Ariadne and Medea, Scorned Women

This painting just so happens to be one of the pieces that I included in my Museum report. It is called Ariadne and was painted by Giorgio de Chirico in 1913. This piece captures the essence of modern art in its rejection of the artistic styles of before. It is a far cry from Academicism, and, much like contemporaries such as Picasso, experiments with different forms that are far more simplified. When looking at this piece, I personally draw comparison to the Les Demoiselles d’Avignon because of such experiments. Like the Avignon, the piece does not hold to the traditional standards of ideal form, yet still draws influence from art forms of the past. The Demoiselles is inspired by the Archaic and Iberian faces and art styles of those time periods and incorporates those styles into its makeup. Similarly, Chirico’s Ariadne is inspired by the Greek statuary and myths of the past. While modernism is shown through a more simplified composition, that evens borders on the surreal, the woman – the titular Ariadne- lying on the stone slab and having traditional Greek robes splayed across her body, reminds us of the Classical Greek statues of women and even the earlier Kourei women of the Archaic period as well.

A major inspiration for the piece was Greek myths. Through this piece, Chirico was able to tap into his Greek ancestry, which he demonstrated through reference to the idealized Greek forms, demonstrating chiaroscuro and the story behind the painting as well. The painting Ariadne, was based on the myth of a woman, named Ariadne, who was abandoned by her lover, Theseus, on the island of Naxos. Though Ariadne is sleeping, the background and general mood of the painting invokes a sense of loneliness, isolation and betrayal. Seeing the story behind this painting allowed me to be reminded of Classics as well. In Classics, we had read another Greek story of betrayal in Medea , by Euripides. Though Medea essentially gave up everything for her lover and then husband, Jason, everything meaning her family and homeland, he decides to abandon her for another woman. Wanting him to suffer for what he did to her, she kills their children as well as his new bride, Glauce, before riding away in her snake chariot, in order to burn a similar feeling of despair into him. Ariadne displays a similar theme of a man betraying a loyal woman like Medea does. And through the modernist interpretation of the myth, the betrayal and loneliness is made all the more palpable.

Image of Medea

Skaie Cooper, Team Ares

Baroque Art Metropolitan Museum

The Coronation of the Virgin, Annibale Carracci (Italian, Bologna 1560–1609 Rome), Oil on canvas

This painting is called “The Coronation of the Virgin” created by Annibale Carracci. This painting was dated after 1595 and can be found in gallery 623. According to some of the information from the label, Annibale Carracci, together with Caravaggio, was the most influential painter of the seventeenth century and the main figure in the development of classicism. This picture was painted for Cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini (1571–1621), shortly after Annibale’s arrival in Rome in 1595. In it, Annibale brought together two currents of Italian painting: a north Italian sensitivity to the effects of natural light and color, and the spatial organization and idealized figures associated with the Renaissance. Raphael’s frescoes in the Vatican inspired the composition, while the figure of God the Father was based on an ancient Roman sculpture. I saw this painting while visiting the Metropolitan Museum.

I saw many amazing paintings at the MET and this one stood out to me because it is a Baroque painting and also because it looks very complex and it took a lot of effort to make the painting look three dimensional. The story said that after Annibale got to Rome, she used the effects of light and color and idealized figures in her painting. The figure of god in this painting was based off of Roman sculpture. Especially because it is an oil on canvas painting. When I looked up the story behind this painting, it reminded me of something we read and discussion about  in Classics class. Along with the discussion of God and Roman Sculptures.

-Adam Allan

Team Ares

💕My Abusive Best Friend💕

Appiah, Kwame Anthony. “Can I Stay Friends With an Abusive Husband?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 27 July 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/31/magazine/can-i-stay-friends-with-an-abusive-husband.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Fthe-ethicist&action=click&contentCollection=magazine®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=58&pgtype=collection.

Dear Name Witheld,

Why even bother with ethics in the first place? You shouldn’t have to break up a perfectly fine friendship over a mere setback like domestic abuse. Friends forever, right! In that sense, I have to completely disagree with what Mr. Appiah is saying. He wants you to attempt to reach out to Jane and Jack, in order to confront and remedy their abusive relationship, despite risking friendship.To have friendship threatened just because of abuse is unthinkable. Rather than having to confront both Jane and Jack about the abuse in such a grim way, it’s far more appealing to just laugh it off. Any good friendships, as we all know, overcomes their quarrels or problems with some hearty laughter over a good beer (considering that you’re legal, of course!) And really, this shouln’t be any different.

