Moja pretpostavka o čitanju tog odlomka, prije nego što sam uopće pročitala tekst vašeg pitanja, bila je ona u (Montaigneovoj?) Frazi "da koje je Flaminije donio u njihovu zemlju "," ono "se odnosi na" ovu vojsku "iz prethodne citirane rečenice.

Slično pitanje o "onome" postavljeno je na web stranici ELU -a. To je pomalo arhaičan obrat fraze. Tamo prihvaćeni odgovor sadržavao je sljedeće:

To je zamjenica koja se odnosi na imenski izraz, a koja je relativna zamjenica koja se koristi za nežive antecedente

Verzija Biblije kralja Jamesa je jedino mjesto na koje bi moderni engleski čitatelj mogao naići na ovaj izraz.


Ovo je samo potvrda T.E.D. odgovor, ali predugo za komentar.


Michel de Montaigne napisao je na francuskom (ako nije na latinskom), a izvorni tekst dostupan je na internetu:

Quand le Roy Pyrrhus passa en Italie, apres qu'il eut reconneu l'ordonnance de l'armée que les Romains luy envoyoient au devant, je ne sçay, dit-il, quels barbares sont ceux-ci (car les Grecs appelloyent ainsi toutes les Nations estrangieres), mais la disposition de cette armée que je voy, n'est aucunement barbare. Autant en dirent les Grecs de celle que Flaminius fit passer en leur païs, et Philippus, voyant d'un tertre l'ordre et distribution du camp Romain en son royaume, sous Publius Sulpicius Galba.

(naglasak moj)

U francuskom nema dvosmislenosti: konstrukcija "de celle que"(prevedeno kao" ono što ") jasno se odnosi na"l'armée"(" vojska "). Ukratko, Grci su bili impresionirani organizacijom Flaminijeve vojske i Filipa od strane Galbe, kao i Pir impresionirani vojskom koju su mu Rimljani poslali.


Starogrčke žene koje su promijenile povijest

Žene su u staroj Grčkoj bile vrlo često ograničene na dom. Osim možda Spartanki, starogrčke žene rijetko su se smatrale temeljnim dijelom društva, a ipak je nekoliko žena bilo prkosno i nametnulo se kao cijenjeni liječnici, filozofi ili matematičari. Evo sedam starih Grka koje su utjecale na tijek povijesti.


Grčka kolonizacija i njezin utjecaj na mediteranski svijet

Grčke legende često nam govore o bezbrojnim ekspedicijama i zaustavljanjima na udaljenim otocima i obalama. Ove legende zapravo prepričavaju epizode grčkog kolonizacijskog pokreta koji se dogodio u arhaičnom razdoblju grčke povijesti.

Osnivanje nove kolonije

Opsežno iseljavanje Grka iz domovine u Egejsko more počelo je sredinom osam stoljeća i trajalo je više od dva stoljeća. Ovo širenje potaknuto je dvjema glavnim potrebama: građanima domovine omogućiti plodniju zemlju i zadovoljiti sve veći apetit Grka za uvoznom robom. Druge kolonije osnovali su Grci koji su bježali pred stranim vojskama ili prenapučeni gradovi s namjerom da izbjegnu unutarnje grčeve.

Proces osnivanja kolonije zahtijevao je pažljivu pripremu i često je uključivao cijelu zajednicu. Polis koji je osnovao koloniju zvao se „metropola“ (majka polis) i bio je odgovoran za odabir mjesta za novo naselje, dobivanje božanskog odobrenja za njegovu izgradnju, planiranje kolonije i odabir njezinog službenog osnivača, poznatog i kao oikistes, među muškarcima visokog statusa. Kolonije su ostale povezane s metropolom srodstvom i kultom, na što ukazuje sveta vatra koju je oikist iz nove zemlje donio u novi polis.

Oikist je bio najvažniji čovjek za novostvorenu koloniju. Bio je odgovoran za istjerivanje kolonista, odabir naziva kolonije, organiziranje obrane naselja, dodjeljivanje zemlje kolonistima i uspostavljanje utočišta za bogove. Oikiste koji su se pokazali uspješnima u osnivanju i upravljanju novom kolonijom, nakon njihove smrti štovali su se kao heroji čuvari polisa.

Opseg procesa kolonizacije

Pokret starogrčke kolonizacije imao je dvije glavne faze, od kojih je svaka trajala oko jednog stoljeća. Početna faza započela je sredinom osam stoljeća, a bila je usmjerena na zapadno Sredozemlje i u Italiju, druga se dogodila stoljeće kasnije i bila je usmjerena na Crno more i sjeverno Egejsko more.

Eubejci su bili pioniri kolonizacije Italije, osnivanjem trgovačke kolonije na otoku Pithecusae (moderna Ischia) u osmom stoljeću prije Krista. Uspjeh kolonije privukao je i Grke i Feničane, budući da je kolonija bila dobro pozicionirana za iskorištavanje nalazišta željeza na otoku Elba. Kolonije zapadnog Sredozemlja uključivale su Cyme, Zankle, Rhegium, Naxos, Syracuse (8. stoljeće prije Krista), Massaliju, Agathe, Emporion (početak 6. stoljeća prije Krista), Antipolis, Alaliju i Cirenu (krajem 6. stoljeća prije Krista).

Kroz arhaično razdoblje Grci su osnivali nove kolonije na istoku, usredotočujući se na Crno more. Neke od grčkih kolonija osnovanih na ovom području postale su moćne i bogate, među njima i Bizant, koji će tisuću godina kasnije postati glavni grad Rimskog Carstva, pod novim imenom, Carigrad. Neke od istočno -grčkih kolonija uključivale su Olbiju, Tomis, Istru, Callatis, Panticapeum, Trapezus (na obali Crnog mora) i Abydus, Cyzicus i Phaselis (u Maloj Aziji).

Odnosi s domorocima

Odnosi Grka s ljudima koji su nastanjivali zemlje u kojima su naseljavali kolonije bili su složeni. Dolaskom Grka, kolonije su postale vrata kroz koja su različiti narodi južne Europe i Crnog mora dobili pristup grčkoj kulturi. Neki od njih željno su prihvatili grčku umjetnost, vjerske kultove i prilagodili grčku abecedu. Kulturna razmjena djelovala je na oba načina, Grci su usvojili kult tračke božice Bendis, koji se proširio po cijelom Egeju. U drugim slučajevima Grci su se smatrali uljezima pa su se sukobi s domorocima često događali.


12 darova koje je antička Grčka dala svijetu

Lako je zaboraviti koliko smo zaslužni za briljantne umove stare Grčke. Oni su odgovorni za mnoge svjetske korake u jeziku, politici, obrazovanju i znanosti, pa je važno s vremena na vrijeme skromno pogledati unatrag - put unatrag - na vrijeme da razmislimo o tim korijenima i cijenimo ideje koje su poticale napredak kroz stoljeća.

Evo 12 najbogatijih darova koje je antička Grčka dala svijetu, a koji i danas utječu na nas.

Bio je to dom prvog priznatog povjesničara.

