Study questions chapter 4: greece

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Instructor: John Hardin



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?

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