Juvenal says that ” Democritus in his time, too, found things to laugh at in every encounter with people. His shrewdness demonstrates that men of excellence, who will make great role models, can be born in a dense climate in a country of morons.” He also states that “He would laugh at the anxieties of the mob and at their delights, too, and sometimes at their tears, while to Fortune’s threats he himself would say, “Go throttle yourself!” and show his middle finger at her.” Both quote being taken from Lines 28-53: The Philosophic Power of Laughter in Juvenal, Satire 10. While Democritus was surrounded by people he perceived to be idiots, he still found fun and humor in being around them. Likewise you too should find the humor in your situation too. They’re your friends of course, Jane and Jack, but they’re also insufferable idiots who can’t help but lock themselves into that dastardly situation of domestic/verbal abuse. You shouldn’t get yourself down about it though. Just find the joy and fun in it and keep moving, keep that friendship going between you three!

Anyways, I want to close by reminding you that we people get through a lot of things with the power of humor. Humor can solve everything, humor can remedy everything. So, call up that good ol’ humor and use it now!

S. Cooperius (Skaie Cooper, Team Ares)

The Sabine Women Who Were Spirited Away

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Jan Muller, 1571-1628, Adriaen de Vries. A Roman Abducting a Sabine Woman;, Un Romain enlevant une Sabine. http://library.artstor.org.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu:2048/asset/BARTSCH_1690

The image above depicts a dramatized version of the Rape of Sabines. It is an engraving, which uses its monochromatic scheme, in order to emphasize the subject, this being the brutalization of the Sabine woman by the Roman man. The piece has a pale, soft background, which is juxstaposed by the foreground which is harsh, with clearly visible contrast between black and white, rather than the more totally mute gray. By having the ‘soft’ background give way to a ‘harsh’ foreground, the abductuion of the woman is made  all the more palpable. She is shown writhing against the her attacker, trying to struggle free, though in vain. She has. One arm pushing the man away, and another being held onto by the Roman man. Her feet are similarly in a state of movement, showing that her attempt to break freee is not a half- hearted one. The Roman man on the other hand is clearly portrayed as a brute. While the woman had a cloth, that was ripped away from her, the man is completely nude, without the slightest hint of embarrassment. This makes him seem like a beast,  a rightful depiction to make, considering his position in the matter. He is full of bulging muscles, yet the body is uncanny. The Classical Greek/ Roman ideal body in drawings and sculpture was indeed muscular, but not to the almost grotesque degree depicted. In this image, the man, and by extension, the whole of the Roman men are depicted as savage beasts, forcefully and mercilessly attacking women, both physically and sexually.

“… and the Roman youth dashed in all directions to carry off the maidens who were present. The larger part were carried off indiscriminately… The abuducted maidens were quite as despondent and indignant. Romulus, however, went around in person, and pointed out to them that it was all owing to the pride of their parents in denying right of intermarriage to their neighbors (Vergil’s Aeneid).”

It is certainly correct to say that both the engraving and Vergil’s account depict the Rape of the Sabines. However, I feel that the similarities end there. In theory, the same story is shown, but in actuality, two different stories are being told. The best way to describe this would be to say that Muller’s engraving captures the view of the Sabine women’s parents while Vergil’s writing captures that of the Romans. Since more of this history is told from the Roman point of view, it would be right to assume that the purpose of Muller’s engraving was to shed light on the anguish of the parents. Vergil’s account of the Rape of the Sabines, essentially makes it out not to be a rape. If anything, the women and their parents are characterized as being overly difficult in the face of the ‘reasonable’ demands of the Romans. Rather than view themselves as agrressors and sexual predators, they blame the Sabine people for being too unaccomodating, forcing them to have to take the women by force. The rape and abduction is not even written as a traumatic experience, like the image by Muller shows. Instead, it written in the account in a way that is comparable to a tantrum, on the part of the Sabine women, that has to be pacified by the ever -so admirable Romans.