Misija Herodota, poznatog i kao "otac povijesti", bila je pobrinuti se da se "ljudska postignuća poštede zuba vremena, te da sve veliko i zapanjujuće, i sva slava onih podviga koji su poslužili prikazivanju Grka" i barbare u tom smislu, održavati na životu - i dodatno, i što je najvažnije, navesti razlog zašto su krenuli u rat. " Rođen oko 484. godine prije Krista u Halicarnassusu, Herodot je iz svoje domovine zabranio tiranin Lygdamis i provodio je mnogo vremena putujući i prikupljajući priče drugih prije nego što se vratio. Bio je jedan od prvih pisaca koji je ne samo prikupljao priče o staroj Grčkoj, već ih je i opstao kako bi ih drugi mogli pročitati.

To je rodno mjesto svjetski poznatih matematičara.

Najraniji matematički teoremi, Thalesov teorem i Teorem o presretanju, oba potječu iz djela Thalesa iz Mileta, priznatog kao prvog od sedam grčkih mudraca. Thaleov teorem, koji tvrdi da je kut upisan u polukrug pravi kut, leži u srži svake moderne klase geometrije. Prateći Thalesa, Pitagora sa Samosa je skovao tu riječ matematika, što znači "ono što se nauči". Neki od nas možda će moći prepričati i teorem kritične geometrije koji je nazvan po njemu.

To je temelj zapadnjačke filozofske misli.

Pitagora je također odgovoran za riječ filozofija, što znači "ljubav prema mudrosti". Tijekom helenističkog razdoblja vodeći mislioci stare Grčke počeli su tragati za objašnjenjima svijeta izvan područja mitologije, umjesto da traže razum i empirijske dokaze. Od Sokrata do Platona do Artistotela, Grci su proširili novo polje u polje istraživanja i razgovora o ulozi znanja, sposobnostima ljudskih osjetila i o tome kako čovjek postoji u svijetu. Svaki od ovih elemenata imao je izravan utjecaj na oblikovanje zapadne misli kakvu poznajemo.

Njegovi su utemeljitelji osmislili početni koncept demokracije.

Amerikancima je poznat čuveni opis demokratske vlade Abrahama Lincolna, "vlada naroda, od strane naroda, za ljude". Manje je poznato da je ta riječ demokracija potječe od naših starogrčkih prijatelja.

Demokratija, Grčki za "moć naroda", rođen je u Ateni u 7. stoljeću prije Krista. Dok je oligarhija gradske države iskorištavala građane i stvarala ekonomske, političke i društvene probleme, Atenjani su bili nadahnuti uspješnim, poludemokratskim modelom koji je Sparta usvojila. Obratili su se zastupniku Solonu, koji je pokušao pomoći većini koja se bori, a da pritom ne ugrozi bogatu manjinu. On je svakom Atenjanu dao pravo glasa, a njihovoj skupštini mogućnost biranja dužnosnika, donošenje zakona i mjerenje sudskih poslova.

To je bilo prvo mjesto gdje je porota dovela suđenje u sudnicu.

Atena je također dom izvornog suđenja prema poroti. Iako je bilo koji građanin mogao podići optužnicu protiv drugog u starogrčkoj sudnici, nije im bilo dopušteno odabrati porotnike za svoje suđenje. Njihove porote pokazale su se daleko većima od onih koji se koriste danas - nije bilo rijetkost da sudovi u svakom slučaju koriste do 500 građana, pa čak i premašuju 1.500 u pogledu pitanja smrti, progonstva i oduzimanja imovine. Svaka je odluka donesena pravilom većine kako bi sudnica bila što razumnija. Tradicija osiguravanja da svi koji služe primaju dnevnu plaću također potječe iz stare Grčke.

Odgojilo nas je i zabavilo mitologijom.

Kad su u pitanju čarobna pripovijedanja, stari su Grci bili pravi profesionalci. Njihovi su mitovi korišteni za poučavanje ljudi o bogovima, herojima, prirodi i zašto su prakticirali svoju religiju na način na koji su to činili. Priče ocrtavaju svijet, dijele nove avanture i životne istine sa svima koji odluče slušati. Od Ahila i Posejdona do Herkula i Atene, te su priče sačuvale najšarenije dijelove grčke povijesti sve do današnjih dana.

Donijela nam je podrijetlo kazališta.

Prvi dani starogrčkog kazališta započeli su kao festivali u čast boga Dioniza, a na kraju su se razvili u umjetnost za sebe, jednom je više ljudi dopušteno izaći na pozornicu u bilo kojem trenutku. Nakon što je izveo prvo poznato dramsko čitanje poezije na pozornici, Thespis je postao priznat kao prvi grčki glumac i utemeljitelj žanra tragedije. Komedija, drugi žanr koji su ubrzo nakon toga uveli Grci, oslanjala se uglavnom na oponašanje. Aristofan je, na primjer, najpoznatiji po pisanju komičnih drama, od kojih je 11 uspjelo preživjeti do danas. Satyr igra usredsređena na mitološke priče sa zabavnim obratima.

Time su stvorene Olimpijske igre.

Grad Olimpija koji oduzima dah dom je jedne od najvećih i najstarijih svjetskih tradicija sportskih događaja. Prije više od 3.000 godina, stari Grci počeli su ugostiti igre svake četiri godine u čast boga Zeusa. Ta se praksa nastavila gotovo 12 stoljeća sve dok car Teodozije nije zabranio rituale "poganskog kulta" 393. godine. Prve moderne olimpijske igre održane su u Ateni 1896.

Uveo je lijepu arhitekturu.

Budući da je religija vladala kao dominantna sila u starom grčkom društvu, građani su morali graditi hramove koji su odražavali takvu predanost. Partenon i Erechtheum samo su dva od mnogih impresivnih primjera njihovog vjekovnog arhitektonskog znanja i prakse koji se poštuju i danas. Hvaleći se ukrašenim stupovima i prekrasnim likovima, hramovi su dizajnirani s posebnom pažnjom na to kako su sve komponente strukture međusobno povezane. Preciznost i vještina iza ovih zgrada inspirirali su kasnije arhitektonske koncepte i dizajne koji se mogu primijetiti u modernim znamenitostima diljem svijeta.

Podijelila je sa svijetom nevjerojatnu zbirku skulptura i keramike.

Stari Grci također su vrlo cijenjeni zbog svojih skulptorskih djela. Koristeći svoju prirodnu zalihu mramora, vapnenca i bronce, stvorili su vizije svojih različitih boga i heroja, kao i prikaze važnih povijesnih događaja i dominantnih elemenata svoje kulture. Dok je keramika nastajala uglavnom za svakodnevnu uporabu, a ne za izlaganje, mnoge staklenke, vrčevi i posude bile su ukrašene slikama slične tematike koje su dovoljno lijepe da se mogu izložiti na policama muzeja.

Donijela nam je objašnjenje istinskog mira.

U svojoj posljednjoj knjizi, Uspjeh: Treća metrika za redefiniranje uspjeha i stvaranje života blagostanja, mudrosti i čuda, Arianna Huffington piše: "S tog mjesta smetnji - ili ataraksija, kako su je Grci nazvali - možemo mnogo učinkovitije donijeti promjenu. "Ta je riječ prvo došla od filozofa Epikura i njegovog poznatog popisa načela. Vjerovao je da za postizanje stanja unutarnjeg spokoja ne smijemo pokušati maksimizirati svoje osjećaj ugode, ali umjesto toga uklonite nepotrebne želje iz jednadžbe. Jednostavni dijelovi života su ono što nas održava u vječnom stanju mira.

