The Golden Age of Greece


The ancient statues and pottery of the Golden Stone Age of
Greece were much advanced in spectacular ways. The true
facts of Zeus's main reason for his statue. The great
styles of the Kouros and the Kore. The story of The
Blinding of Polphemus, along with the story of Cyclops. The
Dori and Ionic column stone temples that were built in
Greece that had an distinctive look. The true colors of the
vase, Aryballos. The vase that carried liquids from one
place to another. The Lyric Poetry that was originally a
song to be sung to the accompaniment of the lyre. Zeus was
considered, according to Homer, the father of the gods and
of mortals. He did not create either gods or mortals; he
was their father in the sense of being the protector and
ruler both of the Olympian family and of the human race. He
was lord of the sky, the rain god, and the cloud gatherer,
who wielded the terrible thunderbolt. His breastplate was
the aegis, his bird the eagle, his tree the oak. Zeus
presided over the gods on Mount Olympus in Thessaly. His
principal shrines were at Dodona, in Epirus, the land of
the oak trees and the most ancient shrine, famous for its
oracle, and at Olympia, where the Olympian Games were
celebrated in his honor every fourth year. The Nemean
games, held at Nemea, northwest of Argos, were also
dedicated to Zeus. Zeus was the youngest son of the Titans
Cronus and Rhea and the brother of the deities Poseidon,
Hades, Hestia, Demeter, and Hera. According to one of the
ancient myths of the birth of Zeus, Cronus, fearing that he
might be dethroned by one of his children, swallowed them
as they were born. Upon the birth of Zeus, Rhea wrapped a
stone in swaddling clothes for Cronus to swallow and
concealed the infant god in Crete, where he was fed on the
milk of the goat Amalthaea and reared by nymphs. When Zeus
grew to maturity, he forced Cronus to disgorge the other
children, who were eager to take vengeance on their father.
Zeus henceforth ruled over the sky, and his brothers
Poseidon and Hades were given power over the sea and the
underworld, respectively. The earth was to be ruled in
common by all three. Beginning with the writings of the
Greek poet Homer, Zeus is pictured in two very different
ways. He is represented as the god of justice and mercy,
the protector of the weak, and the punisher of the wicked.
As husband to his sister Hera, he is the father of Ares,
the god of war; Hebe, the goddess of youth; Hephaestus, the
god of fire; and Eileithyia, the goddess of childbirth. At
the same time, Zeus is described as falling in love with
one woman after another and resorting to all kinds of
tricks to hide his infidelity from his wife. Stories of his
escapades were numerous in ancient mythology, and many of
his offspring were a result of his love affairs with both
goddesses and mortal women. It is believed that, with the
development of a sense of ethics in Greek life, the idea of
a lecherous, sometimes ridiculous father god became
distasteful, so later legends tended to present Zeus in a
more exalted light. His many affairs with mortals are
sometimes explained as the wish of the early Greeks to
trace their lineage to the father of the gods. Zeus's image
was represented in sculptural works as a kingly, bearded
figure. The most celebrated of all statues of Zeus was
Phidias's gold and ivory colossus at Olympia. The standing
nude youth (kouros), the standing draped girl (kore), and
the seated woman. All emphasize and generalize the
essential features of the human figure and show an
increasingly accurate comprehension of human anatomy. The
youths were either sepulchral or votive statues. Examples
are Apollo (Metropolitan Museum), an early work; Strangford
Apollo from Límnos (British Museum, London), a much later
work; and the Anavyssos Kouros (National Museum, Athens).
More of the musculature and skeletal structure is visible
in this statue than in earlier works. The standing, draped
girls have a wide range of expression, as in the sculptures
in the Acropolis Museum, Athens. Their drapery is carved
and painted with the delicacy and meticulousness common to
the details of sculpture of this period. The Blinding of
Polyphemus. Polyphemus, a Cyclops, the son of Poseidon, god
of the sea, and of the nymph Thoösa. During his wanderings
after the Trojan War, the Greek hero Odysseus and his men
were cast ashore on Polyphemus's island home, Sicily. The
enormous giant penned the Greeks in his cave and began to
devour them. Odysseus then gave Polyphemus some strong wine
and when the giant had fallen into a drunken stupor, bored
out his one eye with a burning stake. The Greeks then
escaped by clinging to the bellies of his sheep. Poseidon
punished Odysseus for blinding Polyphemus by causing him
many troubles in his subsequent wanderings by sea. In
another legend, Polyphemus was depicted as a huge, one-eyed
shepherd, unhappily in love with the sea nymph Galatea.
