Introduction to the Ancient World: Greece

Lecture 2: Early Civilizations in Greece

(cf. Amos and Lang, 12-25; Morkot 12-33, 36-37)


CC 301 Syllabus

The Minoan civilization on Crete 

I. The significance of the Minoans 

II. The details (c. 2,600-1,400 B.C.) - Images 1-9

A. The role of Crete 

B. Minos in myth: Minotaur, Labyrinth, Pasiphae, Daedalus (and son Icarus); Theseus, Ariadne, and Dionysus 

C. Cultural connections:

Near East and Egyptian: priest-king; bull ritual and horns (Moses, and Bevo); cf. Egyptian law-giving
Pharaoh Mna (Greek: Menes) and the etymology of  "labyrinth"
Phoenician: Daedalus the craftsman

D. A visit to the Place at Knossos (excavated by Sir Arthur Evans 1900-1925) - Images 10-21
and to Akrotiri on Thera (Santorini) - Images 23-25

E. The end of Knossos (c. 1400); Linear A and Linear B; the volcano implosion at Thera and the myth of Atlantis 

F. Minoan arts and religion; mother goddess, nature cults

Mycenaean (or Helladic) civilization - Images 26-38

I. Why important for later Greece: age of heroes (Agamemnon, Achilles, etc.) and cults

II. Some details

A. Origins and history (c. 2,000 - 1,050 B.C.); Hittites

B. Archaeology; Heinrich Schliemann at Mycenae (1870's) and Tiryns (1880's); megaron

C. Religion; interaction with Minoan religion

1. Olympian deities (Zeus, Hera, Apollo, etc.) vs. chthonic/nature deities
2. funerary customs; shaft graves and tholoi ("beehive tombs")

D. Social organization; bureaucracy; war and trade; Agamemnon

E. Arts and crafts

III. From Mycenaean to Greek civilization: continuities and discontinuities;
the Dark Ages and the "Doric invasion" (c. 1,100-800 B.C.)

Lecture 2 Images

modified Jan. 14, 2014