To nam je dalo najsveobuhvatniju i najznačajniju riječ za "sreću".

Eudaimonija, izraz koji je Aristotel uveo u svoje djelo, Nikomahova etika, i dio starogrčkog etičkog sustava vrlina, jednostavniji je način izražavanja pravog, punog osjećaja sreće koji uključuje biti dio nečega većeg od sebe. Ova moralna filozofija istražuje kako nas donošenje mudrih životnih odluka može dovesti do stanja blagostanja koje ne koristi samo nama nego i svijetu oko nas. Sreća i smisao postaju jedno te isto dok se krećemo kroz svakodnevni život, koristimo se svojom praktičnom mudrošću, rješavamo sve sukobe i na kraju dostižemo stanje prepoznatljivo kao dobar život. Eudaimonija je ideal kojem svi težimo.


Jesu li Spartanci bili bolji borci?

GLEDAJTE:  Spartans: Oruđa smrti

Strogo govoreći, Agoge nisu uključivali vojnu obuku, koja nije ozbiljno započela sve dok nisu postali odrasli vojnici. Njegov pravi fokus bio je pripremiti spartanske muškarce za popustljive članove društva, koji su bili spremni žrtvovati sve za Spartu. Za razliku od drugih grčkih gradova-država, Sparta “ bila je izuzetna po svojoj društveno-političkoj stabilnosti, kaže Hodkinson. “PDijelom razloga za to bilo je to što je odgoj dječaka ’ usadio ponašanje koje je poticalo sklad i suradnju. ”

No, naglasak spartanskog školovanja na fitnesu ipak je pomogao spartanskim vojnicima na bojnom polju. “To ih je učinilo čvršćim/jačim, sposobnijim izdržati težinu teškog u osnovi drvenog štita na ljetnom suncu, bolje u guranju i guranju, bolje u izdržljivosti, "kaže#Cartledge.

Prava tajna Spartanaca nije bila fizička sprema ili ravnodušnost prema boli i patnji, već vrhunska organizacija. Spartanske trupe nemilosrdno su bušile, sve dok nisu mogle savršeno izvesti taktiku. “Vjerojatno je njihova obuka u taktičkim manevrima doista dala spartanskim vojnicima prednost na bojnom polju, ” J.F. Lazenby piše u svojoj knjizi Spartanska vojska.

“Xenophon kaže da bi spartanska vojska mogla izvesti manevre koje drugi nisu mogli ’t, zbog njihove obučenosti, kaže ” Cartledge.

Prema Plutarhu, Spartanci su nastavili redovnu vojnu obuku tijekom svog odraslog života. “Ni jednom čovjeku nije bilo dopušteno živjeti kako mu je volja, ali u njihovom gradu, kao u vojnom logoru, uvijek su imali propisan režim, ” je napisao. Kako Cartledge piše u Spartanska razmišljanja, Tek je 60. godine Spartancima konačno bilo dopušteno da se povuku iz vojske, pod uvjetom da su živjeli toliko dugo.


Tajna povijest ljepote: Kako su Grci izmislili najveću ideju zapadne civilizacije

Napisao David Konstan
Objavljeno 3. siječnja 2015. u 22:00 (EST)

Dionice

Engleska riječ ljepota je semantički bogat, odnosno ima širok raspon značenja i konotacija. U svakodnevnom govoru to nije problem: imenicu ili odgovarajući pridjev lijep možemo primijeniti na veliku raznolikost objekata za koje izgleda da nemaju mnogo ili čak ništa zajedničko, a ipak savršeno dobro znamo što Suđeno je. Na primjer, možemo govoriti o lijepoj ženi, prekrasnom djetetu, prekrasnoj slici, prekrasnom matematičkom dokazu i prekrasnom ulovu u bejzbolu. Izraz "to je ljepota" može se reći o gotovo svemu. U nekim od prethodnih primjera mogli bismo misliti na "privlačnu" ili čak "seksi", jer kada upotrebljavamo izraz za opisivanje modela ili glumice u drugima, možemo misliti na nešto više poput "dobro izvedeno", kao u slučaju dobra igra na atletskim natjecanjima. Kad se pripisuje umjetničkom djelu, izraz može označavati ravnotežu ili proporciju, ili neku drugu kvalitetu koju smatramo estetskom u slučaju matematike, možda mislimo da je dokaz elegantan jer je oštar i kompaktan ili inovativan metoda. Vrlo općenito, lijep izraz je odobravanja, a njegov precizan smisao ovisi o kontekstu. Međutim, čini se da u većini svojih upotreba zadržava određenu vezu s privlačnošću, a njegove se konotacije ne preklapaju u potpunosti ili precizno s drugim izrazima odobravanja, kao što je dobro ili fino. Nakon razmišljanja, čovjek se prirodno dovodi u pitanje da li sve različite primjene ljepote ili lijepoga zaista imaju zajedničku jezgru, unatoč nekim izvanrednim ili rubnim upotrebama, ili taj izraz radije obuhvaća skup homonima u kojima je veza između razna osjetila su tanka ili ih uopće nema, poput bazen kad nosi osjećaj male vodene površine i onda opet kada se odnosi na igru ​​sličnu biljaru.

Priroda ljepote postala je središnje intelektualno pitanje s pojavom discipline poznate kao estetika sredinom osamnaestog stoljeća, kada je riječ prvi put skovana. Estetika je ljepotu uzela kao svoju posebnu provinciju, prije svega u domeni umjetnosti. Zašto je taj interes trebao nastati baš tada, a posebno u Njemačkoj (ili današnjoj Njemačkoj), intrigantno je pitanje u povijesti filozofije, na koje ćemo se vratiti. Od ovog trenutka nadalje, u svakom slučaju, ozbiljno razmišljanje o ljepoti moralo je uzeti u obzir dobro razvijene teorijske stavove i suočiti se s paradoksima ili poteškoćama koje su nastale kao posljedica krovnog karaktera koncepta, koji je obuhvatio toliko različitih pojmova .

Ovo je istraživanje povijesno i nastoji razumjeti kako su nastali naši moderni pojmovi ljepote u odnosu na prevladavajuće ideje i izvještaje o ljepoti u klasičnoj antici, počevši od Grka. Iz ove perspektive, možda je najteže što se tiče prirode ljepote najvidljivija raznolikost oblika koje zauzima u različitim vremenima i na različitim mjestima. To je očito u odnosu na ljudski oblik, čiji se ideali mogu razlikovati čak i u relativno kratkom vremenskom razdoblju: nekoliko posljednjih desetljeća glamur je bio povezan s modelima tako tankim da su izgledali anoreksični. Oni bi izazvali određenu odbojnost u razdobljima naviknutima na značajnije figure. Trenutačna praksa piercinga i tetoviranja tijela još je jedna varijacija u kriterijima ljepote, kao i duga kosa ili potpuno obrijane glave za muškarce u usporedbi sa podšišanim frizurama od prije pedeset ili šezdeset godina (nisam siguran da mlađi ljudi uopće znaju što "dio" je, u odnosu na frizuru). Stari Grci također su imali svoje sklonosti, koje su nesumnjivo varirale tijekom vremena i na različitim mjestima. Isto bi vrijedilo za Rimljane i veliko carstvo kojim su na kraju vladali. Iako spominjem, kad je to relevantno, osobine (na primjer, visinu) koje su se u antici računale kao doprinose ljepoti, bilo muške ili ženske, one nisu primarna tema ove knjige.

