Team Vulcan Final Bonus

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Some of the members from our team, Naim Nuvel, Mohammed Uddin and Estrella Roberts (Me), did some studying for the Final exam on Tuesday, December 12.

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Barbaric paintings?

When I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art with my group for the research paper, we stumbled upon this painting in the Modern and Contemporary Art section. This painting is called Reclining Nude and was made by an Italian artist named, Amedeo Modigliani. Although his work was inspired ‘Italian Renaissance representations of Venus and other idealized female figures,’ as stated from the art label, it reminded me of Olympia by Edouard Manet. Both paintings are swayed against classical traditions of how female nudes were represented. For instance, female nude paintings were influenced by Greek mythological figures or someone who had power affiliated with them. They also were painted with details to make a woman’s body perfect or ideal. Modigliani’s painting focuses more on her eroticism by mainly focusing on her upper body and having her eyes closed, as if she were moaning. Modigliani also ignored previous standards by painting her with underarm hair, which was not typically seen in paintings. Manet also disregards previous beauty standards of female nudes by creating a painting that is considered flat and portrays a prostitute that is waiting for her next customer. She is staring directly at the viewer and lacks the typical soft gaze that is present in female nudes.

These paintings allowed me to relate it to the concept of “the Others” that we learned about in Classics. We discussed that Non-Greeks were considered barbaric and uncivilized because they were different from the Greeks, who considered themselves perfect. There was a negative connotation towards them just because they weren’t seen as the same as they were. But although these paintings weren’t said to be bad, they still went against what was seen as ‘normal’ during a certain time period. Not to express that it’s wrong to be different from societal standards, but these paintings were “the Other” from Academic or traditional art as the “barbarians” were to the Greeks.

-Estrella Roberts, Team Vulcan

Combining different beliefs

Pactricson P., Via Facebook messenger, Sunday evening

Are you comfortable if I ask you some questions about you ethnicity and origins?  Can I write about your answers on a public class blog?

“Sure”

Do you identify yourself with an country or ethnicity beyond the United States of America?  If so, which one?

“If someone asks for my ethnicity, then i would say African American. But if they don’t, I consider myself a Haitian American.”

How have you learned about the origins/history/past/importance of that place? (If they feel no strong connection to other place or identity, then ask them to talk about being American.)

“I learned about America in school”

Is there one person, maybe a hero or ‘wiseman’ or king or law-giver, that is important to your people–someone people tell stories about, maybe legendary, maybe true?  Can you tell me a story?

“Barack Obama. Obama’s win in the election opened chances for every individual, especially black people. Examples such as Obama care and Michelle Obama’s healthy activities. Obama was also able to get the U.S. out of the recession in 2008”

What values do you think that story teaches? Are those values important in the traditions of your people? how?

“To aim high, which is why black families aspire to do something to do something greater in their lives instead of being stereotyped”

 

Ray R., Via iMessage, Sunday evening

Are you comfortable if I ask you some questions about you ethnicity and origins?  Can I write about your answers on a public class blog?

“Sure”

Do you identify yourself with an country or ethnicity beyond the United States of America?  If so, which one?

“African American/Caribbean American”

How have you learned about the origins/history/past/importance of that place? (If they feel no strong connection to other place or identity, then ask them to talk about being American.)

“Stories/research/parents”

Is there one person, maybe a hero or ‘wiseman’ or king or law-giver, that is important to your people–someone people tell stories about, maybe legendary, maybe true?  Can you tell me a story?

“Any person of power that maybe could found in the bible. We respect our elders but don’t revere them as legendary, like God”

What values do you think that story teaches? Are those values important in the traditions of your people? how?

“The values taught by us in the bible help us make morally just decisions in any and every scenario, specifically aspects of life, in which such judgement is needed. To list a few, a clean diet, respect for a community, and a lot for your family and people. These are some of the values held by our people in their traditions”

 

Tristan R., Via iMessage, Sunday evening

Are you comfortable if I ask you some questions about you ethnicity and origins?  Can I write about your answers on a public class blog?

“Yes ma’am”

Do you identify yourself with an country or ethnicity beyond the United States of America?  If so, which one?

“Yes, Jamaica and Panama”

How have you learned about the origins/history/past/importance of that place? (If they feel no strong connection to other place or identity, then ask them to talk about being American.)

“Word of mouth/passed down stories”

Is there one person, maybe a hero or ‘wiseman’ or king or law-giver, that is important to your people–someone people tell stories about, maybe legendary, maybe true?  Can you tell me a story?

