2. The Low Countries at the crossroads of European history



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2. The Low Countries at the crossroads of European history

  • European Culture

Broad sense of Culture

  • history, geography,
  • natural conditions,
  • social customs,
  • means of life,
  • literature and art,
  • codes of conduct,
  • moral values

What’re involved in the course?

  • 1.The Greco-Roman Culture
  • 2.The Bible & Christianity
  • 3.The Middle Ages
  • 4.Renaissance & Reformation
  • 5.Science in 17th Century
  • 6.Age of Enlightenment

What’re involved in the course?

  • 7.French Revolution
  • 8.Classicism & Romanticism
  • 9.Communist International
  • 10.Socialist Movement
  • 11.Realism & Naturalism
  • 12.Modernism & Post-Modernism

What’re related to the course?

  • 1.Ancient Egypt 3300- 30 BC
  • 2.Ancient Babylonia 1700-500 BC
  • 3.Kingdom of Israel 1000-722 BC
  • 4.Persian Empire 539 BC-651
  • 5.Arabian Empire 632---665
  • 6.Ottoman Empire 1299-1922

Suggested way of learning

  • 1.Reading as thinking in nature a. To compare and to contrast
  • b. From macro-scope to micro-scope
  • 2.Materials available in
  • sfs.scnu.edu.cn/hhzhang/index.htm
  • 3.References available in
  • Encarta Encyclopedia 2004
  • 4.Course paper as conclusion

Significance of Course Paper

  • 1.Writing aims at cultivating scientific
  • spirit of learning with discovery and
  • analysis by means of extensive and
  • selective reading.
  • 2.A course paper is made up of
  • a. summary of related readings to the
  • topic under discussion;
  • b. arguments or hypothesis
  • c. confirmation of the hypothesis

Ancient Greece

  • 1.Definition
  • Historically 3000—100 B.C. Xia—Han : 2100—206 B.C.
  • Geographically
  • Culturally
  • 2.Prime of the civilization
  • the Classical Age 480—323 B.C. Spring-Autumn: 770—476 B.C. Warring States: 475—221 B.C.
  • freedom of self-government was
  • treasured---ruled with no king

Early history

  • 1. Afro-Asian settlement 50000 ago
  • 2. Farming from Asia Minor 7000 BC
  • 3. Greek Bronze Age 3000-1200 BC
  • 4. Minoan Period 2200-1400 BC Xia: 2100-1562 BC
  • 5. Mycenaean Period 1550-1000 BC Shang: 1562-1066 BC
  • 6. The Greek Dark Age 1000-750 BC Western Zhou: 1066-771 BC

The Archaic and Classical Ages

  • a. The Archaic Age 750-480 BC Spring-Autumn: 770-476 BC
  • b. The Classical Age 480-323 BC
  • Warring States: 475-221 BC
  • 1. Athenian Empire 480-359 BC
  • 2. Macedonian Supremacy-323BC
  • c. Hellenistic Greece 323--31 BC
  • Western Han: 206BC-AD 23

Unit I Greco-Roman Culture

  • Greek Mythology
  • 1.What is the significance of learning
  • Greek mythology?
  • 1) Greek mythology reflects the Greeks’
  • a.deification of natural forces
  • b.idealization of human powers
  • c.perception, interpretation and
  • personification of the universe
  • d.rich and colorful treasure of oral
  • literary creation in the primitive society

2) It provides lifelike materials for us to understand early human civilizations a.mode of production—farming b.social structure—matriarchal c.family structure—communal marriage 2.In what aspects does it influence the shaping of the European culture? a.development of Roman culture b.development of Christian culture c.as subjects for artistic creation in-- painting, sculpture, music, literature

3.What are the three principal types of figures involved in Greek mythology? 1) Gods a.The creation of Gods b.Cronus and Rhea c.Zeus and the Olympian Gods d.The Offspring of Zeus e.Disruptive Deities 2) Mortals a.The creation of Human Beings b.The Greek People

3) Heroes a.Jason and the Golden Fleece b.Meleager c.Heroes of the Trojan War d.Heracles and Theseus e.Oedipus 4.Are the images of gods in Greek mythology the same as that of God in Christianity? a.with human emotions among us b.dominating, almighty above us

5.What are the Greek gods in nature? a.symbols of human desire to show authority b.symbols of human desire to punish anyone against authority c.symbols of human such emotions as jealousy, love, and grief d.idealized human forms 6.What are the Greek heroes in nature? a.supermen empowered by gods b.symbols of god-man relationship

7.What are the functions of Greek mythology? 1) Explanation 2) Exploration 3) Legitimation 4) Entertainment 8.What are the origins of Greek mythology? The Middle Eastern mythologies 9.How did it develop? By oral and written literature, and artistic works of sculpture and decorated pottery