Skaie Cooper, Team Ares

Aphrodite, The Baroque and Paphos

Last week Monday, I paid a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in order to do the Art history report. Even though business was business, I found myself drawn to many pieces outside of the art pieces we were required to find for the report. For example, this statue of Aphrodite, caught my eye, especially because of the way the sunlight illuminated it. Upon closer examination of the piece, I found that though it was a classical piece, made in the 2nd century, it still reflected ideals of the Baroque period. It may not seem like it, since the Baroque period was known for a more grotesque and innovative style/technique, but it indeed reflects one aspect of the Baroque style, namely, its realism. Idealized as it may be, the realism and naturalism of the statue, overlaid with sleek contrapposto, reflects a Baroque aesthetic for realistic and naturalistic human form and pose. Many Baroque sculptures similarly used naturalism and contrapposto in their work( mainly to evoke emotion and show extreme movement), such as the David by Bernini, reflecting a shared linage between this Aphrodite and the Baroque sculptural works.

The sculpture also brought to mind Classics. The first topic that we were lectured on in Classics was based around Aphrodite. During that class, we explored the different ways in which Aphrodite was worshipped or honored, which was mainly through Hymns- Homeric Hymns, in the scope of that class. Paphos was Aphrodite’s ancient place of preparation, according to the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite by Sappho. At Paphos, we learn that she was commonly worshipped through stones instead of statue. I think that knowledge of this creates an interesting contrast to the sculpture which I saw at the MET. Both are dedicated to the same goddess, yet both have vastly different personalities, in their imagery. Perhaps, though vastly different, each reflect the beauty which Aphrodite stood for, an all encompassing beauty, as we can observe both an ‘earthly’ and ‘unearthly’ beauty when viewing them.

* This image is of the Aphrodite stone of Paphos

Skaie Cooper, Team Ares/15

Caesar… Cut from Faith!?

7 THE SEAL OF THE SPIRIT ! Do not bring sorrow to the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed unto the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30 AT Thornton Wilder, in The Ides of March , portrays Julius Caesar reflecting on those ancient religions that offer “a vague sense of confidence where no confidence is . . .,” that “flatter our passivity and console our inadequacy.” “What can I do,” cries Caesar, “against the apathy that is glad to wrap itself under the cloak of piety . . .?” for religious assurance: How may we claim 1 That is the central question with which to grapple in any search genuine security without becoming spiritually spineless? On the one hand, our time has well been named “The Age of Anxiety,” 2 the key word coming from the Latin term angustia meaning “shortness of breath.” 3 Many today are suffocating in the spiritually cramped quarters of a secularized world. In such a bottleneck our phobias multiply in bewilding profusion: one standard medical dictionary catalogues 217 of them. 4 Grim statistics of murder, alcoholism, and divorce reflect an unbearable discontent with life as it is now being lived. As a result, we feed off of our fingernails, a diet calculated to produce acute spiritual indigestion. On the other hand, religion has responded to the sinisterness of life by creating a cult of reassurance that coddles anxious Americans with promises of inner peace and boundless prosperity. We glibly claim to have 74 You are reading copyrighted material published by the University of Alabama Press. Any posting, copying, or distributing of this work beyond fair use as defined under U.S. Copyright law is illegal and injures the author and publisher. For permission to reuse this work, contact the University of Alabama Press..

Hull, William E.. Harbingers of Hope : Claiming God’s Promises in Today’s World, University of Alabama Press, 2007. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/brooklyn-ebooks/detail.action?docID=438184.

Created from brooklyn-ebooks on 2017-11-27 16:56:58.

The quote details an account of the Ides of March, via Thornton Wilder. He likens Caesar and his assassination to the common man and their struggle with the Christian faith. By doing this, he paints a decidedly very depressive picture of the assassination of Caesar. Rather than just acceptance of what happens, maybe even disbelief, Wilder creates the image of Caesar being in a state of hopelessness, a state of deep despair, through the comparison to one losing faith or being in a state of separation from God. I feel that this interpretation, is one that gives weight to the assassination of Caesar. For many of us, who are religious, especially those who are Christian, the struggle between hope and despair whilst serving God, is very real and through this metaphor, we can see, in some way, the torrent of conflicting emotions which must have been coursing through Caesar, as he was assassinated.

