Ancient Greek Theater
1. Timeline of Greek Drama
2. Origins of Greek Drama
3. Staging an ancient Greek play
4. Greek Theaters
5. Structure of the plays read in Humanities 110
6. English and Greek texts of the plays for word searching.
7. Bibliography and links to other on-line resources for Greek Tragedy
By 502 BC, Athens had pretty much established its culture and political structure, just as Sparta had pretty much established its culture and political structure by 550 BC. Athens was more or less a democracy; it had become primarily a trading and commercial center; a large part of the Athenian economy focussed on cash crops for export and crafts; it had become a center of art and literature; the city had become architecturally rich because of the building projects of Peisistratus""an architectural richness that far outshone other Greek city-states; and Athenian religious fesitivals were largely in place. The next one hundred years would be politically and culturally dominated by Athens; the event that would catapult Athens to the center of the Greek world was the invasion of the Persians in 490 BC.
[Cities in History] [Tools and Searches]
Attic Manufacturing in the ancient Greek World
Ceramic production in Athens was concentrated in the northwest corner of the city, the Kerameikos. Here artisans turned out architectural decorations, roof tiles, figurines, and even large sculptures, as well as fine and coarse-ware pottery. There is little evidence for mass production methods, although two painters could collaborate on a single large pot and certain potters specialized in creating particular shapes. Most pots were thrown on a manually driven potter's wheel. Large pots were made in several sections, and handles were added separately. Greek kilns were wood-fired. By controlling the oxygen flow the color of the clay pot and its glaze could be changed from red to black: an oxidizing or well-ventilated atmosphere produces red, a reducing or smoke-filled atmosphere, gray or black. Economy, (Univ. Penn.) Attic (pottery)Black Figure and Red Figure Manufacturing
Brittanica: Ancient Greece
aegis - In ancient Greece, the leather cloak or breastplate associated with ...
Olympus, Mount - Mountain peak, northeastern Greece.
Arta, Gulf of - Inlet of the Ionian Sea, western Greece.
Helios - Sun god of ancient Greece.
Pythian Games - In ancient Greece, various athletic and musical competitions held in ...
Manufacturing absorbed small numbers of workers who operated with little mechanical assistance. Of these, a significant number must have been slaves, since no free man worked for wages unless driven to it by poverty. It has been estimated that only about 500 potters and painters were active in 5th century Athens at a time when the city supplied most of the luxury tableware for the entire Greek world. Manufacturing, transport and food production demanded a broad range of skills. The stone, clay and metal trades needed quarrymen, masons, sculptors, potters, painters and foundry workers; the clothing industry, weavers, dyers and fullers; the leather trade, tanners and cobblers; construction, stone cutters, carpenters and architects; maritime transport, ship-builders, dock-loaders and sailors; food production, anything from farmers, herdsmen, bee-keepers and fishermen to bakers and cooks. Economy, (Univ. Penn.)
Flags Of The World - Greece
Modern Greek flags. Ellás - Hellenic Republic, Ellinikì Dhimokratìa. Origin and meaning of the flag. Unofficial alternative flag. Shade of the national flag. Jack. Coat of arms. The striped flag has been in use since 1822, and was approved in 1832. The nine stripes are said to stand for the nine syllables of the Greek patriots' motto: Eleutheria e Thanatos meaning "Freedom or Death". This motto is now the national motto of Greece.
[Greek History Excerption]
Gallery: Greek National Tourist Organization
Tons of images. Check it out. Adventure Travel
Ancient Sites and Theaters
Churches and Monasteries
Forest - Mountain Ecosystems
People of Greece
The Houses of Greece
The People of Greece
Wildlife in Greece
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Greek and Roman History
Links, Documents, Notes, Images
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Greek Pottery and its Archaeological Importance
The classical archaeologist relies to a great extent on pottery as important evidence for reconstructing Greek life. In the study of all ceramic&endash;making cultures, pottery is used as a chronological indicator because pottery shapes and decoration change over time. The association of these changes with other cultural phenomena or, in the case of the ancient Greeks, with specific datable events allows the archaeologist to build a chronological framework of a culture. Greek pottery also provides important documentation for many aspects of ancient Greek life through painted scenes, especially on Attic Black and Red Figure vessels. A large number of these scenes illustrate the myths and legends of the ancient Greeks. Through these we find an ancient interpretation of the stories and a picture of how the ancient Greeks viewed their deities. (Univ. Penn.)