Jesu li stari Grci prepoznali umjetnost?

Predlažem radije ispitati vrste stvari koje su opisane kao lijep (Je li izraz obuhvaćao isti široki raspon objekata koje koristi u modernoj engleskoj upotrebi?) I što se podrazumijevalo pod tipičnim odgovorom na ljepotu (Što su ljudi osjećali ili mislili o sebi kad su vidjeli nešto što su nazvali lijepim ?). Kao što sam spomenuo, jedna od karakterističnih sfera u kojima se primjenjuje suvremeni pojam ljepote je estetska, odnosno kao odgovor ili odnos prema umjetnosti. Ipak, neki su tvrdili-s koliko ćemo valjanosti s vremenom ispitati-da stari Grci nisu imali osjećaj za umjetnost kao samostalnu sferu iskustva, ništa više nego što su imali riječ za "književnost" na način na koji je mi razumijemo danas. Doista, to je danas dominantno gledište. Kao što Elizabeth Prettejohn primjećuje u svojoj knjizi o recepciji starogrčke umjetnosti, „antičko društvo, prema rasprostranjenom stajalištu, nije imalo„ koncepciju umjetnosti usporedivu s našom. “Kao rezultat toga, videći antičku skulpturu, na primjer, kao dio „lanca prijema nije samo nevažan za njihov suvremeni kontekst, već pozitivno krivotvorenje“. Kako Prettejohn kaže, današnjim znanstvenicima "ovo zvuči kao zdrav razum" (Prettejohn 2012, 98). Stajalište je svoj najutjecajniji izraz u poznatom članku dao ugledni povjesničar renesanse Paul Oskar

Kristeller, koji je potvrdio da „stari književnici i mislioci, iako su se suočili s izvrsnim umjetničkim djelima i prilično podložni njihovom šarmu, nisu bili u stanju niti su željeli odvojiti estetsku kvalitetu ovih umjetničkih djela od njihovih intelektualnih, moralnih, vjerskih i praktičnih funkcija. sadržaj ili sadržaj, ili koristiti takvu estetsku kvalitetu kao standard za grupiranje likovnih umjetnosti ili za njihovu izradu predmetom opsežne filozofske interpretacije ”(Kristeller 1951, 506). Prema Kristelleru, razumijevanje umjetnosti kao autonomne sfere nastalo je tek u osamnaestom stoljeću, što se poklopilo s usponom nove discipline estetike.

Naravno, postoje i suprotni glasovi. Možda najoštriji kritičar gledišta povezanog s Kristeller je James Porter, koji je okrenuo ploču o Kristellerovoj slici drevnog poimanja pitajući: „Je li to uopće istina kao opis stanja umjetnosti i njihove klasifikacije u osamnaestom stoljeću? stoljeća? " No, to još uvijek ostavlja status antičke umjetnosti u zraku. Porter citira zapaženi esej u kojem Simon Goldhill i Robin Osborne signaliziraju "opasnost u korištenju opće riječi" umjetnost "" u vezi sa slikanim slikama na klasičnoj keramici ili frizovima na hramovima, na primjer, u mjeri u kojoj "značajne nijanse kontekstualizacije mogu biti izbrisan. " Njihova je osnovna teza, kako kaže Porter, da "pojam umjetnost riskira da nas zavede u lažnu identifikaciju prirode antičke estetske proizvodnje u cjelini". Ako je "doista slučaj da stari nisu imali koncepciju umjetnosti usporedivu s našom", onda je pitanje, kako kaže Porter: "Možemo li se ikada nadati da ćemo pristupiti njihovoj umjetnosti pod njezinim uvjetima? Ili još gore, da bismo dobili pristup drevnoj kulturi, moramo napustiti svaku nadu da ćemo joj pristupiti kroz ono što smo nekad nazivali njezinom umjetnošću? ” Pitanje ima neposredan utjecaj na drevno poimanje ljepote. Jer, ako stari Grci nisu imali pojma "umjetnosti" kako ga mi razumijemo, mogli bismo se zapitati ima li uopće smisla zapitati se jesu li mislili o ljepoti kao obilježju same umjetnosti nasuprot objektima - ljudskim ili na neki drugi način - zastupljena u umjetničkom djelu.

Pitanje jesu li se sfere života koje smatramo autonomnima tako promatrane i u drugim kulturama, točnije u klasičnoj antici, nije ograničeno samo na umjetnost ili kulturu. Neki su znanstvenici pitali, na primjer, je li ispravno govoriti o starogrčkoj ili rimskoj "ekonomiji" u smislu neovisne i samoregulirajuće društvene domene sa svojim zakonima i poviješću. Oni su prije tvrdili da su trgovina i druge ekonomske transakcije bile ugrađene u općenito društvene odnose, a tek s usponom modernog kapitalizma pojavilo se gospodarstvo kao takvo, različito i odvojeno od šireg društvenog konteksta koji je uključivao obitelj, vjerske prakse, političke formacije, i tako dalje. I ovo je gledište osporeno, a drugi su znanstvenici u drevnoj bankovnoj praksi i praksi osiguranja vidjeli brojne dokaze o strogo ekonomskim aktivnostima u koje su ljudi ulagali s ciljem zarade i računali dobitke i gubitke u odnosu na tržišne vrijednosti. Posljednjih godina uloženi su napori da se pređe izvan polariteta integriranih u odnosu na autonomna gospodarstva obraćajući sve veću pozornost na lokalna ponašanja, koja su se mogla razlikovati od mjesta do mjesta ili čak unutar različitih zanimanja u jednoj zajednici. Pitanje se i dalje osporava, ali sama debata je spasonosni podsjetnik na potrebu izbjegavanja anakronizma kada nastojimo razumjeti drevne stavove, vrijednosti i društvene kategorije.

Jesu li stari Grci prepoznali ljepotu?

