Golden Age

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golden age





The Golden Age of Greece

The ancient statues and pottery of the Golden Stone Age of Greece were much
advanced in spectacular ways. The true facts of Zeus’s main reason for his statue. The
great styles of the Kouros and the Kore. The story of The Blinding of Polphemus,
along with the story of Cyclops. The Dori and Ionic column stone temples that were
built in Greece that had an distinctive look. The true colors of the vase, Aryballos. The
vase that carried liquids from one place to another. The Lyric Poetry that was originally
a song to be sung to the accompaniment of the lyre.
Zeus was considered, according to Homer, the father of the gods and of mortals.
He did not create either gods or mortals; he was their father in the sense of being the
protector and ruler both of the Olympian family and of the human race. He was lord of
the sky, the rain god, and the cloud gatherer, who wielded the terrible thunderbolt. His
breastplate was the aegis, his bird the eagle, his tree the oak. Zeus presided over the
gods on Mount Olympus in Thessaly. His principal shrines were at Dodona, in Epirus,
the land of the oak trees and the most ancient shrine, famous for its oracle, and at
Olympia, where the Olympian Games were celebrated in his honor every fourth year.
The Nemean games, held at Nemea, northwest of Argos, were also dedicated to Zeus.
Zeus was the youngest son of the Titans Cronus and Rhea and the brother of the deities
Poseidon, Hades, Hestia, Demeter, and Hera. According to one of the ancient myths of
the birth of Zeus, Cronus, fearing that he might be dethroned by one of his children,
swallowed them as they were born. Upon the birth of Zeus, Rhea wrapped a stone in
swaddling clothes for Cronus to swallow and concealed the infant god in Crete, where
he was fed on the milk of the goat Amalthaea and reared by nymphs. When Zeus grew
to maturity, he forced Cronus to disgorge the other children, who were eager to take
vengeance on their father. Zeus henceforth ruled over the sky, and his brothers Poseidon
and Hades were given power over the sea and the underworld, respectively. The earth
was to be ruled in common by all three. Beginning with the writings of the Greek poet
Homer, Zeus is pictured in two very different ways. He is represented as the god of
justice and mercy, the protector of the weak, and the punisher of the wicked. As
husband to his sister Hera, he is the father of Ares, the god of war; Hebe, the goddess of
youth; Hephaestus, the god of fire; and Eileithyia, the goddess of childbirth. At the same
time, Zeus is described as falling in love with one woman after another and resorting to
all kinds of tricks to hide his infidelity from his wife. Stories of his escapades were
numerous in ancient mythology, and many of his offspring were a result of his love
affairs with both goddesses and mortal women. It is believed that, with the development
of a sense of ethics in Greek life, the idea of a lecherous, sometimes ridiculous father
god became distasteful, so later legends tended to present Zeus in a more exalted light.
His many affairs with mortals are sometimes explained as the wish of the early Greeks to
trace their lineage to the father of the gods. Zeus's image was represented in sculptural
works as a kingly, bearded figure. The most celebrated of all statues of Zeus was
Phidias's gold and ivory colossus at Olympia.

The standing nude youth (kouros), the standing draped girl (kore), and the seated
woman. All emphasize and generalize the essential features of the human figure and
show an increasingly accurate comprehension of human anatomy. The youths were
either sepulchral or votive statues. Examples are Apollo (Metropolitan Museum), an
early work; Strangford Apollo from LÝmnos (British Museum, London), a much later
work; and the Anavyssos Kouros (National Museum, Athens). More of the musculature
and skeletal structure is visible in this statue than in earlier works. The standing, draped
girls have a wide range of expression, as in the sculptures in the Acropolis Museum,
Athens. Their drapery is carved and painted with the delicacy and meticulousness
common to the details of sculpture of this period.
The Blinding of Polyphemus. Polyphemus, a Cyclops, the son of Poseidon, god
of the sea, and of the nymph Tho÷sa. During his wanderings after the Trojan War, the
Greek hero Odysseus and his men were cast ashore on Polyphemus's island home, Sicily.
The enormous giant penned the Greeks in his cave and began to devour them. Odysseus
then gave Polyphemus some strong wine and when the giant had fallen into a drunken
stupor, bored out his one eye with a burning stake. The Greeks then escaped by clinging
to the bellies of his sheep. Poseidon punished Odysseus for blinding Polyphemus by
causing him many troubles in his subsequent wanderings by sea. In another legend,
Polyphemus was depicted as a huge, one-eyed shepherd, unhappily in love with the sea
nymph Galatea. Cyclops, giants with one enormous eye in the middle of the forehead. In
Hesiod, the three sons—Arges, Brontes, and Steropes—of Uranus and Gaea, the
personifications of heaven and earth, were Cyclopes. The Greek hero Odysseus was
trapped with his men in the cave of the Cyclops Polyphemus, a son of Poseidon, god of
the sea. In order to escape from the cave after the giant devoured several men, Odysseus
blinded him.
Dori and Ionic Columns. Aware of Egyptian temples in stone, Greeks in the 7th
century began to build their own stone temples in a distinctive style. They used
limestone in Italy and Sicily, marble in the Greek islands and Asia Minor, and limestone
covered with marble on the Greek mainland. Later they built chiefly in marble. The
temples were rectangular and stood on a low, stepped terrace in an enclosure where
rituals were performed. Small temples had a two-columned front porch, sometimes with
a portico before it. Larger temples, with front and back porches, might have a six-
columned portico before each porch or be entirely surrounded by a colonnade. The
colonnade supported an entablature, or lintel, under the gabled, tiled roof.
Architects developed two orders, or styles of columns, the Doric and the Ionic
(see Column). Doric columns, which had no bases and whose capitals consisted of a
square slab over a round cushion shape, were heavy and closely spaced to support the
weight of the masonry. Their heaviness was relieved by the tapered and fluted shaft. On
the entablature, vertical triglyphs were carved over every column, leaving between them
oblong—later square—metopes, which were at first painted and later filled with painted
reliefs. The Doric style originated on the mainland and became widespread. The Doric
temples at Syracuse, Paestum, Selinus, Acragas, Pompeii, Tarentum (Taranto),
Metapontum, and Corcyra (KÚrkira) still exist. Especially notable is the Temple of
Poseidon at Paestum (450 BC).
Columns in the Ionic style, which began in Ionia (Asia Minor) and the Greek
islands, are more slender, more narrowly fluted, and spaced farther apart than Doric
columns. Each rests on a horizontally fluted round base and terminates in a capital
shaped like a flat cushion rolled into volutes at the sides. The entablature, lighter than in
the Doric style, might have a frieze. Examples of Ionic temples are in Ephesus near
modern Izmir, Turkey, in Athens (the Erechtheum), and (some traces) in Naucratis,
Egypt. There are t

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