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LadyOfAvalon 
Posted: 25-Nov-2008, 06:34 PM
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QUOTE (Camac @ 23-Nov-2008, 12:58 PM)
Around 800 BCE the Greek alphabet was adapted from the Phoenecian, some say by Palamedes, others by Danaos,and others still by Kadmos. Who adapted it will never be settled but the fact that it was is of the greatest significance for it allowed the Illiad and the Odyssey to be put into writing and this in turn gave the basis for what was to become the Greek Culture. To the Greeks these two books were not fables or legend, they were historical fact.


Camac.

It is really amazing to imagine that a great civilization like the Greeks would have their culture based on two books which to us are viewed as "stories" but it seems here by your statement that for them what was narrated in the Illiad and the Odyssey was real historical facts.

I am impressed and surprise by this statement. The Greeks were quite intelligent and not prone to superstitions but on the other hand they were staunch believers of their mythology which I can clearly see that was real in their heads.

In my book that I have here about Greek Mythology I've read a passage that states so about the Greeks and how the myths were very much part of their daily lives.

Look forward to the next chapter.

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LadyOfAvalon 
Posted: 30-Nov-2008, 10:38 AM
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Mossieur Camac,

Where is the next chapter please....I'm waiting for my weekly reading...thank you smartass.gif

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Camac
Posted: 30-Nov-2008, 11:20 AM
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For the time being we are going to leave the alphabet behind and jump forward roughly 100 to 150 years to the late 8th Century BCE and mid 7th century BCE. and the rise of perhaps the most well known and fascinating Ancient Greek City State, SPARTA. To begin with Sparta was not a city like you would imagine, it was a group of villages and unlike its rivals Athens, Thebes, or Argos was not fortified with a surrounding wall but relied upon the terrain and the excellence of its warriors for defense. It was also an Oligarchy with dual Monarchs. Around 700 to 650 BCE it began its rise to domination in the Peloponese with the 1st and 2nd Messenian War. With Spartas' victory the Messenians became totally subjugated and disenfranchised to become slaves in perpetuity. The Helots.
Spartan Society was divided into three main classes. The Spartiate, who were the minority, but ruling class and full citizens, the Periokoi, (those that live about) who were the skilled workers and merchants, not citizens, and the Helots, who actually made up about 80% of the population and were unskilled manual workers , slaves.
The Helots had absolutely no rights whatsoever and could be killed on a whim. In fact during a festival time in Autumn a Helot could be killed by any Spartan with out recrimmination or punishment. Because of the structure of the Spartan Society it left all Spartan males free to become warriors and herein lies the fascination with Sparta. The first recorded society whose sole purpose was the preperation for and conduct of War.
It is going to take a few posting just to cover the subject of Sparta by itself and for those who are interested I would advise that you wipe all notions of the Spartans as portrayed by Hollywood from your minds.
               
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LadyOfAvalon 
Posted: 03-Dec-2008, 12:37 PM
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Another proof that Hollywood depict false images on everything or I should say most things including Ancient societies in history.

I for one is surprise by your statement of the Spartan society though I should have remembered that in the movie "Spartacus" Kirk Douglas is a "Helot".

What I didn't know was that Sparta was divided in three classes.The popular picture we have is that one of an "ancient super power" army and similar to Rome.

I guess I will have to buy some books to read more about this particular society.

One wonders though that for a society mostly consisted of slaves (80%) is that how come there was no uprising and free themselves from bondage? Was it just natural and part of daily life to be a slave and that is why there was no uprising against the rulers?

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Camac
Posted: 03-Dec-2008, 12:45 PM
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LOA;
Just briefly. There were uprising one of wich lasted 46 years.

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LadyOfAvalon 
Posted: 03-Dec-2008, 01:00 PM
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Camac,

Was this the one depicted in "Spartacus"?

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Camac
Posted: 03-Dec-2008, 02:15 PM
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LOA;

No Spartacus was in the time of the Roman Empire about 500 years later in the 1st century around 71 BCE. Also Spartacus is believed to be a Thracian slave not a Messeanian (Helot).