When re-reading the account of the Ides of March, from the perspective of Cassius Dio, I chose to quote the moment of Caesar’s assassination:

4 And when the right moment came, one of them approached him, as if to express his thanks for some favour or other, and pulled his toga from his shoulder, thus giving the signal that had been agreed upon by the conspirators. Thereupon they attacked him from many sides at once and wounded him to death, 5 so that by reason of their numbers Caesar was unable to say or do anything, but veiling his face, was slain  with many wounds. This is the truest account, though some have added that to Brutus, when he struck him a powerful blow, he said: “Thou, too, my son?”

In tandem with the interpretation of Wilder, and his religious metaphor, the final words of Caesar, in the account of Cassius, have their true meaning revealed. By this, I mean to say that the emotions behind those words, “Thou, too, my son?” can be laid bare to their fullest extent. If the assassination of Caesar can be likened to a loss of faith, then the despair and hopeless of those words can be seen. Just as Adam chose to not have faith in God, back in the Garden of Eden and was subsequently cut off from God, so too, though to a far lesser extent, was Caesar, mentally and physically cut off from his people/consul, and left to similarly spiral off into a pit of despair, darkness and separation.

Skaie Cooper,Team Ares

Desire

Quote:  “Beware the frozen Ides of March..”

Citation: Goodman, Henrietta. Hungry Moon, University Press of Colorado, 2013. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/brooklyn-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039825.
Created from brooklyn-ebooks on 2017-11-27 13:36:02.

This quote is from the book “Hungry Moon by Henrietta Goodman. It is line from a poem called “Fairy Slipper”. This poem talks about intimacy and the reluctance of the narrator in taking her lover back even though she desires to be with him. Goodman is referring to the Ides of March in order to warn the reader of the approaching cold. The Ides of March is a metaphor for the confusion and coldness that will undertake the narrator (or reader) when their lover comes back to them. After reading the poem countless times, I came to the conclusion that Goodman expects the reader to know what the Ides of March is. Since the author is telling the reader to beware the Ides of March, I assume that the Ides of March has a bad meaning for her.

In Cassius Dio, it says, “Another thing that happened not long after these events
proved still more clearly that, although he pretended to shun
the title, in reality he desired to assume it” (Cassius Dio 11). This quote is similar to the poem I read because just like the narrator, Julius Caesar wanted something but pretended to not desire it. In Julius Caesar’s case, it was the title of “Rex”.


Aisha, Team Ares

The Month of “Augustus”

Augustus of Primaporta, 1st century C.E., marble (Vatican Museums)

Throughout the readings, we learn a lot about who he is and his characteristics.

“He argued that ‘Augustus‘ was both a more original and a more honorable title, since sanctuaries and all places consecrated by the augurs are known as ‘august‘” (Life of Augustus 7).

“I drove the men who slaughtered my father into exile with a legal order, punishing their crime, and afterwards, when they waged war on the state, I conquered them in two battles” (RES GESTAE 2)

These two quotes displays how people honored Augustus and Augustus’s actions. People feel that his name is empowering and respected while he gets revenge to the people who slaughtered his father. I chose these quotes because they both display to the reader they type of person Augustus is. One is what others characterized him as while the other is what the reader takes away about his actions. Both quotes are similar in that they both use specific wording to fully characterize Augustus. In the first quote, the terms original and honorable are being used to characterize Augustus while in the second quote it uses the terms punish and conquer.

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This is a picture of me holding a calendar opened up to the month of August. The month of August is named after Augustus. Augustus completed the calendar and named the month after himself. This relates to the reading in a way because Augustus is known for conquering therefore him naming a month after himself shows power and honor as discussed  in the previous quotes.

Extra Credit:

This picture relates to the class because we are currently learning about Augustus and Julius Caesar. The month on July is named after Julius and the month of August is named after Augustus. This is me holding a calendar opened up to the month of August. Augustus named this month after himself which shows that he is very powerful and respected by many.

Adam Allan, Team Ares

Sarcophagus

Image result for This marble sarcophagus (Sarcophagus with Scenes from the Lives of Saint Peter and Christ)

This is a Sarcophagus with scenes from the Lives of Saint Peter and Christ located in the Metropolitan Museum of Art going back to the early 4th century of the Roman Culture.I found this interesting because  it relates to the Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus.

