Chapter study questions section two chapter 4: greece

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Instructor: John Hardin


  • What influence does ancient Greece have on the modern world?

  • What name did the ancient Greeks use to describe themselves?

  • According to Map 4.1, which lands were part of ancient Greece?

  • Why are the ancient Greeks described as humanists?

Bronze Age Civilizations of the Aegean

  • When was physical evidence of ancient Minoan culture first uncovered?

  • Where did Minoan civilization develop?

  • Briefly describe Minoan civilization and culture.

  • What is the most important archeological discovery from Minoan civilization?

  • Define fresco.

  • What appears to be the primary reason that the ancient Minoans developed and used a system of writing?

  • Briefly describe Minoan religious beliefs.

  • How did the Minoan civilization likely come to an end?

  • When was the Bronze Age culture of Mycenae discovered?

  • Where was Mycenaean civilization located?

  • Briefly describe Mycenaean civilization and culture.

  • What is the best-known Mycenaean ruin?

  • How did the ancient Greeks learn of the Mycenaeans’ history and culture?

  • What likely led to the downfall of the Mycenaeans?

The Heroic Age

  • What historical event serves as the backdrop for the Homeric epics the Iliad and the Odyssey?

  • What significant role did the Greek poet Homer play in ancient Greek culture?

  • How did Homer’s poems serve an ethical function for ancient Greeks?

  • What role did religion play in the lives of ancient Greeks?

  • What parallels do the authors develop between ancient Greek myths and those of other cultures?

  • What famous sanctuary is discussed in this section?

The Greek City-State and the Persian Wars

  • Define polis (plural = poleis) and briefly describe the role of the polis in Archaic Greece.

  • How were the Greek poleis able to defeat the Persian military?

  • Who was Herodotus and what significant contributions did he make to ancient Greek culture?

Athens and the Greek Golden Age

  • Briefly describe life in ancient Athens and ancient Sparta, two of the major cities in ancient Greece.

  • Describe the structure of Athenian government in the sixth century B.C.E. Does it sound familiar; if so, how?

  • Define the term democracy and describe similarities and differences between Athenian and American democracy.

  • How did life in Sparta differ from that of Athens?

  • Who was Pericles and why is he significant to the evolution of ancient Greece, particularly Athens?

  • What were the Peloponnesian Wars?

  • Who was Thucydides and what significant contributions did he make to ancient Greek culture?

  • What significance did the Olympic Games play in ancient Greece?

  • What types of events were a part of the ancient Olympic Games?

The Individual and the Community

  • How was theatre related to religion in ancient Greece?

  • What are the two principal forms of drama?

  • Why did the actors in ancient dramas wear masks?

  • Which four Greek playwrights are discussed in this section? Name each of them and a contribution each made to the dramatic arts.

  • What subjects were often the focus of Greek comedies?

  • What are the central issues in the play Antigone?

  • Which ancient Greek philosopher is considered to be the first literary critic and what did this philosopher believe was the primary function of tragedy?

Greek Philosophy: The Speculative Leap

  • What does the term “philosopher” literally mean?

  • What purposes did natural philosophy serve in ancient Greece?

  • What was the central emphasis in Pre-Socratic schools of thought?

  • Name each of Pre-Socratic philosophers discussed in this section and an idea that each one is associated with.

  • Which ancient Greek philosopher is described as being “the founding father of pure mathematics”?

  • What influence did other cultures likely have on the development of Greek thought?

  • Which ancient Greek philosopher is described as being the “father of medicine”?

  • What significance do the efforts of these philosophers have even today?

Humanist Philosophy

  • Who were the Sophists and what did they focus on teaching?

  • Who does Fiero consider to be “Athens’ foremost thinker” and what is the central focus in his school of thought?

  • What is the psyche?

  • Describe the Socratic method of teaching.

  • How did the Athenians reward Socrates’ efforts?

  • What did Socrates’ consider to be “a primary obligation”?

  • Who was Socrates’ most famous student and what topics are emphasized in his school of thought?

  • How did Plato conceive of reality?

  • What is the name of the allegory that “illustrates some of the key theories of the teachings of Plato”?

  • What were Plato’s views on gender?

  • How broad was Aristotle’s scope of studies?

  • What did Aristotle consider to be the “final goal” of life and how does one achieve it?

  • What did Aristotle conclude was the best form of government?


  • Define the term “Classical.” Why is this term used to describe the main contributions of the ancient Greeks, particularly sculpture and architecture?

  • What are the qualities/characteristics of a “classical” work?

The Classical Style

  • What is a “canon”?

  • What did Vitruvius claim was the fundamental aspect of design and, therefore, art?

  • What does Fiero say are the three “hallmarks of Greek art”?

  • What is the main source of information about Greek painting?

The Evolution of Classical Style

  • What did the ancient Greeks regard as “nature’s perfect creation”?

  • Define “kouros” and “kore”, briefly describe their common features, and briefly explain the purpose that these sculptures served in the Archaic age.

  • How did ancient Greek sculpture differ from that of ancient Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt?

  • Define the term “contrapposto” and briefly describe what this allows sculptors to do.

  • Briefly describe the Classical style and identify a sculpture that reflects this style.

  • What role did religion play in the public affairs of ancient Greece?

  • What purpose did the temple serve in ancient Greece?

  • What building was the greatest architectural achievement of the ancient Greeks?

  • Which architects designed the Parthenon and to which god/goddess is this temple dedicated?

  • What architectural system did Greek buildings generally follow?

  • What are the three traditional Greek orders?

  • Other than the Parthenon, which major buildings are located at the Acropolis in Athens?

  • How were ancient Greek architects able to achieve a great sense of balance and beauty in their buildings?

The Classical Style of Poetry

  • Who was the greatest writer of solo lyrics in ancient Greece and what was the central theme in many of her poems (including “He Seems to Be a God”)?

The Classical Style of Music and Dance

  • What were the principal musical instruments of ancient Greece?

  • How did the Greeks view music as more than a form of art and entertainment?

The Diffusion of the Classical Style: The Hellenistic Age

  • Which “Great” king/emperor is discussed in this chapter and what was his great dream?

  • How did Hellenistic Greece differ from Hellenic Greece?

  • What was Alexander's most enduring legacy?

  • Name and briefly describe the focus in each of the Hellenistic schools of philosophy discussed in this section

  • How did the scale of the temple and the altar change in the Hellenistic age?

  • How does the Altar of Pergamum reflect the influence of temple designs?

  • How did the Hellenistic style of sculpture differ from the Hellenic styles? Name one of the example discussed in this section.

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