“No there isn’t”

What values do you think that story teaches? Are those values important in the traditions of your people? how?

N/A

 

“There as an ancient city held by Tyrian settlers, Carthage, facing Italy and the Tiber River’s mouth but far away– a rich city trained and fierce in war. Juno loved it, they say, beyond all other lands in the world, even beloved Samos, second best” (Vergil, 1). This quote was found in the opening of Vergil’s Aeneid, Book 1. The Roman goddess, Juno, made goals for Carthage to become powerful and desperately didn’t want the Fates to take control of its future. She used all her strength and determination to make Carthage into the kind of power she wanted. Although the stories that my friends shared didn’t relate to fighting for the future of the country, they mention the importance of having a great leader. This relates to Rome’s origins because there was typically a leader to make the best decisions for their people.

-Estrella Roberts, Team Vulcan

Our final Bonus

 

We decided to study for the final in the classroom because the classroom was empty and it was more quiet as well. We review all the chapters we learned in class. We studied on December 5th, 2017 from 9:07 A.M. to 10:54 A.M.

Team Vulcan : Mantaha Mannan, Mary Huang, Richard Gyimah

The MET’s Roman Influence

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Over the weekend, I decided to take a trip to the MET for some insight on different cultures over the past century. Automatically, what caught my attention was how symmetrical the building was. Just by looking at the front entrance, I noticed how much Roman architecture influenced the construction of this magnificent building.

Similar to the Rome’s Pantheon, the part that most people notice about the MET are the long cylindrical columns on the exterior of the building. These columns demonstrate a Corinthian style of classical order, as the capital has a very complex design decorated with acanthus leaves and scrolls. The ornamentation of the column shows a slender frame imitating the femininity of a woman. This causes an elongated effect in which the proportions show a lengthened column with the shaft indented inwards. Though the exterior of the columns are Corinthian, the columns directly in front of the entrance are Ionic. The capital of the ionic structure shows a volute which is characterized as a spiral scroll like feature. The shaft of the column is similar to the Corinthian model in which the lines are vertically indented.

Unlike the Pantheon, the MET does not have a triangular pediment. Above the columns reveal a rectangular entablature in which the cornice is decorated with scroll like characteristics and the heads of tigers. Though this building may show characteristics similar to Greek temples, the complexity of the overall architecture is far from the simplicity of the temples.

In classics, we learned that Greek temples were built as a way for people to worship the gods. In a way, if you stand below the MET, once you look up, the columns and the overwhelming structure of the building gives off an ethereal effect, especially when you see the multiple heads of important people at the very top.  People may not visit the MET as a way to worship gods, but they do come here to clench their thirst for knowledge of the past. The influence of Roman and Greek architecture makes a profound demonstration to modern day construction as it is shown in the MET’s design.

Achieving the Perfect Society

Many people have different views and opinions on achieving the perfect society. The basic idea of a perfect society would include no crimes, no government and each individual playing a role and contributing to the success of their society. Throughout history many people have had their input on what a perfect society would look like. In the article ” Gender Roles of a Perfect Society : the Oneida Community” explained how they did things differently and felt that their society was the best community for a person to live in. In the article it states, “Women were always seen as equals to men, unlike the traditional American ideas of the nineteenth century.” This was proof that in their society they did not assign roles to the population based on their gender. The women of their community were treated equally to the men of their society. Women in the Oneida community were allowed to hold any job they wanted such as a bookkeeper, business correspondents and etc. The Oneida Community believed women played a major role in the success of a perfect society.

However I feel that this would contradict with the ideas of Plato and Xenophon. Plato and Xenophon believed that everyone in a society should play a specific role. In Xenophon’s Constitution of the Lacedaemonians he states “He believed motherhood to be the most important function of freeborn women.” He explains that the main role of women would be to take care of the children and carry out the basic motherly duties. Contradicting the ideas from the Oneida Community he feels that its not right for women to have a choice to pursue any other career. Xenophon believed the only way to reach a perfect society is to assign and maintain roles to each person.

Naim Nuvel, Team Vulcan

Citation :

“Gender Roles of a Perfect Society: the Oneida Community.” GetMyEssay.com, 9 May 2017, getmyessay.com/essay-on-gender-roles-perfect-society-oneida-community/.