This carving shows scenes from the life of Christ. This was carved about the same time Christianity was spreading in the Roman Empire, similar to the Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus. There are two scenes of Saint Peter’s arrest in Rome and the miracle of drawing water from a rock performed in his jail cell. On the Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus, there are some scenes from the Bible. Christ is looking naturalistic and showing movement. Also, Christ is in the middle and looks very young with a scroll in his hand.

This relates to Classics class where we discussed about syncretism, the merging of two different cultures, which is depicted here with the sarcophagus connecting Christianity and the old Roman polytheistic traditions.

Both are similar in that they were carved around the time when Christianity was first recognized as a legal faith in the Roman Empire but, the Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus is different as it connects classical and early christian art. With the capitals and columns, and Christ being situated above the river gods, the sarcophagus shows Christianity conquering old polytheistic traditions of the Ancient Romans which organizes and creates the new religion into its empire.

Adam Allan- Team Ares

 

Linear Perspective in NYC Subways

c-subway-train

NYC is filled with subways. We all take it to places around the city. If you stand on the platform and look over to the other end, you can see that the sides of the platform converge together and vanish at the distance. Another thing that can be seen is the sides of the train which come together as you look farther back. This reminded me of what we had earned in class about linear perspective. Linear perspective is a system of art in which parallel lines converge together to create the illusion of depth. But believe it or not, linear perspective is not just seen in drawing or paintings. It is seen in the real world too such as the conversing sides of the subway platform.


Aisha, Team Ares

St.Matthew’s Roman Catholic Church

In Art 1010 Unit 2, we have spent a lot of time studying the forms of ancient churches. We have come to know that the first Christian churches came out of the Roman basilicas, which were remodeled in order to suit the needs of the church. Through the adaptation of the basilica, we got the initial longitudinal floor plan of the church, a plan that is seen in churches such as the Basilica of Trier/Constantine and St.Peter’s Basilica during the 4th century. Following these kinds of churches were the centrally planned churches, which are dome -like in structure, like the San Vitale. Improvements and refinements in architecture also brought abaout a combination of the two floor plans, most, demonstrated in the Hagia Sofia of the 6th century. 

I go to church every week with my family, and the church that we attend is called St. Mathew’s Roman Catholic Church. It perfectly embodies the architectural forms that we have explored in class when looking at the interior characteristics of churches. This picture is taken from a high point in the church, from the back near the organ. It shows the commmon features of a church interior, including a nave, transept and apse. Also, while not seen in this image, the ceiling is spherical, hinting at a cross between longitudinal and central floor plans. Though not decorated in mosaics like earlier churches, the building still is highly decorated, featuring tempura paintings and heavy use of precious marbles. Recognizing these iconic features however, gives me a greater appreciation of the architectural advancements of churches done before. Those ancient plans and designs were so successful that they continue to be used in modern churches.

Skaie Cooper, Team Ares 

Mosaics in Subways

image

This is a mosaic at the subway station at the 36th street station on 4th avenue. This mosaic reminded me of the church of San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy. The Justinian Mosaic was a mosaic in the Church of San Vitale. The similarity between the Justinian Mosaic and this mosaic is obviously the fact that both are mosaics containing people. The people in the mosaic at this subway station have various facial expressions and movements whereas in the Justinian Mosaic, the figures look more serious. There’s not much expression in them. Another thing I had noticed was how this mosaic utilizes a lot of space. You can see action happening in the foreground, middle ground, as well as the background too. The Justinian Mosaic, on the other hand, only focuses on the foreground. In fact, you can’t even see the middle ground and background.

Overall, I found it interesting how modern art still incorporates aspects of ancient art like the mosaic tiles.


Aisha, Team Ares

Fasces at City Bank

City Bank Farmers Trust Company Building

 

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As my group and I did our rounds, going from building to building and fillling out the worksheet, we came across perfect examples of fasces when we went to the City Bank Farmers Trust Company Building. Though it may seem strange to have found an example of it at the bank, as sown in the picture above, the fasces represents a certain kind of strength and unity, attributes which I’m sure the architects and the heads of the bank wanted to ingrain in their image of it.

Skaie Cooper, Team Ares

Hidden Gems in NYC


On our trip in Lower Manhattan, my group and I came across quite a few fasces, or rather, what we assumed to be fasces. I’m not quite sure if these are fasces or just coins but I did find this on the City Bank-Farmers Trust Company Building. Although the picture looks blurry (because I zoomed in too much) the fasce/coin has the illustrations of what resembles an axe. It also has the word “Italia” written on it. I also saw the head of a lion on it but then again, my eyesight has been known to fail me many times so I can’t be sure if it’s a lion or something else. Since fasces symbolize the power that the magistrate or a higher power held, it was probably placed on this building as a symbol of nobility and importance.