Greek Theater pictures from the GreekLandscapes.com Collection [Ancient Greek Theaters]
Hellas Net: The History of Hellas
Excellent resource from the bronze age to the Roman era. The history of Hellas starts somewhere in the prehistory, but the Glory of Greece starts with the Mycenaean civilisation which was influenced by a "forgotten" civilisation: the Minoic kingdom. Dark ages follow this golden era, but the pattern for the future is set with the invasion of the Dorians and the rise of the Polis. Several conflicts with the immense Persian empire show the power of city-states. However, internal conflicts for hegemony push Hellas into the hands of Macedon who ends the indepency of Hellas by conquering it. Greek culture is spread out over Asia Minor with Macedonian conquests, but eventually it is Rome who becomes the new worldpower. Martijn Moerbeek [Ancient Greece]
Images of Pottery
Because of the Greek painters' fondness for labeling individual characters in a legend, we are able in some instances to piece together parts of scenes from lost plays or obscure myths. Evidence for the way in which Greek tragedy and comedy was staged is also available through vase representations. Other depictions provide valuable information about dress and objects of everyday life. Click to see Pottery Images. In studying Greek painted pottery, specialists look for identifying characteristics of the potter or painter which might help to identify a body of works executed by the same artist or workshop. In Attica, the tendency for potters and painters to sign their works gives us a firm basis for the study of an artist's style or preferred subject matter. By studying which potters and painters worked together, specialists have been able to piece together information about the time period in which these artists worked, their workshops and social status.
[From the University of Pennsylvania Museum's Ancient Greek World Collection.]
Learn Greek Online
Learn Greek Online is currently composed of 105 real audio files (around 15 minutes each), online student notes, a collection of collaborative learning tools and an online greek dictionary and a greek spell checker.
[Greece] [Texts] [Authors]
Origins of Greek Drama
Ancient Greeks from the 5th century BC onwards were fascinated by the question of the origins of tragedy and comedy. They were unsure of their exact origins, but Aristotle and a number of other writers proposed theories of how tragedy and comedy developed, and told stories about the people thought to be responsible for their development. Here are some excerpts from Aristotle and other authors which show what the ancient Greeks thought about the origins of tragedy and comedy. [Ancient Greek Theater]
Plague in Athens during the Peloponnesian War
Thucydides' himself suffered from the plague and recovered; thus he was an eyewitness to the catastrophe (might this have affected his reportage of it?). His expressed intention was not to suggest causes or to identify the illness, but to provide as complete and accurate a description as possible so that the illness could be recognized should it ever recur in the future (in this he showed the influence of the Hippocratic emphasis on prognosis). But the reader cannot be unaware of the dramatic contrast to the idealism that had just been expressed in the Funeral Oration. Thucydides lived in an era in which rhetoric was a highly praised and widely practiced skill, and its effect on his work can often be noticed. Unfortunately, none of our other sources mentions the outbreak, and we cannot confirm his account directly. While it is true that the lack of other notices in literature or archaeological evidence such as mass graves is somewhat puzzling, nevertheless, Thucydides was writing for an audience that included many who had lived through the events themselves, so that we cannot suspect outright invention on his part. [Greece Ancient Links]
Pottery in the Ancient Greek World
Pottery provides the best archaeological evidence for the movements of the Greeks and the distribution of their trade around the Mediterranean and Black Sea basins. Central and northern Italian Etruscan cemeteries are particularly informative as their tombs have yielded thousands of Greek vases. It is difficult to estimate what percentage of these vases were bought to serve as grave gifts; some may have been purchased initially for use in Etruscan homes. Because relatively few Etruscan manufactured goods turn up in Greek sites, it is widely assumed that Etruria traded lump iron, lead and bronze in exchange for Greek pottery and other finished commodities. Corinth dominated the pottery export trade up to the mid 6th century BC By around 525 BC Athens had established a monopoly in luxury wares with Attic Black Figure pottery and in time effectively drove Corinthian and all other regional styles from the marketplace. Attic Red Figure appeared around 530 BC and effectively replaced Black Figure by 480 BC. Trade, (Univ. Penn.)
Precious Oils and Cosmetics in the ancient Greek World
Greek perfumes and cosmetics have long since evaporated or turned to dust, leaving behind only written references to their importance and the containers that once held them. From Homer's day forward, precious oils, perfumes, cosmetic powders, eye shadows, skin glosses and paints, beauty unguents, and even hair dyes seem to have been in near universal use. Export and sale of these items formed an important part of trade around the Mediterranean. During the 8th and 7th centuries BC, overseas markets were dominated by Corinthian, Rhodian and East Greek perfume flasks and cosmetic containers, including aryballoi, alabastra, pyxides and other small specialized shapes. Cosmetic unguents were imported into Greece in containers carved from the Red Sea Tridacna shell. In the 6th and 5th centuries, with the export market taken over by Attic products, toilet oil was dispensed in flasks called lekythoi. The pelike was used to store scented oils or perfumes in bulk. In the Classical period perfumes continued to be shipped abroad, probably in bulk containers, and then retailed in terracotta aryballoi and alabastra. Cored glass vessels began to make their appearance at the same time, in shapes adapted from terracotta containers. Trade, (Univ. Penn.)
Schooling in Ancient Greece
Education in schools in ancient Athens was at first limited to aristocratic boys. By the 4th century b.c. all 18-year-old males spent two years in a gymnasion, a state school devoted to the overall physical and intellectual development of a young man. More advanced education in philosophy, mathematics, logic and rhetoric was available to the aristocracy in highly select gymnasia like the Academy of Plato and the Lycaeum of Aristotle. Although girls in ancient Greece received no formal education in the literary arts, many of them were taught to read and write informally, in the home. [Daily Life] (Univ. Penn.)
