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legend

stories that involve heroes and heroines narrate events of human past

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divine myth

stories about the gods that explain in many ways why the world is the way it is

2

folktales

stories with ordinary people/animals as the main characters where the stories justify customary patterns of behavior

3

etiological tale

- explains the causes that brought he world into existence
- explains why things are and how they came to be

4

folktale motifs

specific, common recurrence of themes in multiple works across the world that can be recombined indefinitely

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Boeotia

ancient Thebes

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Attica

ancient Athens

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Laconia

ancient Sparta

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Greek Dark Age

1200 - 800 BC
- collapse of Mycenaean civilization
- stronger weapons formed

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Archaic Period

800 - 480 BC
- renewal of large scale building/trade increase
- founding of Olympic Games
- Greek alphabet (more adapted than invented)

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Homer

750 BC
wrote Iliad and Odyssey

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Hesiod

700 BC
wrote Theogony

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Classical Period

480 - 323 BC
- Attic Tragedy
- Aeschylus, Euripides, Sophocles

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Hellenistic Period

323 - 31 BC
- Apollonius --> Argonautica

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Imperial/ Roman Period

31 BC - AD 476
- Vergil (Aeneid)
- Ovid (Metamorphoses)

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etymology

original/ true meaning of a word

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cognates

words that arise from the same origin
- shared parent language called proto-indo-european

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Ancient Greek dialects

Aeolic - Lesbos
Ionic - Athens, Chios, Miletus
Doric - Sparta

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Bronze Age

3000 - 1200 BC
- Minoans on Crete
- greek speakers on Greece in 2000 BC
- Linear A - writing left by Minoans
- Linear B - non-alphabetic script deciphered in 1950s by Ventris
* many legends seem to be set in late Bronze Age

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pederasty

love for boys

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Etruscans

responsible for the adaptation of alphabet
- gave it to romans who passed it to the greeks

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Sumerians

people of southern mesopotamia
- created first city-states

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Semites

not a united people but more named fro their cultural and linguistic patterns
- Akkadians: reformed the sumerian culture/myths
- preserved myths in cuneiform in clay tablets

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Hebrews

semitic peoples whose ancestry was traced to Abraham

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Hittites

- one of the most powerful and important peoples of late Bronze Age
- controlled Anatolia (1600-1200)
- preserved myths in cuneiform on clay tablets

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homeric hymns

orally composed poems (most likely by homer)

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cyclic poems

post-homeric epics ---> told parts around homers works to fill in gaps w/ illiad and odyssey
influenced greek art and athenian tragedians

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choral song

type of poetry used to reflect on the glory/praise an athlete

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Aeschylus

tragedy author
- Persians

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Sophocles

loved to show the dignity of human beings in conflict with often divine sources

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Euripides

said to have showed men as they really were, not how they should be
- celebrated power of emotion over reason

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Library of Apollodorus

collection/account of mythical events from the creation to the death of Odysseus

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Babylonians

- leader Hammurabi wrote all legal decisions in cuneiform on column (3600 lines)
- fashioned temporary political unity from the scattered city-states in southern mesopotamia
- fell after leader's death

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cuneiform

first known system of markings (first true writing)
easier/more advanced Phoenician syllabary took over (22 syllables, used to record after 1000 BC)

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mythography

written collection of myths

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Schliemann

(1822-1890)
proved authenticity of homer by excavation
distribution of dialects confirms the broad outline of the dorian invasion legend

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allegory

symbolic expression
speaking about one thing in terms of another

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Myth and religion

greeks were polytheistic
Greek/roman religion emphasized ritual over correct belief
- myth is not religion but rather small part of the phenomenon

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syncretism

mixing or blending of various traditions into one

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anthropomorphism

gods have a human form

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idolatry

worship of idols

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Xenophanes of Colophon

525 BC
philosopher/poet
known for cross culture comparisons that people make god in their own image with their morals
criticized homer/Hesiod that they made gods do immoral things
- thought god was a sphere (perfect in every way)

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euhemerism

theory that the gods were once humans

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Neoplatonism

people who followed Plato and his theories/ideas
believed in a higher dimension of reality beyond the limits of time and space
- a place where perfection could be achieved

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Johann Bachofen

believed that myth reflects the earlier matriarchal era

45

Sir James Frazer

magic evolves into religion which evolves in into science
- myth explains ritual

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Georges Dumezil

Indo-european myths reflect pre-historic, tripartite social structure

1 - kings and priests
2 - warriors
3 - food providers

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Branislaw Malinowski

myth serves as a charter and validates social practices

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Sigmund freud

myths represent psychological tensions of he human race

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Carl Jung

myths symbolically reflect the collective unconscious of the human race
- archetypes

50

Claude Levi-Strauss

structuralism: traditional story is conveyed by structure relations within the content, not content itself
myth is an attempt to mediate between binary oppositions
-savage vs. civilized

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Walter Burkert

- myth is a type of traditional tale
- crystalizes in different structures indifferent contexts
- reflects basic biological or cultural patterns of actions (programs of action)
-- hunting customs,,initiation rites

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ritual theory of myth

origin of myth is closely related/tied to religious rituals

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charter theory of myth

purpose of myth is to serve as a justification for the way things are

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Max Muller

saw the allegory of a struggle between sunlight and darkness in every myth
- known as solar mythology

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Indo-european comparative mythology

to explain european myths in the same way and discover patterns/original meanings of myth

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Paris school of myth criticism

group of gentlemen who found the same school of tough as Levi-Strauss