Aisha, Team Ares


 

Team Ares

Team Members:

Skaie -Team Leader

Marissa -Recorder

Aisha- Recorder

Adam- Speaker

Sean- Recorder

300 Movie Artemisia:

Movie Clip:

ARTEMISIA DEATH – 300 , 28 seconds


Notes: (5 bullet points)


Library Bibliographies:

Works Cited

  • Bingham, Marjorie Wall, Susan Hill Gross, and Women In World Area Studies (Project). Women in European History and Culture. St. Louis Park, MN (6300 Walker St., St. Louis Park 55416): St. Louis Park, MN 6300 Walker St., St. Louis Park 55416 : Glenhurst Publications, 1983. Print.
  • Blundell, Sue. Women in Ancient Greece. Array: Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard UP, 1995. Print.
  • Connelly, Joan Breton. Portrait of a Priestess : Women and Ritual in Ancient Greece. Princeton: Princeton : Princeton UP, 2007. Print.
  • Falk, Nancy Auer, and Rita M. Gross. Unspoken Worlds : Women’s Religious Lives in Non-western Cultures. San Francisco: San Francisco : Harper & Row, 1980. Print.
  • Gardner, Jane F., and Sarah B. Pomeroy. Women’s History and Ancient History. Chapel Hill: Chapel Hill : U of North Carolina, 1991. Print.
  • Goff, Barbara E. Citizen Bacchae : Women’s Ritual Practice in Ancient Greece. Berkeley: Berkeley : U of California, 2004. Print.
  • Greene, Ellen. Women Poets in Ancient Greece and Rome. Norman: Norman : U of Oklahoma, 2005. Print.
  • Hawley, Richard, Barbara Levick, and Oxford) International Conference on Women in the Ancient World (1st : 1993 : St. Hilda’s College. Women in Antiquity : New Assessments. London ; New York: London ; New York : Routledge, 1995. Print.
  • Karanika, Andromache. Voices at Work : Women, Performance, and Labor in Ancient Greece. N.p.: Baltimore : Johns Hopkins UP, 2014. Print.
  • Masterson, Mark, Nancy Sorkin Rabinowitz, and James (James E.) Robson. Sex in Antiquity : Exploring Gender and Sexuality in the Ancient World. N.p.: London ; New York : Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2015. Print.
  • Plant, I. M. (Ian Michael). Women Writers of Ancient Greece and Rome : An Anthology. Norman: Norman : U of Oklahoma, 2004. Print.
  • Rayor, Diane J. Sappho’s Lyre : Archaic Lyric and Women Poets of Ancient Greece. Berkeley: Berkeley : U of California, 1991. Print.
  • Reeder, Ellen D., Antikenmuseum Basel Und Sammlung Ludwig, Md.) Walters Art Gallery (Baltimore, and Dallas Museum Of Art. Pandora : Women in Classical Greece. Baltimore, Md.: Baltimore, Md. : Trustees of the Walters Art Gallery in Association with Princeton UP, Princeton, N.J., 1995. Print.
  • Saxonhouse, Arlene W. Women in the History of Political Thought : Ancient Greece to Machiavelli. New York: New York : Praeger, 1985. Print.
  • Zhou, Yiqun. Festivals, Feasts, and Gender Relations in Ancient China and Greece. New York: New York : Cambridge UP, 2010. Print.



Group Work/Study:


Who Was Alexander the Great?

(Cindy L., My mom, 50 yrs old, at home)

Do you Know who Alexander the Great was?: Um, wasn’t he that Greek philosopher? Or no, maybe he was the emperor of Greece?

What do you know about him?: Not much, sorry, I don’t really remember who he is.  I just know he was like Greek or something, he had something to do in ancient Greek history

Where did you learn about him?:  Well I think I learned about him in High School, which is probably why I don’t really remember much about him.

(Jared L., Brother, 19 yrs old, at home)

Do you know who Alexander the Great was?: Is that really one of your questions, seriously? Of course I do.