Ova se knjiga ne bavi umjetničkom ljepotom kao takvom, već općenito ljepotom, koja se naravno proteže daleko izvan sfere umjetnosti. Čak i u relativno uskom smislu u kojem se primjenjuje na vizualno privlačne predmete, ljepota se ne percipira samo na slikama i skulpturama već i u umjetnim predmetima poput automobila i namještaja, koje ne bismo nužno klasificirali kao umjetnička djela. Ipak, teško je reći gdje će se povući granica između "umjetnosti" i "dizajna". No, iznad svega - i na neki način temeljno - ljepota je atribut ljudskog oblika i određenih objekata u prirodnom svijetu. Obično ih ne svrstavamo u umjetničku rubriku, iako opet ovdje na naše predodžbe o tome kako izgleda lijepa žena ili prekrasan krajolik može utjecati umjetnost, putem kozmetičke i modne industrije ili slikama obrađenih vrtova i prizora. Tako je Lessing u svojoj klasičnoj raspravi o poeziji i slikarstvu napisao: "Ako su lijepi muškarci stvarali lijepe kipove, ti su kipovi zauzvrat utjecali na muškarce, pa je država zahvaljujući i lijepim kipovima za lijepe muškarce dugovala." Naše je pitanje, dakle, jesu li stari Grci imali dobro definirano poimanje ljepote općenito, čak i ako nisu "koristili takvu estetsku kvalitetu kao standard za grupiranje likovnih umjetnosti zajedno", prema riječima Kristeller. Možda se čini još manje vjerojatnim da Grcima nedostaje ideja ljepote nego da nekako nisu uspjeli izdvojiti apstraktnije pojmove umjetnosti ili gospodarstva, koji uostalom ovise o razvoju određenih društvenih praksi koje možda nisu zajedničke svim kulturama . Možemo razumjeti, na primjer, da ritualne maske koje gledamo u muzejima možda nisu proizvedene s estetskom svrhom, već su imale namjeru služiti vjerskoj funkciji, pa je moguće da slike u klasičnom hramu ili na oltarnoj slici u crkva je zamišljena kao nadahnuća za nešto drugo osim za estetski odgovor - barem u prvom redu. Isto tako, iako možemo smatrati da je razmjena dobara isključivo financijska, možemo prepoznati i druge kontekste u kojima su takve transakcije prvenstveno imale za cilj promicanje solidarnosti i možda su bile dominantni oblik razmjene.

No čini se da je ljepota temeljno iskustvo ljudskih bića u bilo kojem društvu, drevnom ili modernom. Može li postojati kultura koja nema takav pojam ili nema izraz koji bi ga izrazio? To bi se činilo još manje vjerojatnim u slučaju stare Grčke, s njezinom briljantnom umjetnošću koja je do danas postavila standard za ono što mi zamišljamo kao idealni prikaz ljudskog oblika. Kao što je primijetio Michael Squire, "sviđalo se to vama ili ne - a bilo je mnogo razloga da vam se to ne sviđa - antika je dala kalup za sve kasnije pokušaje da se shvati i shvati ljudsko tijelo" (Squire 2011, xi). Dodaje: „Zato što nam je grčko-rimska umjetnost podarila naše zapadnjačke koncepte„ naturalističkog “predstavljanja. . . drevne slike ne nalikuju samo našim modernim slikama, već i ‘stvarnom’ svijetu oko nas ”(xiii). Je li Grcima doista nedostajala sama ideja ljepote?

Koliko god to iznenađujuće zvučalo, vodeći znanstvenici zapravo su postavili pitanje odgovara li koja riječ na klasičnom grčkom modernoj ideji ljepote. Odsustvo određenog izraza, naravno, ne mora nužno značiti da je sam koncept nedostajao: jezici, uključujući naš vlastiti, ipak pribjegavaju parafraziranju, pa možemo prepoznati i odgovoriti na klase stvari za koje nemamo posebne Ime. Takozvana Whorf-Sapirova hipoteza, prema kojoj rječnik i struktura danog jezika ne samo da utječu, već zapravo strogo određuju kako njegovi govornici percipiraju svijet, teško je održiva u svom najstrožem obliku, što bi poreklo da ljudi mogu čak zamisliti klasu stvari koja nema ime na svom jeziku. Edward T. Jeremiah nedavno je ponudio ono što naziva "blažom verzijom" teze koja bi trebala biti "nesporna". On piše: „Ono o čemu kultura nema riječ nema važnost za nju kao predmet istraživanja ili socio-kulturni označitelj“ (Jeremija 2012, 12). Ipak, ne bi bilo ništa manje šokantno otkriti da je ljepota bila beznačajna za stare Grke kao "socio-kulturni označitelj", odnosno izraz nabijen specifičnim značenjem i vrijednošću u njihovom pogledu na svijet.

S vremenom ćemo se pozabaviti pitanjem postoji li u klasičnom grčkom i latinskom riječ za "ljepotu" ili "lijepu". For now, let me put the reader at ease and reveal that, despite the reservations entertained by serious scholars on this matter, I will argue that there was indeed a term for “beauty” in Greek and, what is more, that a proper appreciation of its meaning and use has something to tell us about our own ideas of the beautiful. The point requires argument, because if it were self-evident then it would not have been and indeed have remained controversial. But before tackling this debate directly, inevitably via an examination of the ancient Greek vocabulary, it is worth looking at some of the problems that beset the idea of beauty in its modern applications. For the idea of beauty, as we employ it, is not so simple or innocent a notion as it might seem. If beauty turns out to be a problematic concept for us, it may be less surprising to discover that some cultures may make do perfectly well without it or—if they do have such a notion (as I believe the ancient Greeks did)—may define and understand it in ways sufficiently different from ours to shed some light on our own difficulties and possibly on ways to resolve or circumvent them. Regarding the Greeks in particular, we may be able to see how the modern conception of beauty, with whatever baggage of contradictions and tensions it carries, emerged in the first place, since Greek works of art and Greek ideas about art had a massive influence on the Western tradition, even if they were sometimes misunderstood (not that this is necessarily a terrible thing: misunderstanding is one of the great sources of creativity).

Excerpted from “Beauty: The Fortunes of an Ancient Greek Idea” by David Konstan. Copyright © 2014 by David Konstan. Reprinted by arrangement with Oxford University Press, a division of Oxford University. Sva prava pridržana.


Troy’s Night of the Horse

He is the last Greek at Troy. Pale in the morning light, he looks like a weak, ragged runaway. But looks can deceive. Sinon, as he is called, claims to be a deserter— the only Greek remaining when the entire enemy and its cursed fleet had suddenly departed. But can he be trusted? His name, Sinon, means “pest,” “bane” or “misfortune” in Greek, leading some historians to consider it a nickname, like “the Desert Fox” for German General Erwin Rommel, or a generic name, like “Bones” for a military doctor. Sinon played a key role in the plot to take Troy, although he is often forgotten, overshadowed by the most famous trick in Western civilization.

The famous horse may be imagined as a tall and well-crafted wooden structure, towering over the wildflowers of the Scamander River plain. Its body is made of the pine of Mount Ida, a tree known today as Pinus equi troiani, “Trojan Horse Pine,” and renowned since antiquity as a material for shipbuilding. The horse’s eyes are obsidian and amber, its teeth ivory. Its crest, made of real horsehair, streams in the breeze. Its hooves shine like polished marble. And hidden inside are nine Greek warriors.

Everyone knows the story. The Greeks are said to have packed up their men, horses, weapons and booty, set fire to their huts, and departed at night for the nearby island of Tenedos, where they hid their ships. All that they left behind was the Trojan Horse and a spy, Sinon, pretending to be a deserter.

The Trojans were amazed to discover that after all those years, the enemy had slunk home. But what were they to do with the Horse? After a fierce debate, they brought it into the city as an offering to Athena. There were wild celebrations. The Trojans underestimated the cunning of their adversaries. That night, the men inside the horse sneaked out and opened the city’s gates to the men of the Greek fleet, who had taken advantage of Troy’s drunken distraction to sail back from Tenedos. They proceeded to sack the city and win the war.

Everyone knows the story, but nobody loves the Trojan Horse. Although scholars disagree about much of the Trojan War, they nearly all share the conviction that the Trojan Horse is a fiction. From Roman times on, there have been theories that the Trojan Horse was really a siege tower, or an image of a horse on a city gate left unlocked by pro-Greek Antenor, or a metaphor for a new Greek fleet because Homer calls ships “horses of the sea,” or a symbol of the god Poseidon, who destroyed Troy in an earthquake, or a folk tale similar to those found in Egyptian literature and the Hebrew Bible. There has been every sort of theory about the Trojan Horse except that it really existed.

