HUM 111 The Competitive Character of the Ancient Greeks

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Hello Class, here is my Post for Week 2:


The Competitive Character of the Ancient Greeks


· Why do you think the competitive nature of the Greeks was so important for their success as a people and culture?

The Greeks competitiveness brought with it better quality is everything they did from making pots, singing songs, their military forces, ectara.

· What are some of the advantages of being very competitive?

The advantages of this they won more battles, sold more products, overall had a better economy than most. Also because of the athletics the people where healthier than most people.

· Greece was very small compared to all her neighbors (like Persia and Egypt) so why was being competitive a big advantage for Greece?Because of their fierce competitiveness the Greeks made better products to sell/trade and grow as a nation. The funds acquired where used to finance their militaries and governments. Thus, gaining power in the world view. The Spartans had the most feared army of the day and maybe even all time.


The Ancient Olympics vs The Modern Olympics


· Talk about the fact that Greek male athletes competed nude versus today.

The kit in every single athlete’s locker was a pottery flask of oil to rub over his body before training or public competition.That oil-rub embodied the prohibitions of the Olympic games: no clothes, no women, no slaves, no foreigners – not exactly modern sporting values. 

· Discuss the sheer scope of the modern games with so many nations versus the smaller number of Greek cities.

The ancient Olympic games only allowed people of Greek descent to participate. The Salt Lake City Olympics featured 2600 athletes from 77 countries. Only a few hundred athletes participated in the ancient games.The ancient Olympic games were held as a religious event to honor the Greek God, Zeus. A hundred oxen were typically given as a sacrifice. Frenchman Pierre baron De Coubertin, who helped revive the Olympic games in the nineteenth century, insisted that they feature the international competition of athletes.

· Are the Olympics today more about ‘the athletes’ or the ‘nations’?

 The modern Olympic superlative is completely alien to the spirit of the Greek original, which despised women, slaves and foreigners and celebrated sectarian religion, nudity, pain and winning at any cost. The ancient Olympic games were held as a religious event to honor the Greek God Zeus. True, at least in their beginnings. Within several centuries, the Olympics became a far more commercial spectacle, in which the emphasis among the highly professional athletes was on winning and athletic prowess. In some ways, the competition of Greek city states resembles a microcosm of the modern Olympic emphasis on international competition.

Women in the Olympic Games

· Check out page 116 for information on did women watch the games? Did they participate?

 Along with the athletic contests held at ancient Olympia, there was a separate festival in honor of Hera (the wife of Zeus). This festival included foot races for unmarried girls. Was supervised by a committee of 16 women from the cities of Elis.Elis decreed that if a married woman (unmarried women could watch) was caught present at the Olympic Games she would be cast down from Mount Typaeum and into the river flowing below, according to Greek geographer and travel writer Pausanias.

Women’s roles in Greek society

· After looking at the role women played in both watching and participating in the Olympic Games, what do think the role of women was in Greek society? Were they valued? Did they have a voice in society?

 During these ancient times, women lived much shorter lives, were excluded from political decision-making and religious rites, were forced into early marriages, and then gave birth to several children. Despite the societal inequalities and oppression, women in Greece wanted to play so they started their own Olympics called the Heraean Games.



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