What do you know about him?: He was a young conqueror that basically conquered all of Greece, defeated the Persian empire and conquered it, parts of the Middle East, and parts of Africa, like Egypt.  He was an ingenious military commander, super educated and smart and was the leader of one of the largest empires in history.  I think he originated from Macedonia, and was taught by a bunch of people like maybe Aristotle?  Anyway, he was basically a great big emperor in ancient history.  Oh yeah, and he brought upon Hellenistic culture/age, and created a bunch of cultural diffusion with the territories and regions that he conquered, which many say is a good thing.  I think he married a Persian women, created the city of Alexandria and created the library of Alexandria, which is now lost.  His empire fell because of his generals grasping for power and it all falling apart and to the Romans.  I don’t exactly remember how he died but I think he died of natural causes.  He was known because of his prowess, his military genius, and is hailed as one of the most influential people in the world’s history.  A bunch of statues, art, and stuff like that have been made to honor him.

Where did you learn about him?: High school, middle school, and just books, duh.

(Jeff L., Brother, 27 yrs old, at home)

Do you know who Alexander the Great was?: Yep, a really big emperor and influential person in ancient Greek History.

What do you know about him?: Uh, a lot, I’m not gonna say all of it.  Let’s see, he was the emperor of one of the largest empires in the world.  He conquered a bunch of territories at a really young age, which is why his empire was so big, he is known for his empire and intelligence.  There’s a crap ton of statues and art works made out to honor him.  Basically he was a big deal and is still a big deal when it comes to ancient history.

Where did you learn about him?: School and books.

There is actually a lot similar about the answers I received, other than the answers from my mother, who didn’t really remember who Alexander the Great was (which is understandable considering how long ago she learned of him).  My brothers’ answers were actually quite similar on a large number of things.  They both knew that he was the emperor of a huge Empire in ancient history and that he conquered and erected his empire at a very young age.  In addition, they know he was revered for his intelligence and military prowess.  They also knew about how there are countless art works and statues made in honor of him.  Ultimately Alexander the Great was a very influential person, both in his time and even nowadays.  He is known for his reputation and the great number of achievements that he achieved, which is not an easy thing for anyone to accomplish, especially at his age.  This is very similar to what we learned and what we went over in class that was based on the readings.  In class we delved deeper into his history and what he did during his life, that brought him the reputation that he now has.  We also touched upon how he spread culture from the different regions he conquered throughout his empire and brought upon the Hellenistic era/age.

And Alexander became learned in every matter and trained himself so well, as I said before, that it became clear that he was being taught by some divinity. […]  Thus it was clear that the victory was of his doing.”  This quote from the reading, “A History of the Great World Conqueror, Alexander of Macedon”, shows just how great Alexander was, even as a young child.  Almost every battle he joined and fought in, even battles between fellow students, resulted in victory due to his actions.  Alexander the Great earned his reputation, he learned a lot from his teachers, but a great deal were from his own actions and teachings that he taught and learned himself.  Not many people can do that, especially on the caliber and level that he had, which just shows how great he truly was.

From Guns to Glory

”Are we going to be able to screen and determine everyone who is going to be a threat? Of course not,” she[Ms.Riddle]  said. ”We are not a perfect society , and there is no way we can create perfect laws.”

 

In Lawmakers look to boost Guns in school, the author explores a school society that is haunted by a pattern of school shootings, the most recent having been Connecticut’s infamous Sandy Hook massacre. Though it is agreed across the country that the act was indeed deplorable and shocking, divide came in deciding how to tackle the problem of school shootings. Among the heavy debate of this issue, the state of Texas  offered its own solution, one that almost seemed to be the exact opposite of decreasing violence. Its solution was to allow school staff to carry their own firearms , in order to defend themselves should such an emergency occur.

Of course, this proposition was met with much backlash from other states, who condemned the allowance of firearms as being counterproductive. However, state represenatatives, stood by this proposition, which would allow teachers to protect their students, and countered that trying to screen for the kinds of people that would commit such a  crime would be a far more daunting and unrealistic task. This counterclaim claim leads to the quote mentioned above. It isn’t an ideal situation to arm teachers and other school staff with firearms, but  in a matter of otherwise life and death, it would indeed be the best choice. Ms. Riddle, the Texas representative, in acknowledging that our society is not perfect, justifies what would otherwise be seen as a completely outrageous decision.