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LadyOfAvalon 
Posted: 13-Dec-2008, 07:36 AM
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My dear Camac,

I think it's time for the next chapter on the great city of Sparta and it's history.

Thank you...

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Camac
Posted: 13-Dec-2008, 09:21 AM
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LOA; On the morrow I shall do as you requested.


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Camac
Posted: 14-Dec-2008, 11:22 AM
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Spartan Society practiced an early (barbaric by our standards) form of Eugenics. When a child was born it was examined by the heads of the tribe and if found sickly or weak was exposed to die on the slopes of Mt. Taygetos. At age seven young boys were placed under the care of a State Officer and their education began. This education was was in the form of training to harden them to endure hardship and strict discipline and devotion to the State. This was the beginning of their lives as Spartan Warriors. Their training was so rigourous that many died. They were taught to kill, steal, and live off the land. They were also taught a stict sense of honour that any infraction of could result in their being beaten to death by their instructors. They were taught the use of weapons and Helots (slaves) were used for practice. These young boys lived in this barrack style life until the age of 20 when they entered into military service and were allowed to marry but not live with their spouses only stealing quick visits in the night. At age 30 they gained full citizenship and became a man. All of Spartan Society was geared towards the Military and it was male dominated but surprisingly woman were freer in Sparta than in any other Greek State. Their main function was of course to breed children for the state and Spartan discipline was extended to them also with the purpose of producing mothers who would be physically strong and saturated with the Spartan Spirit. It is said of Spartan Mothers that when their sons went off to war the Mother would hand him his shield with the words "With it or on it", meaning come back carrying it in victory or come back carried on it in death. The worst shame a Spartan Hoplite could endure was to be a sole survivor. At the famous Battle of Thermopylae one Spartan survived mainly because he had been wounded and was sent by King Leonidas to report back to Sparta the outcome of the battle. He lived in shame for a number of years until the Battle of Plataea where he regained honour by being in the forefront of the engagement and dying. This system of discipline and honour made the Spartans the most feared heavy infantry (Hoplite) in the Greek world and their story has survived down to the present day.
               
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LadyOfAvalon 
Posted: 14-Dec-2008, 08:53 PM
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Though I cannot say I am appalled by what is stated here about the "Eugenic acts" that the Spartans practiced, for even today just by what we are witnessing, young men killing people at random with heavy automatic weapons...is barbaric enough even for our modern times.

This is quite interesting to read that a society like the Spartans and their logic has made them a force to be reckoned with. But then again on what the historians base themselves about the way they trained their youngs and the kind of society they were for there was no written or little was written about them.If I understand here the young boys were only train to become soldiers not scholars, so they wouldn't have been able to write or read!!!

Are they based on what Homer wrote?

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Camac
Posted: 15-Dec-2008, 02:02 PM
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LOA;

Spartans could read and write for they had their Law Givers, Poets, and Philosophers. It is just that being in the minority and surrounded by people they had subjugated they had to be constantly prepared for War. They seemed on the most part quite content to stay within the boundaries of the Peloponese. Homer did not write about the Spartans, at his time they were still relatively an obsure part of the Dorian Invaders. Homer wrote of the Acheans, Argives and Trojans. The Dorians hadn't invaded Greece at the time of the Trojan War.
               
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LadyOfAvalon 
Posted: 19-Dec-2008, 09:06 PM
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It seems that Greece history is based a lot on invasions and it's almost incredible that it's still on the world maps...for all the invasions that country suffered it is surprising that they weren't annihilated all together.

Can we expect our next chapter this week-end Camac? Or class is on break until after the New Year?

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Camac
Posted: 19-Dec-2008, 09:20 PM
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Last class of this year will be this weekend. Then a break till the New Year.

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LadyOfAvalon 
Posted: 19-Dec-2008, 09:26 PM
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Thank you,

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