Cyclops, giants with one enormous eye in the middle of the
forehead. In Hesiod, the three sons-Arges, Brontes, and
Steropes-of Uranus and Gaea, the personifications of heaven
and earth, were Cyclopes. The Greek hero Odysseus was
trapped with his men in the cave of the Cyclops Polyphemus,
a son of Poseidon, god of the sea. In order to escape from
the cave after the giant devoured several men, Odysseus
blinded him. Dori and Ionic Columns. Aware of Egyptian
temples in stone, Greeks in the 7th century began to build
their own stone temples in a distinctive style. They used
limestone in Italy and Sicily, marble in the Greek islands
and Asia Minor, and limestone covered with marble on the
Greek mainland. Later they built chiefly in marble. The
temples were rectangular and stood on a low, stepped
terrace in an enclosure where rituals were performed. Small
temples had a two-columned front porch, sometimes with a
portico before it. Larger temples, with front and back
porches, might have a six- columned portico before each
porch or be entirely surrounded by a colonnade. The
colonnade supported an entablature, or lintel, under the
gabled, tiled roof. Architects developed two orders, or
styles of columns, the Doric and the Ionic (see Column).
Doric columns, which had no bases and whose capitals
consisted of a square slab over a round cushion shape, were
heavy and closely spaced to support the weight of the
masonry. Their heaviness was relieved by the tapered and
fluted shaft. On the entablature, vertical triglyphs were
carved over every column, leaving between them oblong-later
square-metopes, which were at first painted and later
filled with painted reliefs. The Doric style originated on
the mainland and became widespread. The Doric temples at
Syracuse, Paestum, Selinus, Acragas, Pompeii, Tarentum
(Taranto), Metapontum, and Corcyra (Kérkira) still exist.
Especially notable is the Temple of Poseidon at Paestum
(450 BC). Columns in the Ionic style, which began in Ionia
(Asia Minor) and the Greek islands, are more slender, more
narrowly fluted, and spaced farther apart than Doric
columns. Each rests on a horizontally fluted round base and
terminates in a capital shaped like a flat cushion rolled
into volutes at the sides. The entablature, lighter than in
the Doric style, might have a frieze. Examples of Ionic
temples are in Ephesus near modern Izmir, Turkey, in Athens
(the Erechtheum), and (some traces) in Naucratis, Egypt.
There are three standard types of columns in Greek
classical architecture. The oldest is the Doric, which is
the widest, has no base, and is topped by a simple abacus
with an echinus directly underneath it. The Ionic column
has a base and a capital made of scroll-shaped volutes
directly beneath the abacus. The most elaborate column is
the Corinthian. It has the most complex base, and the
capital is made of layers of carved acanthus leaves ending
in volutes. All three columns have fluted shafts.
The Aryballos was a very colorful vase. The black figure
technique and the very Eastern-looking panther are
characteristic of the Orientalizing style. Also
characteristic are the flower like decorations, which are
blobs of paint scored with lines. The musculature and
features of the panther are also the result of scoring. The
most characteristic shape was that of the aryballos, a
polychromed container for carrying liquids. The Corinthian
artist developed a miniature style that made use of a wide
variety of eastern motifs-sphinxes, winged human figures,
floral designs-all of them arranged in bands covering
almost the entire surface of the vase. White, yellow, and
purple were often used to highlight details, produced a
bold and striking effect. The small size of the pot mad
them ideal for exporting. The vases are well made, the
figures lively, and the style instantly recognizable as
Corinthian-an important factor for commercial success.
Lyric Poetry. The lyric was originally a song to be sung to
the accompaniment of the lyre. Two main types of lyrics
were composed in ancient Greece: the personal and the
choral lyric. The personal lyric was developed on the
island of Lesbos (modern Lésvos). The poet and musician
Terpander, who was born on Lesbos but lived much of his
life in Sparta, introduced the seven-string lyre and set
the poems of Homer to music. Most of his poems were nomes,
or liturgical hymns, written in honor of a god, especially
of Apollo, and sung by a single performer to the
accompaniment of the lyre. The surviving fragments of his
work are of doubtful authenticity. Terpander was followed
later in the 7th century BC by the great poets of Lesbos.
