Introduction to the Ancient World: Greece

Lecture 18

(under construction)

Oedipus summary; 5th cent. sculpture; the Olympic Games

I. Oedipus: A contrarian view - just good theater - don't overinterpret

Oedipus at Colonus:  Relation to the earlier play; click here 

II. Athens again 

A. Theseus as the embodiment of Athenian noble values (551ff., 885ff.)
B. the choral ode about Colonus: olive, Athena, Poseidon (668ff.)
C. endurance (1225ff.)

III. Fifth-century "classical" sculpture

Phidias: chryselephantine Athena Parthenos, Athena Lemnia, Zeus at Olympia;
Polycleitus: Doryphorus ("Spear-carrier"), Diadoumenos; canon of proportions
Nike of Paionios at Olympia

III. The Ancient Olympic Games (cf. Amos and Lang, pp. 83-92)

A. The Olympics and modern misconceptions:

Pierre de Coubertin and the revival of the Olympic Games (Athens 1896);
Jim Thorpe (1912) and the pre-Dream Team myth of the aristocratic amateurs vs. Greek realities

B. Olympia - the site 

Temple of Zeus, Phidias' statue (one of 7 wonders of the world); Temple of Hera;
Stadium (1 stadion = 194 yards), Hippodrome (chariot), Gymnasium, Palaistra (cf. Apoxyomenos = Scraper)

C. The Program (cf. Amos and Lang, p. 85) 

Elis; Hellenodikai; hoplitodromos; first prizes only  
Olympic fun and games: wrestling, boxing (cf. Hellenistic boxer statue, face, hands), pankration


Images Lect. 18 sculpture
Images Lect. 18 Olympia

modified March 26, 2014