Canada’s Racist Founding Father

When you think of Canada, one has the perception that they are the nicest people one could ever meet. Taking a look back into their history, the “ideal society” that we presume them to be isn’t what meets the eye. In the New York Times article, “In Canada, a Reckoning Over a Racist Founding Father,” by Ian Austen, Sir John A. Macdonald of Kingston, Ontario was the first prime minister of Canada.Even though his followers acknowledged his racism towards the native population, they turned a blind eye to his inhumane policies of “cultural genocide”. Arthur Milnes, a local author and self-described “public historian,” states, “Sometimes we like to hold ourselves up as this perfect, inclusive, nonracist society, but we’re not.” Very much like American history, where natives were sent to reserves, Macdonald made a policy where natives had forced schooling separate from the rest of the population.  “Macdonald said that an indigenous child educated where he or she lives ”is simply a savage who can read and write,” whereas children sent to boarding schools ”will acquire the habits and modes of thought of white men.” To assimilate students, the schools banned indigenous languages and prohibited, sometimes forcefully, indigenous cultural practices. ” Stripping one of their cultural background in order to conform to the white man’s standards of “civil” life is not unseen. There are many examples of this type of prejudice behavior scene throughout history.
The author, Ian Austen, stresses the importance of recognizing immoral actions upon another race. Austen believes that there is a lack of action to compensate for the wrongs Macdonald inflicted upon the indigenous population in Canada. In today’s society, racism will always be a conflicting topic familiar to everyone. It happens all throughout the seven continents, yet there is no solution for it. I don’t live in an ideal society because everyone has their own opinion which brings upon controversy to society. If one cannot change their mindset of “superiority”, racism will always divide the “ideal society”. Plato would have disagreed with this sort of treatment to different races. In the Reeve Plato Extracts it states that, “The goal of the elenchus is not to reach adequate definitions of the virtues or seemingly paradoxical doctrines about weakness of will and virtue, however. Its primary aim is moral reform.” With that said, Plato wanted individuals to think for themselves what is morally right or wrong. Given the knowledge they already possess, they should act upon it, but the fear of standing up for what one believes is unethical is a major weakness everyone shares. Everyone has different beliefs about virtues, but everyone knows the difference between ethical and unethical, right from wrong and so on. An ideal society could never exist because of a clash of opinions and a lack of justice.


Source Citation:
Austen, Ian. “In Canada, a Reckoning Over a Racist Founding Father.” New York Times, 29 Aug. 2017, p. A4(L). New York State Newspapers, login.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=SPN.SP01&sw=w&u=nysl_me_brookcol&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA502097971&it=r&asid=d310a979f3b97a9fda47150e2d830860. Accessed 17 Sept. 2017.

Barbarians Over the Years

Over the years the meaning of the word barbarian or barbaric has changed. It can be used to describe a group of people being categorized because of where they are from or the actions they have committed. The word barbarians in the past was used to describe a group of people that were foreigners. They wore different clothes, had a different culture, spoke different languages. The main reason they were called barbarians was because of how they spoke. To a commoner when a barbarian spoke all they would hear are the terms Bar-Bar-Bar. However the term barbarian is used in different context in the reading Herodotus. In Herodotus Croesus was described as the barbarian. He was a very wealthy King that came into contact with the Greeks. In the reading it states “So far as our knowledge goes, he [Croesus] was the first of the barbarians that dealings with the Greeks, forcing some of them to become his tributaries and entering into alliances with others.”  This statement shows that Croesus was a foreigner to the Greeks and he also showed some characteristics of a barbarian in certain cases such as when he forced the people of Greece to follow his rule and fight for his cause.

Nowadays social media is used as an outlet for many young adults to express their feelings. Robbie Travers is a 21 year old student at Edinburgh University. Travers is under investigation by the university for his activities on social media. In the article it states that Travers responded to a recent bombing from the United States in an ISIS location. On a Facebook post he states, “I’m glad we could bring these barbarians a step closer to collecting their 72 virgins.” This created an outrage among the students and staff at Edinburgh University.  In his statement, Travers uses the term barbarian as a term to describe the group who are savages and commit cruel activity. But some parts of his statement has created controversy and many students have labeled Travers statement opinionated and racist.

The target audience for this article is for the people that are active on social media. This is an example that even though social media can be an outlet for many to pour out their feelings it can have many repercussions and you must be careful of what you post online. These are just two examples of how the word barbarians has been used throughout time. In one reading he was being portrayed as a foreigner and in the other article the group was being labeled because of their actions and intentions.

Citation:

Howes, Scarlet. “Uni Student Probed for ‘Hate Crime’ as Called ISIS ‘Barbarians’ on Social Media.” Mirror, 5 Sept. 2017, http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/student-probed-uni-bosses-hate-11113823.