Ships of Ancient Greece
Wikipedia. Bireme, Holkos, Kyrenia ship, Olympias (trireme), Paralus (ship). [Weapons and Warfare]
Ships Of The Ancient Greeks
The naval Greek history does not have a concrete point of beginning. Roots are lost in depths of centuries of history of human gender. In a geographic space within 150 km. from the sea, the Greeks from the prehistoric years developed societies as a rule coastal. As most of the interior land is mountainous and difficult to farm, Greeks have to explore the marine resources and love the sea.
Greece is located near the center of the Mediterranean Sea, right at the crossroads of many ancient shipping paths. Automatically, was created the need for the protection and spread of cultures that they developed, with result the progressive constitution of first organized fleet. Argonauts and Trojan War, were the first Pan-Hellenic naval enterprises.
[Ships] [Ancient Greece]
Sparta - Ancient Greek Civilizations
Sparta (also known as Lacedaemeon) is situated on the southern Pelloponesus, and was originally founded during the Dorian invasions. Where the Dorians had in some cities managed to emmesh themselves into a place of aristocratic neutrality with the general populace, in other cities, the Dorians held tight rule which relegated the native citizens to the status of serfs. Sparta was one such a city, where strict dominion was held over the city, and its occupants. [People in History] [Tools and Searches]
Staging an ancient Greek play
Imagine you are a tragic poet named Agathocles and you want to put on a tragedy in Athens at the festival of the greater Dionysia (the end of March). Here are the steps you would follow to put on the play. [Ancient Greek Theater]
Structure of the Plays
The basic structure of a Greek tragedy is fairly simple. After a prologue spoken by one or more characters, the chorus enters, singing and dancing. Scenes then alternate between spoken sections (dialogue between characters, and between characters and chorus) and sung sections (during which the chorus danced). Here are the basic parts of a Greek Tragedy:
a. Prologue: Spoken by one or two characters before the chorus appears. The prologue usually gives the mythological background necessary for understanding the events of the play.
b. Parodos: This is the song sung by the chorus as it first enters the orchestra and dances.
c. First Episode: This is the first of many "episodes", when the characters and chorus talk.
d. First Stasimon: At the end of each episode, the other characters usually leave the stage and the chorus dances and sings a stasimon, or choral ode. The ode usually reflects on the things said and done in the episodes, and puts it into some kind of larger mythological framework.
For the rest of the play, there is alternation between episodes and stasima, until the final scene, called the...
e. Exodos: At the end of play, the chorus exits singing a processional song which usually offers words of wisdom related to the actions and outcome of the play.
[Ancient Greek Theater]
The Ancient Olympic Games Virtual Museum
Here you will find a plethora of information about these contests that are the forefathers of our modern Olympic Games.
The Greek House
Greek city houses of the 6th and 5th century b.c. were usually modest in scale and built of relatively inexpensive materials. They varied from two or three rooms clustered around a small court to a dozen or so rooms. City house exteriors presented a plain facade to the street, broken only by the door and a few small windows set high. In larger houses the main rooms included a kitchen, a small room for bathing, several bedrooms which usually occupied a second floor, the men's andron for dining, and perhaps a separate suite of rooms known as the gynaikonitis for the use of women.
The Olympian Gods: Images and Texts
Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Athene, Demeter, Dionysos, Hades, Hephaistos, Hera, Hermes, Hestia, Persephone, Poseidon, Zeus [Classical Myth: The Ancient Sources]
Economy, (Includes map of Mediterranean). When Mycenaean society broke up around 1100 BC, the commercial routes that had linked mainland Greece with the rest of the Mediterranean were severed. After a period of prolonged recovery, the Greeks began colonizing the shore regions of the Mediterranean and Black seas. This movement (ca. 750-550 BC) was propelled by the need for living space for a rapidly expanding population and for new markets. The colonies had access to unrestricted native markets and were able to supply Greece with wheat, meat, dried fish, hides, wool, timber and basic metals in exchange for mainland finished products, olive oil and wine. Trade exposed Greek domestic markets to imported luxury products from Egypt, the Levant, Asia Minor and elsewhere. These had an important impact on Greek art during its formative years (750-600 BC). By 300 BC Greek manufactured goods were freely circulating to North Africa, Spain, the Rhone valley, the Balkans, and as far east as India.
Women's Life in Ancient Greece
Greek women had virtually no political rights of any kind and were controlled by men at nearly every stage of their lives. The most important duties for a city-dwelling woman were to bear children--preferably male--and to run the household. Duties of a rural woman included some of the agricultural work: the harvesting of olives and fruit was their responsibility, as may have been the gathering of vegetables.
Since men spent most of their time away from their houses, Greek home life was dominated by women. The wife was in charge of raising the children, spinning, weaving and sewing the family´s clothes. She supervised the daily running of the household. In a totally slave-based economy, plentiful numbers of female slaves were available to cook, clean, and carry water from the fountain. Only in the poorest homes was the wife expected to carry out all these duties by herself. A male slave´s responsibilities were for the most part limited to being door-keeper and tutor to the male children. Click here for women's dress.
Daily Life (Univ. Penn.)