Ancient Greek Culture Essay

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The conditions of everyday life in the ancient Greek culture are conveyed through artifacts and the Iliad. Specifically, various pottery helps to tell the tale of the ancient Greek way of life and values. From sporting events to religious ceremonies, many details of their culture can be discovered in some way among the legacy of the Greek civilizations, be it artifacts or literature. One Attic black figure hydria depicts two scenes. The larger scene of the vase shows a soldier departing for war with helmet, spear, and shield, next to a bearded man, who may be the soldier’s father, and a chariot with a white-robed driver. The smaller panel towards the top of the pottery illustrates a boxing match. The contestants are fighting in front…show more content…
A man in a short tunic and a tall, pointed hat, perhaps a priest or oracle of some kind, stands by an altar holding a pitcher and knife. A second man in a short tunic and tall hat holds a lamb over the altar while a woman holds a basket behind him. This scene could be a portrayal of an actual religious sacrifice. However, it is possible that this krater really depicts another popular art form in ancient Greek culture, a play, which in turn depicts a religious ceremony. If the latter is true, then this pottery shows the importance not only theater, as theater is the subject of the krater, but also of religious ceremonies, because the scene of the play that the krater depicts is a scene of a sacrifice to a god. The Iliad also shows the importance of sacrifices and prayer in Greek culture. Also in Book I, Odysseus sets sail to return Chryseis and plead Chryses to end the plague. Chryses assents and has the Greeks help prepare an animal sacrifice of the hundred oxen that were loaded onto the ship along with Chryseis. The passage following Chryses’ prayer to Apollo details one form of religious sacrificial ritual, in which offerings are burned, the smoke offered to the gods, and the meat is used for a feast in praise of the gods for which the ritual was
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