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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

012 - Oligarchs and Hesiod

In this episode, we discuss the transitional governments in the early stages of the centrally unified polis (oligarchia and aristokratia), as the waning power of the basileis becomes supplanted by a small landowning group of nobles; the economic and social divisions between the nobles and commoners brought on by a spike in population in Greece; and the second great author of ancient Greece, a man named Hesiod, who speaks to us about life and society in the emerging polis from the point of view of the ordinary citizen, in his Works and Days

Monday, June 13, 2016

011 - From Oikos to Polis

In this episode, we discuss the community (demos), household (oikos), and economy (oikonomia) in the late "Dark Age"; its role as the foundations that led to the evolution of the city-state (polis) into a socio-political structure that brought about the transition from the "Dark Age" into the Archaic Period; and later Greek philosophical thought on the polis and polis identity and what it means to live in a polis beyond its physical space

Friday, June 3, 2016

010 - Religion and Panhellenism

In this episode, we discuss the philosophy behind early Greek religion that was formalized in writing by Homer and Hesiod; the rituals performed when the Greeks worshipped their deities; the evidence for the earliest sanctuaries in the 8th century BC that developed hand-in-hand with the city-state and their increasing wealth (as seen through votive offerings); the development of the idea of Panhellenism; and the foundation myths, archaeological evidence, and importance for the four predominant Panhellenic sanctuaries that gained massive popularity in the 8th and 7th centuries BC (the sanctuaries of Zeus and Hera at Olympia, the sanctuaries of Apollo and Artemis at Delos, the sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi, and the sanctuaries of Zeus and Dione at Dodona)

ca. 900-700 BC - stone defensive walls appear throughout the cities of Greek Anatolia, the Aegean islands, and mainland Greece (attesting to the probability of increased warfare between communities over securing the growing wealth in the period)
ca. 800-700 BC - an increase in religious sanctuaries and shrines led to the building of the earliest temples in all parts of the Greek world
776 BC - traditional date for the first Olympic Games
ca. 750 BC - numerous ancient tombs began to receive votive offerings, an indication that their anonymous inhabitants were now being worshipped as hero cults
ca. 750-700 BC - votive offerings in the form of pottery, bronze statuettes, and bronze tripods were being dedicated at Delphi in ever increasing numbers by Greek city-states
ca. 700-600 BC - the much older oracle of Zeus at Dodona (in northwestern Greece) developed into an important religious center for the southern Greeks too 
ca. 650-600 BC - the oracle of Apollo at Delphi was being respected by many countries around the periphery of the Greek world, such as Lydia, Caria, Egypt, and Rome