Lysippos

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Lysippos was a Greek sculptor of the 4th century BC. Together with Scopas and Praxiteles, he is considered one of the three greatest sculptors of the Classical Greek era, bringing transition into the Hellenistic period. Here is an example of his work above.

#ArtHistory #ClassicalGreece #HellenisticPeriod #Lysippos

Aristophanes

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Classical history profile —> Aristophanes

Aristophanes (c. 448-385 B.C.) is the only representative of Old Comedy whose work we have in complete form. Aristophanes wrote political satire and his humor is often coarse. His sex-strike and anti-war comedy, Lysistrata, continues to be performed today in connection with war protests. Aristophanes presents a contemporary picture of Socrates, as a sophist in the Clouds, that is at odds with Plato’s Socrates.

Eleven of his forty plays survive virtually complete. These, together with fragments of some of his other plays, provide the only real examples of a genre of comic drama known as Old Comedy, and are used to define it.

Also known as “the Father of Comedy” and “the Prince of Ancient Comedy”, Aristophanes has been said to recreate the life of ancient Athens more convincingly than any other author. His powers of ridicule were feared and acknowledged by influential contemporaries; Plato singled out Aristophanes’ play The Clouds as slander that contributed to the trial and subsequent condemning to death of Socrates, although other satirical playwrights had also caricatured the philosopher.

His plays include: The Acharnians, Assemblywomen, The Birds, The Clouds, The Frogs, The Knights, Lysistrata, Peace, Plutus, Thesmophoriazusae, The Wasps

#ClassicalWisdom #ClassicalComedy #AncientGreece #Aristophanes

Aeschylus

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Classical history profile —> Aeschylus

Aeschylus (c.525 – 456 B.C.) was the first great tragic poet. He introduced dialogue, the characteristic tragic boot (cothurnus) and mask. He established other conventions, like the performance of violent acts offstage. Before he became a tragic poet, Aeschylus, who wrote a tragedy about the Persians, fought in the Persian War in the battles of Marathon, Salamis, and Plataea.

Only seven of his estimated seventy to ninety plays have survived, and there is a long standing debate regarding his authorship of one of these plays, “Prometheus Bound”, which some believe his son Euphorion actually wrote.

Only seven tragedies have survived intact: The Persians, Seven against Thebes, The Suppliants, the trilogy known as The Oresteia, consisting of the three tragedies Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers and The Eumenides, together with Prometheus Bound.

The only complete trilogy of Greek plays by any playwright still extant (save a few missing lines in several spots) is the Oresteia (458 BC), although the satyr play that originally followed it, Proteus, is lost except for some fragments. The trilogy consists of Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers (Choephoroi), and The Eumenides. Together, these plays tell the bloody story of the family of Agamemnon, King of Argos.

#ClassicalWisdom #ClassicalTragedy #AncientGreece #Aeschylus

Three Great Minds

It’s interesting that approximately 2500 years ago three men were born who would change the world, in three distinct parts of the world that would have no interaction with each other. Confucius, The Buddha, and Socrates were born within 100 years of each other whose lives would overlap:

Confucius 551-479 B.C.
The sagacious Confucius, Kongzi, or Master Kung (551-479 B.C.) was a social philosopher whose values became dominant in China only after he died. Advocating living virtuously, he put emphasis on socially appropriate behavior.

Buddha c. 563-483 B.C.
Siddhartha Gautama was a spiritual teacher of enlightenment who acquired hundreds of followers in India and founded Buddhism. His teachings were preserved orally for centuries before they were transcribed on palm-leaf scrolls. Siddhartha may have been born c. 563 B.C. to Queen Maya and King Suddhodana of the Shakya in ancient Nepal. By the third century B.C. Buddhism appears to have spread to China.

Socrates c. 470-399 B.C.
Socrates, an Athenian contemporary of Pericles (c. 470 – 399 B.C.), is a central figure in Greek philosophy. Socrates is known for the Socratic method (elenchus), Socratic irony, and the pursuit of knowledge. Socrates is famous for saying that he knows nothing and that the unexamined life is not worth living. He is also well known for stirring up sufficient controversy to be sentenced to a death that he had to carry out by drinking a cup of hemlock. Socrates had important students, including the philosopher Plato.

#Confucius #Buddha #Socrates

Ancient Greek Food: Sesame Honey Candy (Pasteli)

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In Greek: παστέλι, pronounced pah-STEH-lee

In markets these days you can find sesame honey bars. The main difference is that the ancient Greeks did not have refined sugar. The sugar used today helps to harden the bars and make them crunchy. The ancient version was chewier, but simple to make with only two ingredients: sesame seeds and honey.

Warning: The quality and taste of the honey will have an effect on the final product.

Pasteli can be eaten as a candy at any time, or as an energy booster, and it is a wonderful accompaniment to tea.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups honey
  • 3 cups hulled white sesame seeds
  • Optional: 1 strip lemon peel (about 1/4 x 1 inch)

Steps:

  1. In a saucepan, bring honey and lemon peel, if using, to a boil. Add sesame seeds, stirring continuously and continue to cook while stirring to mix completely and thoroughly. When the seeds are fully mixed in and the mixture has boiled again, remove from heat. Remove lemon peel and discard.
  2. Place a piece of baking parchment on a cool work surface and spread out the hot mixture thinly and evenly (about 1/4 inch high).
  3. When the pasteli cools to room temperature, refrigerate on the parchment paper (it doesn’t need to be covered). Chill for at least 2 to 3 hours.
  4. With kitchen shears, cut the pasteli together with parchment paper into small pieces, and serve.
  5. To eat, peel off the parchment paper. Store in the refrigerator.