Many of these theories sound convincing, particularly the horse-as-siege engine, since Bronze Age Assyrians named their siege towers after horses, among other animals. But sometimes a horse is just a horse. Although epic tradition might exaggerate the details of the Trojan Horse and misunderstand its purpose, that the object existed and that it played a role in tricking the Trojans into leaving their city without defenses might just be true.

More about the Horse presently: In the meantime, back to the spy whom the Greeks had left behind. Although Sinon is less dramatic than the famous Horse, he was no less effective as an agent of subversion, and he inspires far more confidence as a genuine historical figure. The Trojan Horse is unique and improbable, although not impossible. But Sinon plays a well-attested role in unconventional warfare as it was waged in the Bronze Age.

In Virgil’s retelling in the Eneida, Sinon pretends to be a deserter in order to work his way into Troy. He testifies that the Greeks have left for good and argues that the Trojan Horse is a genuine gift and not some trick. Eventually, after a stormy debate, the Trojans decide to bring the Horse into the city.

Deceit is not unique to the Trojan saga it was a fundamental ingredient in Hittite military doc- trine. Consider some examples: A king broke off the siege of a fortress at the approach of winter, only to send his general back to storm the unsuspecting city after it had gone off alert. A general sent agents into the opposing camp before battle, where they pretended to be deserters and tricked the enemy into letting down his guard. Another king attacked a neighbor via a roundabout route to avoid enemy scouts. Nor were the Hittites alone in their use of trickery. For example, the siege of one Mesopotamian city by another involved sneak attacks at night and the impersonation of an allied unit of soldiers in an attempt to lull the besieged into opening their gates. (It failed.)

Think of the fall of Troy not as a myth about a Horse but as an example of unconventional warfare, Bronze Age style. The Trojan Horse might be better known as the Trojan Red Herring. Everyone focuses on the Horse, but the real story lies elsewhere. In fact, it would be possible to leave out the Trojan Horse and yet tell a credible and coherent narrative of the capture of Troy much as the ancients told it.

Without the Trojan Horse, the story might go like this: The Greeks decided to trick the Trojans into thinking they had gone home when, in fact, they had merely retreated to Tenedos. Once they had lulled the enemy into dropping his guard, they planned to return in a surprise attack—at night. To know when to move, the Greeks would look for a lighted-torch signal, to be given by a Greek in Troy who had pretended to turn traitor and desert. Signals were used often in ancient battles, most famously at Marathon (490 BC), when a Greek traitor in the hills flashed a shield in the sunlight to communicate with the Persians. In the clear skies of the Mediterranean, fire signals could be seen from far off. They were visible as smoke signals during the day and as beacons at night. Tests show that the signals were visible between mountaintops up to a distance of 200 miles.

At the sign, the Greeks would row back rapidly to Troy. The final part of the plan required a few men inside Troy to open the city gate. These men might either have been Trojan traitors or Greeks who had sneaked into the city. With the emergency supposedly over, Troy’s gatekeepers would not have proved difficult to overcome.

Compare the set of tricks by which the south Italian port city of Tarentum was betrayed in turn to Hannibal and then to the Romans. In 213 pro-Carthaginian citizen of Tarentum arranged BC a for Carthaginian soldiers to come back with him from a nighttime hunting expedition. The soldiers wore breastplates and held swords under their buckskins they even carried a wild boar in front, to appear authentic. Once the city gate was opened to them, they slaughtered the guards, and Hannibal’s army rushed in. Four years later, the Romans under Fabius Maximus recaptured the city by having a local girl seduce the commander of Hannibal’s garrison. He agreed to guide Roman troops over the walls at night while Fabius’ ships created a distraction at the harbor wall on the other side of town. Although these events took place 1,000 years after the Trojan War, they could easily have been carried out with Bronze Age technology.

The Greek plan at Troy was to trick the enemy into dropping his guard. It worked: the Trojans relaxed. At that point, one Greek inside the city lit a signal fire to bring the Greek fleet back and then others opened a gate.

The island of Tenedos (now Bozcaada) lies about seven miles (six nautical miles) from the Trojan harbor. The Greeks might have moored their ships in one of the sheltered coves on the island’s east coast, near Troy but out of sight. At a rate of about five knots (about that of a 32-oared Scandinavian longship traveling 100 miles), they could have covered the distance in little more than an hour. That is, in daylight the trip would no doubt have taken longer at night. Ali Sack of Ilium claims it was a moonlit night, and, anyhow Bronze Age armies knew how to march by night. So the trip from Tenedos took perhaps no more than two hours. From the Trojan harbor it was another five miles by land to Troy. It was nighttime, and the road was primitive, but the Greeks knew it well. They could have covered the distance in three hours. Athenian sources claim the month was Thargelion, roughly modern May. At that time of year, sunrise at Troy is 5:30-6 a.m., sunset 8-8:30 p.m. If the Greeks left Tenedos at, say, 9 p.m., and if everything went without a hitch, they would have arrived at Troy between 2 and 3 a.m., that is, about three hours before sunrise. A forced march may have gotten the Greeks to Troy an hour or so earlier.

To carry out their plan, the Greeks had had to infiltrate a small group of soldiers into the city. But they did not need the Trojan Horse to do so. Odysseus had already sneaked in and out of the city on two separate occasions shortly before. People came and went through the gates of Troy throughout the period of the war, making it all the easier now to trick the gatekeepers into letting in a handful of disguised Greek warriors.

Once inside the city, all the Greeks needed was arms, which a determined man would not have found difficult to get. Hardened commandos could easily have overpowered a few Trojan soldiers and seized their shields and spears. Ancient cities under attack were also often betrayed from within. Not even weapons could stand up to “dissatisfaction and treachery,” says an Akkadian poem. Troy no doubt had its share of Trojans who preferred dealing with the Greeks to prolonging the misery of war.

But if the Trojan Horse was not strictly necessary to the Greeks’ plan, it might well nonetheless have been part of it. The Trojan Horse would certainly be more believable if ancient history recorded another occasion on which a similar ruse was employed. But how could it? The Trojan Horse was such a famous trick that it could have been used only once.

According to Homer, it was Odysseus who conceived of the idea and Epeius, known otherwise as the champion boxer at the funeral games of Patroclus, who built the Horse. Certainly the Greeks had the technology to build it. Ancient fleets usually sailed with shipwrights because wooden ships constantly need repairs, and Linear B texts (ancient inscribed clay tablets) refer both to shipwrights and carpenters as professions. There would have been no shortage of men in the Greek camp to do the job.

And there would have been no question about whether or not a statue of an animal would catch the Trojan king’s fancy. Bronze Age monarchs liked animal imagery. A Babylonian king of the 1300s BC, for example, had specifically asked the pharaoh for a gift of realistic figures of wild animals, with lifelike hides, made by Egyptian carpenters. But which animal should the Greeks build at Troy? A Trojan Dog would have been insulting a Trojan Lion frightening a Trojan Bull or Cow would have thrown Greek cattle raids in the enemy’s teeth. But a horse symbolized war, privilege, piety, popularity and Troy itself.

