To begin with, the longest lasting nation lent us amazing and complex stories and was known as the first masters of drama. At the end of the Heroic Age, the Greeks had formed small rural colonies that eventually grew into urbanized city-states. They all shared the same language, traditions, and religion, but were self-sufficient and self-governed. All the while, the Persian Empire continued to conquer much of the east and gradually approached the Greeks. It was then; the poleis set their differences aside, and confronted the rising power of Persia in self-defense. How do we know the details of the Persian wars? This is where Greek writings, or literature, rise. Herodotus, the “father of history,” is considered the world’s first known historian. A half-century later, he wrote about the wars and much more, but utilized critical judgment in his work for accuracy. Herodotus’s nine-volume History of the Persian Wars is the first major literary work written in prose. In addition, Herodotus wrote many narratives filled with anecdotes, digressions, and even kept a “travelogue” to document his travels to ancient Egypt and Asia. Essentially, he laid the basis for the histo...
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...at addressed the relationship between the individual, the community, and the gods. Eventually, dramatic action assumed two principal forms of “comedy” and “tragedy”. Along with theatricals, the Greeks were skilled at painting and sculpting; especially when it came to the human body. The human body and human experience, as evidenced in their vase-paintings and in multiple sculptures of the Classical nude, are central to the art of Classical Greece. In the Classical nude figure, Hellenic sculptors achieved a balance between realistic and idealized form. Lastly, Greece’s Classical Era is best mirrored when they created the Parthenon, the Greek temple built atop the Acropolis to honor Athens’ patron goddess of wisdom and war. It is famed for its application of the Doric order, the intelligent use of architectural decoration, and the integration of technical refinements.
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