  • The Greeks built the Temple of Apollo at Didyma, Turkey (about 300 bc). The temple supposedly housed an oracle who foretold the future to those seeking knowledge. The predictions of the oracles, delivered in the form of riddles, often brought unexpected results to the seeker. With Ionic columns reaching 19.5 m (64 ft) high, these ruins suggest the former grandeur of the ancient temple.
  • After wounding his father and taking away his power, Cronus became ruler of the universe. But Cronus, in turn, feared that his own son would supplant him. When his sister and wife Rhea gave birth to offspring—Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, and Poseidon—Cronus swallowed them. Only the youngest, Zeus, escaped this fate, because Rhea tricked Cronus. She gave him a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes to swallow in place of their baby son, Zeus.
  • Zeus in Greek mythology was ruler of both the Olympian gods and the human race. Sometimes he is portrayed as a just and merciful defender of the weak. At other times he appears to be passionate, inconstant, and vengeful. This ancient Greek bust of Zeus is in the National Museum in Naples, Italy.
  • Hermes Holding the Infant Dionysus
  • (about 340 bc) is attributed to the Greek sculptor Praxiteles. Dionysus, the god of wine, had two distinct aspects—ecstasy and violence. The followers of Dionysus often worshiped him in drunken revelry. This statue of him as an infant with Hermes, the messenger of the gods, was originally made for the Temple of Hera at Olympia.
  • Battle of Lapiths and Centaurs
  • In Greek mythology, the centaurs were notorious for uncivilized behavior. When the Lapiths—neighbors of the centaurs—invited them to a wedding feast, they attempted to carry off the bride and other women.
  • Dionysus, also known as Bacchus, was the Greek god of wine and was celebrated in annual festivals.
  • The Sirens
  • In Greek mythology sirens were sea nymphs who lured sailors with their sweet singing, causing their ships to founder. Odysseus overcame the temptation by tying himself to his ship’s mast
  • This modern reconstruction of the legendary Trojan Horse stands at the archaeological site of Troy in what is now Turkey. During the Trojan War, attacking Greek soldiers hid in a hollow wooden horse, which the unsuspecting Trojans brought inside the city walls of Troy. The Trojan War ended soon afterward with a Greek victory.
  • In the classical myth Penelope waited 20 years for her husband, Ulysses (the Latin name for the Greek hero Odysseus), to return from the Trojan War.
  • Struggle of Hercules with the Hydra of Lerna
  • Hercules engaged in one of his twelve great labors, battling a nine-headed serpent called the Hydra. Each time one of its heads was cut off, the Hydra would grow two more in its place. Standing to one side with a torch is Hercules's nephew Iolaus, who, according to one version of the story, helped to cauterize the necks of the monster after Hercules cut the heads off, thereby preventing them from growing back.
  • Oedipus and the Sphinx
  • French painter Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres was a superb draftsman who created numerous depictions of historical and mythological figures. Shown here is his Oedipus and the Sphinx (1808),
  • Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt
  • The Greek goddess Artemis was associated with hunting and wild animals. She was also connected to childbirth, nature, the harvest, the moon, and the protection of young women.
  • Venus and Adonis
  • Adonis was a Greek mythological figure noted for his great beauty.
  • Three Gorgons, monstrous, dragonlike sisters with snakes for hair, who were shunned because they turned all who looked at them to stone. The only mortal of the three, Medusa was killed when the young hero Perseus severed her head.
  • Death of Achilles
  • Achilles, a Greek mythological hero, was invulnerable to injury except on one of his heels.
  • Palace at Knossos
  • The ancient city of Knossos was a center of the Minoan civilization, an advanced society on Crete named after Minos, a legendary Cretan king. Skilled in such fields as engineering and architecture, the Minoans constructed the palace at Knossos in 1700 bc.
  • Dido Receiving Aeneas
  • According to the Roman poet Virgil, Venus caused Dido to fall in love with the Trojan warrior Aeneas when he was shipwrecked at Carthage. When he was forced to continue his journey to Rome, Dido killed herself. Dido Receiving Aeneas and Cupid Disguised as Ascanius, created in the 1720s by Italian artist Francesco Solimena, is in the National Gallery in London, England.