Horses are expensive, and in the Bronze Age they were usually used in military context, rarely as farm animals. Rulers of the era often sent horses as a gift between kings, while ordinary Trojans might cherish a figure of a horse. In the Late Bronze Age, horse figurines, made of baked clay, were collected throughout the Near East. Excavators recently found a clay model of a horse in Troy of the 1200s BC. Finally, there was the religious connotation: As a votive offering, the horse was all but an admission of Greek war guilt, a symbolic submission to the gods of the horse-taming Trojans.

The Horse could have been used to smuggle a small number of Greek soldiers into the city, but the chances of detection were very high. Although the traditional story of the Trojan Horse cannot be ruled out, it seems more probable that, if the Horse did exist, it was empty. There were simpler and less dangerous ways of smuggling soldiers into the city. The Horse’s main value to the Greeks was not as a transport but as a decoy, a low-tech ancestor of the phantom army under General George Patton that the Allies used in 1944 to trick the Germans into expecting the D-Day invasion in the area of Pas de Calais instead of Normandy.

Epic tradition has some Trojans accepting the Horse as a genuine sign that the Greeks had given up while others remain skeptical. The debate lasted all day, according to Virgil, or three days, according to Homer. The Sack of Ilium identifies three camps: those who wanted to burn the Horse, those who wanted to throw it down from the walls and those who wanted to consecrate it to Athena. The length of the debate was in direct proportion to the stakes. The safety of the city as well as individual careers were hanging on the decision.

Virgil makes much of Priam’s daughter Cassandra, an opponent of the Horse who enjoyed the gift of prophecy but suffered the curse of being ignored. This story does not appear in Homer, or what we have of the Epic Cycle. One person who does feature in the tradition is the Trojan priest Laocöon, a staunch opponent of the Greeks, who wanted to destroy the Horse. In Virgil, the debate over the Horse comes to an end when Laocöon and his sons are strangled by two snakes from the sea. The Sack of Ilium apparently places this event after the Horse had already been brought into town. Surely the snakes are symbolic surely Laocöon and his boys were killed not by a sea snake but by a member of the pro-Greek faction, and so, therefore, by someone perceived as a tool of a signifier of evil like a snake.

Laocöon’s snakes may well be rooted in Anatolian Bronze Age religion, local lore of the Troad, or both. Hittite literature made the snake a symbol of chaos and the archenemy of the Storm God. It makes sense for a snake to foil the Storm God’s servant, the Trojan priest who was trying to save his city. The Troad, meanwhile, is rich in fossil remains of Miocene animals such as mastodons and pygmy giraffes, and these objects might have made their way into myth. For example, an Iron Age Greek painter probably used a fossilized animal skull as a model for a monster that Heracles is supposed to have defeated on the shore of Troy. So the story of Laocöon’s murder by monsters from the sea may well have Trojan roots.

Laocöon’s fate convinced Aeneas and his followers to leave town they withdrew to Mount Ida in time to escape the Greek onslaught. Virgil famously tells a different story, in which Aeneas stays in Troy, fights the Greeks and then at last escapes the burning city while carrying his elderly father, Anchises, on his back. But the account in the Sack of Ilium, which records Aeneas’ departure, strikes a more credible note. Aeneas would not have been eager to die for Priam, a king who had never given Aeneas the honor that he felt he was due. His homeland was south of the city, in the valley of Dardania beside the northern slopes of Mount Ida. What better place to regroup if Aeneas believed that Troy was doomed?

Helen played a double game. She had helped Odysseus on his mission to Troy and learned of his plan of the Horse. Now she tried to coax the Greeks out of the Horse, but Odysseus kept them silent—or perhaps the Horse was empty. Helen is supposed to have gone back home that night and prepared herself for the inevitable. She had her maids arrange her clothes and cosmetics for her reunion with Menelaus.

Whether or not there was a Trojan Horse, and whether or not the Trojans brought it into town and dedicated it to Athena, it is easy to imagine them celebrating the end of the war. They treated themselves to a night of partying, according to the Sack of Ilium. It was now, when the Trojans were occupied, that Sinon supposedly gave the prearranged torch signal. Once watchers on Tenedos saw it, the expedition to take Troy rowed rapidly back to the mainland.

Surprise, night and Trojan drunkenness would have given the Greeks substantial advantages, but taking Troy would require hard fighting nonetheless. Experienced warriors, the Trojans would have recovered quickly after their initial shock. If the battle began in darkness it no doubt would have continued into the daylight hours. The epic tradition offers a few details of Trojan resistance. The Greek Meges, leader of the Epeans of Elis, was wounded in the arm by Admetus, son of Augeias. Another Greek, Lycomedes, took a wound in the wrist from the Trojan Agenor, son of Antenor.

But what the tradition highlights, of course, is Greek victory. Admetus and Agenor, for instance, did not savor their successes, because that same night one was killed by Philoctetes and the other by Neoptolemus. A Greek named Eurypylus, son of Euaemon, killed Priam’s son Axion. Menelaus began his revenge by killing Helen’s new husband, Deïphobus, brother of Paris and son of Priam. But the Greek with the reputation for scoring the most kills during the sack of Troy is Achilles’ son, Neoptolemus. Among his victims, besides Agenor, were Astynous, Eion and Priam himself, either at the altar of Zeus—no doubt the Storm God, where the Trojan king had sought shelter—or, as some say, at the doors of the palace because, not wanting to violate a god’s altar, Neoptolemus was careful to drag his victim away first.

As for the Trojan women, tradition assigns Andromache to Neoptolemus and Cassandra to Agamemnon. Locrian Ajax had attempted to seize Cassandra but violated the altar of Athena or a Trojan goddess, which made the Greeks loath to reward him and thereby earn divine enmity.

Prudent Bronze Age warriors knew better than to insult an enemy’s god. For example, when Hittite King Shuppiluliuma I conquered the city of Carchemish around 1325 BC, he sacked the town but kept all his troops away from the temples of Kubaba and Lamma. He bowed to the goddesses instead.

Priam’s daughter Polyxena was, according to the Sack of Ilium, slaughtered at the tomb of Achilles as an offering to the hero’s ghost. Little Astyanax, Hector’s son, was murdered by Odysseus— thrown from the walls, in one version—lest he grow up and seek vengeance.

And then there was Helen. The Little Iliad states that Menelaus found her at home, in the house of Deïphobus. Menelaus’ sword was drawn to seek vengeance on the agent of his humiliation and suffering, but Helen had merely to undrape her breasts to change his mind. It is the sort of story that we can only wish is true.

So much for the epic tradition. What do other Bronze Age texts and the archaeological excavations tell us about the sack of Troy?

Bronze Age documents show that however brutal the sack of Troy may have been, it would have conformed to the laws of war. Cities that did not surrender would, if they were captured, be destroyed. This rule goes as far back as the first well-documented interstate conflict, the border wars between the two Sumerian city-states of Lagash and Umma between 2500 and 2350 BC.

When the Greeks sacked the city, they put Troy to the torch. Archaeology discloses that a savage fire destroyed the settlement level known as Troy VIi (formerly referred to as Troy VIIa). Blackened wood, white calcined stone and heaps of fallen building material were found in a thick destruction layer of ash and dirt that varied from about 20 inches to 6 feet deep. That inferno can be dated, according to the best estimate, sometime between 1230 and 1180 BC, more likely between 1210 and 1180.

