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Greece and Rome: History and Literature Essay

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Updated: Apr 21st, 2021

How did Homer’s writings shape the Greek culture, especially the male?

Homer was a great Greek poet who contributed immensely to the Greek culture. To a great extent, Homer was considered a great Greek teacher who contributed immensely to the Greek dialect (Powell, 2007). Homer’s contribution to the Greek culture was therefore based on his contribution to the Greek language. Since most of Homer’s works were in the form of speeches, the Greek culture borrowed from his works to develop its unique identity of persuasive speaking. In the same manner, Homer’s works also shaped Greek writing. This was evident in the immense contribution of Homer’s works in Greek papyrus findings (Powell, 2007).

How has that translated into our own culture? How has it changed? Support your answers

Homer’s influence in literature was not only confined to Greece. His works were seen as the culmination of Greek culture, and it represented the perception of other parts of the world about Greece. Homer’s works have been translated into western literature and studied in many schools across the US and Europe. In Western culture, Homer’s works have influenced the musical forms of literature (Powell, 2007). Many authors have tried to maintain the authentic content of the literature, and therefore, not much has changed from the original content.

Describe the ancient Greek kouros. How is it both similar and different than Egyptian sculpture? What was its purpose?

The similarities between Ancient Greek Kouros and Egyptian sculptures are superficial because there is a difference in the manner the two types of arts were created. Contrary to popular belief, Greek Kouros was designed to explain the mortal human body and not representative forms of the human self, such as politicians (Powell, 2007, p. 4). Its purpose was to explain the nature of the human form and its relationship with the natural environment.

However, the two forms of arts (Greek and Egyptian) share some similarities in the sense that the ancient Greek Kouros traces their origin from the Egyptian sculptures. Early forms of Greek Kouros resembled Egyptian art (in the form) because ancient Greeks retained many aspects of Egyptian sculptures in their works. However, the difference between the two forms of art is evident from the tools used. The Greeks used iron chisels as opposed to the copper chisels used by the Egyptians (Powell, 2007). They were, therefore, able to create excellent marble carvings, which were different from the rough stones made by the Egyptians.

Describe the Kritian boy.and explain how is it different than the kouros

The Kritian boy is unique because it was used to discover the human body as a complete system. The statute is designed to support most of its weight on the left leg, while the right leg commands a relaxed pose, with a little bend on the knee. The pelvis of the sculpture is pushed diagonally upwards, and its spine takes an “S” form (which differentiates the sculpture from the Kouro because the Kouro was commemorative and votive in nature) (Powell, 2007). The left leg of the Kouro sculpture was designed to step forward, while the arms were closer to the body than the Kritian boy.

Take one of the Greek vases that depict Homer’s stories, describe the scene

Home’s work is depicted by a vase showing Aias carrying the body of Achilles from the battlefield, where Ulysses wins the war (Powell, 2007). The scene is described by disappointment and suicide after Aias falls on Achilles’ sword after realizing Ulysses won the war.

Explain the process

Aias’ suicide is a product of failed attempts to kill Ulysses because he was disappointed Ulysses won the battle. However, Athene acts as an obstacle, and he decides to kill a herd of cattle instead (before he kills himself).

Explain Plato’s philosophy concerning what he believes to be reality

Plato’s philosophy on reality is that reality is a representation of two forms. He believed that, though the reality was a single element, it was part of a larger representation of reality (Philosopher’s Lighthouse, 2011, p. 1).

Explain Aristotle’s philosophy concerning what he believes to be reality

Unlike Plato, who thought reality was a product of intuitive reason and idealism, Aristotle thought reality was a product of perceptual experience and Spatio-temporal objects of the world (Philosopher’s Lighthouse, 2011, p. 1).

Describe Polykleitos’s sculpture, the Doryphoros or Spear Bearer

The Doryphoros was a famous Greek sculpture showing balanced and harmonious elements of the human body. The sculpture represented a masculine male form with a spear on the left shoulder and a tree trunk to support the marble sculpture (Powell, 2007).

How does it combine the beliefs of the two philosophers?

The sculpture describes the works of Plato and Aristotle because it represents the human description of beauty and harmony as part of reality. These features are represented in the sculpture’s balanced and harmonious features.

Take a Hellenistic art work and describe it thoroughly. Why did you choose it?

I choose Venus De Milo as a historical piece of art representing the Greek culture. It is a Hellenistic art that traces its roots to the 100 BC period. The sculpture represents a woman with missing arms. The right arm is, however, lowered across her torso to create an impression that she was meant to hold the piece of cloth around her waist. Her right breast has a hole, representing a metal tenon that was designed to hold part of the right arm. I choose Venus de Milo because of its connection to the French. The French termed the sculpture as the greatest classical piece of art (of its time). In fact, at one point, it was stolen from Italy by Napoleon. It was, however, returned.

The Roman Amphitheater

The Roman Amphitheater is a Roman building designed to host sport, rally, or concert events (Ranker, 2011). The structure is open-air and surrounded by ascending seats. It is also an integral part of Roman history. This building benefits the Roman public because it represents Roman history by hosting some of the most memorable rallies and concerts in Roman history.

References

Philosopher’s Lighthouse. (2011). Plato’s Thoughts on Reality. Web.

Powell, B. (2007). Homer. London: Wiley-Blackwell.

Ranker. (2011). . Web.

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