Roman Mythology 1.What is Roman Mythology? A set of religious beliefs and practices of the people of ancient Rome 2.How was the combination of Greco- Roman mythology created? a.the Romans began to represent their gods in human form when they met the beliefs of Greek culture in the 500 BC b.Roman writers introduced the names & functions of Roman gods into Greek arts

3.What does the story of Romulus & Remus tell about the founding of Rome? a.sons of the god Mars & a woman b.set by great uncle to float on the river c.found & cared for by a she-wolf d.found & raised by a shepherd e.grown up, restoring grandfather to throne 4.What does the story of Aeneas tell about the founding of the city of Rome? a.Aeneas, son of Venus & the Trojan prince b.surviving the war, arriving at Carthage, leaving the queen Dido, he reached Italy

  • Remus and Romulus
  • Left to drown at the edge of the flooding Tiber River, the legendary twins Romulus and Remus were found and raised by a she-wolf. As men, the brothers returned to the spot where they had been abandoned and founded the city of Rome. The Romans celebrated the festival of Parilia, today called the Natalis Romae, or the birth of Rome, on April 21 to commemorate the day the brothers founded the city.
  • Aeneas and Anchises
  • According to mythology, Aeneas was a Trojan prince. After Troy fell to the Greeks during the Trojan War, Aeneas traveled to Italy and met and married a woman in the kingdom that occupied the region that would one day become Rome. Through this marriage, Aeneas was the direct ancestor of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. In this painting he is carrying his father, Anchises, on his back while fleeing from Troy.

5.How did Roman mythology inspire writers, musicians and artists? a.Virgil’s poem Aeneid, as celebration of supposed Trojan origin of the Romans, transformed Zeus into amazing Jupiter, and Hera into the angry Juno b.Ovid produced a whole piece of Greek mythology covering the world’s history c.musicians, writers and artists drew on stories told by Virgil, Ovid and other Roman writers, combining Roman literary figures into their works

6.What did early Romans associate their gods with? particular places-not in human form 7.What functions of gods did early Romans care about? Control of life/death including agriculture 8.How important were the gods Jupiter, Mars, and Quirinus to the early Romans? Jupiter as protector of the Roman state Mars as a fighter god and protector of the farmers’ fields Quirnus as a symbol of Romulus

  • Jupiter
  • Jupiter was the ruler of the Roman pantheon. He exhibited many of the characteristics of his Greek counterpart, Zeus. In this 1811 painting by French artist Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, the sea nymph Thetis beseeches Jupiter on behalf of her son, Achilles.
  • In The Origin of the Milky Way the Roman god Jupiter places his infant son Hercules on the goddess Juno’s breast. According to legend, Juno’s milk spilled up while feeding the boy, and the Milky Way was formed. In Roman mythology, Juno was the queen of the gods.

9.How were Jupiter, Juno and Minerva treated as holy figures in the 6th century BC when Rome was ruled by the dynasty of Etruscan kings? Jupiter as ruler of the Roman state Juno as protector of women in marriage and childbirth, and supporter of several groups in Ancient Italy Minerva as goddess of craftsmanship 10.How important was the Capitoline temple in the time of the Roman Republic?

New officers offered sacrifices to open the new year Local governors took religious promises before leaving for their provinces Generals offered sacrifices for victories 11.What caused the Romans to accept gods of other cultures? a.Expansion of Roman territory led to their contact with other cultures of the East b.Rome as an international business center allowed for foreign gods to find their way into the Roman culture

12.When was the religious belief in the Greek gods introduced into Rome? In the late 5th century BC 13.What else did the Romans show their respect for besides the Greek gods? Domestic gods and gods of the fields 14.How and when did the practice of the religion devoted to more gods come to an end? By the end of the 4th century when it was officially banned by the emperor who was a supporter of Christianity

15.How did the Romans develop the treatment of emperors as gods? a.Territorial expansion to the east caused them to meet the culture of kings as holy b.absolute authority caused emperors to accept holy honors 16.What foreign cultural experiences could probably contribute to the shaping of the Roman culture? Greek mythology, Persian mythology and beliefs of other cultures of the eastern Mediterranean Sea region

  • Constantine the Great, who reigned from 306 to 337 ad, was the first emperor of Rome to convert to Christianity. During his reign Christians, previously persecuted, gained freedom of worship. By the end of the 4th century ad, under Emperor Theodosius I, Christianity had become the official religion of the Roman Empire, and the old Roman pagan religion was banned.
  • Julius Caesar
  • One of the most influential political and military leaders in history, Julius Caesar helped establish the vast empire ruled by Rome. With Caesar began a tradition in Roman mythology of worshiping Roman rulers as gods.
  • Birth of Venus (after 1482) depicts a mixture of Roman mythology, astrology, and Christianity. The painting is a famous rendition of how Venus, the Roman goddess of love and beauty, was born.
  • Fortuna
  • In this 15th-century manuscript illumination, Fortuna, the Roman goddess of chance, is shown blindfolded and turning a wheel, which symbolizes the situation of humanity, subject to alternating fortunes and perpetual change.


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