The flames must have spread fast. One house in the lower city tells the story: A bronze figurine, as well as some gold and silver jewelry, was left abandoned on the floor of a room. The inhabitants had clearly fled in panic.

Imagine Troy’s narrow streets clogged, and imagine the cries of disoriented refugees, the wailing of children the growls and snorts, bleating, high-pitched squeals and relentless howls and barks of terrified barnyard animals (in the Bronze Age, typically kept within the town walls at night). Imagine too the clatter of arms, the clang and whistle of cold bronze, the cheers of the avengers, the whiz of javelins in flight, the reverberation of a spear that has found its mark, the holler and thud of street fighting, the surge of wails and curses, the gush and choking of pain, and much of it muffled by a fire burning fast and furious enough to sound like a downpour.

Archaeology draws a picture that is consistent with a sack of Troy. Outside the doorway of a house on the citadel, for example, a partial human male skeleton was discovered. Was he a householder, killed while he was defending his property? Other human bones have been found in the citadel, scattered and unburied. There is also a 15-year-old girl buried in the lower town the ancients rarely buried people within the city limits unless an attack prevented them going to a cemetery outside town. It was even rarer to leave human skeletons unburied—another sign of the disaster that had struck Troy.

Two bronze spear points, three bronze arrowheads, and two partially preserved bronze knives have been found in the citadel and lower town. One of the arrowheads is of a type known only in the Greek mainland in the Late Bronze Age. The lower town has also yielded a cache of 157 sling stones in three piles. Another supply of a dozen smooth stones, possibly sling stones, was found on the citadel, in a building beside the south gate that looked to the excavators like a possible arsenal or guardhouse.

None of this evidence proves beyond doubt that Troy was destroyed in a sack. The fire that ravaged the city could have been caused by accident and then been stoked by high winds. If Troy was destroyed by armed violence, were the Greeks responsible? The archaeological evidence is consistent with that explanation but does not prove it.

This article is excerpted from Barry Strauss’ book Trojanski rat, published by Simon & Schuster in 2006.

Originally published in the March 2007 issue of Military History. Za pretplatu kliknite ovdje.


The Death of Achilles, the Greatest of the Greek Warriors

Achilles is a renowned figure in Greek mythology and one of the greatest of the Greek warriors who participated in the Trojan War.

Achilles was the product of a union between a mortal father (Peleus of Thessaly) and an immortal mother (Thetis, a sea nymph). After his birth, his mother attempted to make him immortal through a variety of different means, the most famous of which was dipping him in the mythical River Styx. Each of her attempts to secure Achilles’ immortality ultimately failed, however, and it was prophesied by the seer Calchas that Achilles would die during the Trojan War.

Achilles Kills Hector and Desecrates the Body

According to The Iliad, an epic poem that was written by the famous Greek poet Homer, Achilles ravaged many of the Trojan cities and eventually killed the noble Hector, a son of the Trojan King Priam. After his death, Achilles dishonored the body and dragged Hector’s corpse behind his chariot for twelve days, exacting revenge for the fact that Hector had killed Achilles’ close friend (some sources say lover), Patroclus.

Achilles’ Immortal Horse, Xanthus, Foretells Achilles’ Death

As legend has it, Achilles had an immortal horse named Xanthus which the goddess Hera endowed with the power of speech. After the death of Patroclus, Achilles rebuked the horse for allowing him to die. In response, the horse warned Achilles that he too was about to face death in the war. The horse’s magical power of speech was then revoked by the Furies, but not before this prophecy was made. This knowledge was nothing new, however, since Thetis had known since the beginning of Achilles’ life that her son would face an early death.

The Death of Achilles

Because of his mother’s attempts to make him immortal, Achilles was invincible in all but the heel, which his mother had failed to dip in the mighty River Styx. As a result, Chalcas’ prophecy of Achilles’ fate rang true when he was struck in the heel with a poisoned arrow.

The majority of sources convey that it was Paris, Hector’s brother and the younger prince of Troy, who shot the arrow which took Achilles’ life. Yet, many versions of the tale claim that it was Apollo, the god of prophecy, who guided the arrow to Achilles’ vulnerable heel. Indeed, this is the story that the Roman poet Ovid describes in “Achilles’ Death” which is taken from his Metamorphoses. Ovid writes, “If fame, or better vengeance be thy care, There aim: and, with one arrow, end the war.” He goes on to say, “The deity himself directs aright/Th’ invenom’d shaft and wings the fatal flight.”

There are a few sources which claim that it was Apollo himself who shot the arrow, but these stories are less widely told and seemingly less popular. Either way, though, this event spelled death for the greatest of the Greek warriors and ended the slaughter and destruction that Achilles had wrought upon so many of the Trojan warriors.


Listen to the oldest known song in Ancient Greek

What did music sound like in Ancient Greece? A song known as the Seikilos Stele has been found to be the earliest complete song in known memory and dates back to c.100 BCE. This video explains how it sounds. Do you think it’s a love song?

As long as you live,
shine forth do not at all grieve,
Life exists for a short while,
Time takes its course.

Hoson zēis phainou
mēden holōs su lupou
pros oligon esti to zēn
to telos ho chronos apaitei.

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This video was orginally published by the Ancient History Encyclopedia

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The Lasting Influence of the Ancient Greeks on Modern Military

Written more than two thousand years ago, texts by ancient Greeks still have a major impact on the modern militaries of today in numerous ways.

At the start of the Cold War, the then US secretary of state, George Marshall, read the histories of Herodotus and Thucydides, convinced that the events of the Peloponnesian War and the fall of Athens were worthy of review in those unprecedented times when the United States and Russia— the Athens and Persia on the contemporary age, faced each other in conflict.

Thucydides’s History of the Peloponnesian War is still studied at many military academies, including West Point, the Command and Staff College of the US Marine Corps, and the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis. Recruits at army and naval colleges are encouraged to study what the text has to say about strategic leadership, garnering support in a protracted war and the impact of biological warfare.

The “Melian Dialogue” is considered particularly important, containing the Athenians’ justification for conquering Melos in what was one of the bloodiest conflicts of the late 5th century BC.

Also known to have studied Greek military texts are Colin Powell and David Pet­raeus, whose fall from grace in 2012 after the revelation that he had leaked classified information to his mistress has often been noted in Sophoclean terms. It did not go unnoticed at the time that “Petraeus” was the name of a centaur, a half-man, half-horse figure of Greek myth, renowned for his sexual appetite.

But Greek text also have a therapeutic nature for the military, as well as victims on the other side of the conflict.

The Greek tragedies of Sophocles, Aeschylus and Euripides continue to provide a powerful lens through which soldiers heal after returning from conflict. In his recent book, The Theater of War: What Ancient Greek Tragedies Can Teach Us Today, Bryan Doerries describes his work with Theater of War, a traveling drama collective that performs Sophocles’s most intense explorations of the psychological impact of war for US soldiers and veterans.

In Amman in 2013, a group of female refugees from Syria performed a version of Euripides’s Trojan Women as a way of collective catharsis for the women who were impacted by the war.


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