Naim Nuvel, Team Vulcan

 

 

Barbaric Politics

India is currently under control by a communist party. The political party is using horrific crimes to stop activists from overthrowing them. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, activist, was brutally murdered with 89 wounds on his body. This crime was described to be barbaric in nature and a disgrace to humanity. Federal Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, “It is cruelty of a barbaric nature…Even an enemy country wouldn’t do this kind of brutality but a political party did this.” In a third world country, having different political ideologies and opinions could very well get one killed. It is not uncommon that politics in India use lack of freedom of speech to instill fear among the masses. People with controversial opinions are censored by the government for having opposing and disagreeing opinions of the people in power.
In both articles, activists are seen as the “other” in which the government finds as a threat. The target audience is the rest of the world to raise awareness of what is happening in communist India. A social value that is clearly being affirmed as a shared value for the whole world is freedom of speech. Not only is it a given human right from birth, but in third world countries such as India, speaking out against the government results in the lost of a loved one. Similar to the readings in Herodotus, it states that, “No one is so foolish as to prefer war to peace, in which, instead of sons burying fathers, fathers bury their sons.” (1.87 Croesus is defeated by Cyrus) The government is represented as a father. It is supposed to be a civilized system that not only protects their people, but makes sure order is kept in place. How can the Indian population trust their government if they keep taking the lives of innocent civilians just for speaking out about a problem that they do not agree with? Everyone shares a different outlook on a matter, but endless killing to solve the government’s problem results in a corrupt and biased society. It makes the masses revolt against the people in power and makes them fear the society they live in.
The definition of barbarian seen in our readings is one that is ostracized for being different (in terms of culture, race, dialect, physical features, etc.) Barbarians in Greek culture were people who weren’t Greek. In terms of today’s society, barbarians are known as people who commit merciless and audacious crimes against another individual. There is never a time where hearing the word barbarian brings a positive outcome; barbaric is always associated with something negative that happens. In both articles, it exposes the barbaric and monstrous ways the communist Indian government copes with their problem. The death of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, along with many other activists, were made into examples of what would happen if the public did not comply with the government’s orders. Both articles represent the term barbaric as an underlying offense that continuously occurs. Murder of another man is always the easiest solution, yet it is an endless and inhumane cycle. The only solution to tame barbaric behavior is to work in numbers and rebel against a corrupted government.

Citations:
“Kerala RSS Man’s Murder a Barbaric Crime: Jaitley.” Gulf Times (Doha, Qatar), 7 Aug. 2017, http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-503291566.html?refid=easy_hf.

LexisNexis

“Jaitley flays RSS man’s ‘barbaric’ killing, visits kin.” Oman Tribune (Syndigate Media Inc), September 10 2017 21:54:47, http://www-lexisnexis-com.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu:2048/lnacui2api/results/docview/docview.do?docLinkInd=true&risb=21_T26471139524&format=GNBFI&sort=DATE,D,H&startDocNo=1&resultsUrlKey=29_T26471135694&cisb=22_T26471139530&treeMax=true&treeWidth=0&selRCNodeID=31&nodeStateId=411en_US,1&docsInCategory=849&csi=407844&docNo=8

LewisNexis

Eye for an Eye?

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Jesus Shuttlesworth is a highly recruited basketball player that had many scouts drooling over his skills. Top basketball programs were offering him scholarships to come and compete for their schools. Even though his future looked bright many people weren’t aware of the events that have occurred in his past. Six year earlier his father, Jake was convicted and sent to prison for killing his wife Martha (Jesus’ Mother). Ever since that moment Jesus never looked at his father the same way. The governor offered Jake less time on his sentence if Jake can convince Jesus to commit to a university of the governor’s choice. Jesus would later find out his father’s real intentions and had the choices of either listening to his father and help him reduce his sentence or he can commit to another college and watch his father spend the rest of his life in prison.

Revenge was a major theme in the play Medea. Medea was a former barbarian princess who fell deeply in love with Jason. In the near future Jason was given the opportunity to get married to Glauce who was the daughter of the King of Corinth. Jason agreed to leave Medea and marry Glauce. Medea couldn’t believe what Jason was doing to her and she was quickly filling up with rage. She felt that she needed to get her revenge and make Jason feel the way she felt. Medea ended up murdering Glauce and some of her children in hopes that it would hurt Jason and make him regret leaving her.

Naim Nuvel, Team Vulcan