Alcaeus treated political, religious, and personal themes
in his lyrics and invented the Alcaic strophe. Sappho, the
greatest woman poet of ancient Greece, invented the Sapphic
strophe and wrote also in other lyric forms. Her poems of
love and friendship are among the most finely wrought and
passionate in the Western tradition. The Lesbian poets, as
well as a number of later lyric poets from other Greek
cities, composed their poems in the Aeolic dialect. In the
6th century BC the playful lyrics of the poet Anacreon on
wine and love were written in various lyric meters.
Subsequent verse similar in tone and theme was known as
anacreontic. The choral lyric was first developed in the
7th century BC by poets who wrote in the Dorian dialect.
Dominant in the region around Sparta, the Dorian dialect
was used even in later times, when poets in many other
parts of Greece were writing choral lyrics. The Spartan
poets first wrote choral lyrics for songs and dances in
public religious celebrations. Later they wrote choral
lyrics also to celebrate private occasions, such as a
victory at the Olympian Games. The earliest choral lyric
poet is said to have been Thaletas, who in the 7th century
BC reputedly came from Crete to Sparta in order to quell an
epidemic with paeans, or choral hymns addressed to Apollo.
He was followed by Terpander, who wrote both personal and
choral lyrics; by Alcman, most of whose poems were
partheneia, processional choral hymns sung by a chorus of
young girls and partly religious in character and lighter
in tone than the paeans; and in the late 7th century by
Arion. Arion is said to have invented both the dithyramb,
or hymn to Dionysus, and the tragic mode, which was used
extensively in Greek drama. Later great writers of choral
lyrics include Sicilian poet Stesichorus, a contemporary of
Alcaeus, who introduced the triadic form of choral ode,
consisting of a series of groups of three stanzas; Ibycus
of Rhegium, author of a large extant fragment of a triadic
choral ode and of erotic personal lyrics; Simonides of
Ceos, whose choral lyrics included epinicia, or choral odes
in honor of victors at the Olympian Games, encomia, or
choral hymns that celebrated particular persons, and
dirges, as well as personal lyrics, including epigrams; and
Bacchylides of Ceos, a nephew of Simonides, who wrote both
epinicia, of which 13 are extant, and dithyrambs, of which
5 are extant. The ancient statues and pottery of the Golden
Stone Age of Greece were much advanced in spectacular ways.
The statue of Zeus was done for a very good reason. The
statue represents being the lord of the sky, the rain god
and the cloud gatherer. When I look at this statue, I see a
whole bunch of different things, for example, I see a
statue that has great muscular shapes which to me it
represents that he had power over some town or group of
people. I personally would be afraid of a statue that looks
like Zeus. The Kore and the Kouros both emphasize and
generalize the essential features of the human figure and
show an increasingly accurate comprehension of human
anatomy. The youths were either sepulchral or votive
statues. The Blinding of Polyphemus, the son of Poseidon,
god of the sea, and of the nymph Thoosa. Odysseus gave
Polyphemus some strong wine and when the giant had fallen
into a drunken stupor, bored out his one eye with a burning
stake. The Dori and Ionic columns were rectangular and
stood on a low, stepped terrace in an enclosure where
rituals were performed. These columns were very much done
with a great deal of intelligence. I personally do not
understand how the people of the Golden Age had such
intelligence in the columns for where they can build one or
two to hold up a building, and it now still stands. It's
incredible. The Aryballos are a very colorful vase. They
Golden Age folks had great artistic talent to dray out on a
vase the beautiful colors and drawings that it has. The
Vase has an organizing style. The vase were used for
carrying liquids. Vases like the Aryballos are now worth a
fortune, why? Well, it took a great deal of time and talent
to make these vases. The vases are probably worth about one
million a piece. The height of the vases are varied,
depending on the designs that were put on it. I think that
the people of the Golden Age were very talented. The
objects that we have from back then is very remarkable. The
objects are had a great deal of time put into each of them.
The pottery for example was what had really gotten to me
because of the art that were drawn on it and the why they
used there colors. I think that if It wasn't people like
the Golden Age people who had drew these great objects, we
would be way behind on the art that we have today. I like
to look at it like our fathers before us that are teaching
us what we know now. I must say, living in the nineties are
much more better, relaxing, stress less, and more of a easy
life now than before. I that god that I am here now with
the knowledge that I know now. If I was a Nejeh in the
Golden Age, I would probable commit suicide, if I wasn't
killed by someone else. I can not complain. We have it
good, we must thank God for being where we are.


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