The article seems to mostly speak in reluctant favor of the gun law in Texas within the school environment. Though it is a law, a decision that is undesirable, even to those who propose it, it is ultimately a decision made in light of the imperfect world in which we live in, one that is harsh, untrustworthy and indiscriminate,even preying on the innocent children and unassuming teachers of the then recent Sandy Hook shooting. It is one that embodies justice , especially in the lense of Plato, who makes the claim, within his excerpts, that “People love it [Justice], not because it is a good thing, but because they are too weak to do injustice with impunity”. The representative and by extension, the people of Texas embrace the usage of guns for protection within schools, not because it is ‘good’ but because it is the best decision that could be made. Other states against the law would allow the injustice of the school shootings to continue, not wanting to create the x-factor of allowing armed staff and would make that sacrafice for the sake of lawfulness,  but Texas, in forfeiting its lawfulness, allows the rigid neutrality of Justice to put a more plausible end to the school violence.

Smith, Morgan. “Lawmakers look to boost guns in school.” New York Times, 28 Dec. 2012, p. A19A(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%7CA313191533&it=r&asid=4963e9e803df3db2b6cdeed9c11336b1. Accessed 17 Sept. 2017.

go.galegroup.com.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu:2048/ps/retrieve.do?tabID=T004&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&searchResultsType=SingleTab&searchType=BasicSearchForm&currentPosition=8&docId=GALE%7CA313191533&docType=Article&sort=DA-SORT&contentSegment=&prodId=SPN.SP01&contentSet=GALE%7CA313191533&searchId=R1&userGroupName=nysl_me_brookcol&inPS=true

Mayweather v. McGregor

 

http://www.sportsnet.ca/mma/mayweather-mcgregor-shows-primitive-barbaric-can/

“Mayweather vs. McGregor ‘Shows How Primitive and Barbaric We Can Be’.” Sportsnet.ca, http://www.sportsnet.ca/mma/mayweather-mcgregor-shows-primitive-barbaric-can/.

Dr. Jeffery Sammons, an expert in African American history, culture and sports at New York University ends this article with the words, “It’s something that shouldn’t exist in our day and age,I think it just shows how primitive and barbaric we can be ”, in response to the then upcoming fight between McGregor and Mayweather. Any avid sports fans would have known of the fight between McGregor and Mayweather, both well known boxers competing in the UFC Championship, with Mayweather defending his title as champion and McGregor fighting to take the title for himself. In sports, especially fighting sports, it is commonplace for people to talk trash, both the competitors and the spectators, since it helps to both hype up the fights and for the fighters,  helps them make more money, with all the bets being placed. It is this ‘trash talk’ that the article, and Simmons, makes a case against. It argues that the talk, no matter how gimmicky it may be, fuels an both a social and racial divide. Leading up to the fight, both Mayweather and McGregor would makes quips against eachother. They would use age, women, money and thier opposing races (black and white respectively) in order to perform for their audience, create an ideal rivalry and give viewers a good fight. 

The article reflects those who feel that this rivalry and the words exchanged during the duration of it take things too far. They feel that a barbaric nature is reflected in the  fact that the UFC and fans would allow/support comments that they feel are hurtful and of a dividing nature. The use of barbaric here is one that is in line with the meaning of the word in Herodotus, namely, that it reflects a cruel, uncivilized and unruly peoples. The definition is  almost exacted iterated here, where Herodotus reflects on the greedy and arrogant nature of King Xerxes and his ‘barbarians’, ” … he(Xerxes) instructed his men to say barbarian and insolent things as they were striking the Hellespont.” (7.35) Clearly, the setup of UFC and boxing in general is seen as flawed by the article, due to the primal nature of the sport and its allowance for a traditional or stereotypically expression of male aggression and competition. While the ‘others’ of Herodotus are the Northern Europeans, the ‘others’ in this case are the spectators and fans, who embrace said agression. Regardless of how it is perceived by those who refuse to support boxing and other rough sports, they remain very popular, and their popularity ultimately dominates the opposing opinions, similarly to how ultimately, the barbarians conquer the Greeks/Romans, despite the unsavory title.

Judging Shouldn’t Be Your First Sense

Judge

The show Save me a Seat is about a boy named Ravi- a short Indian boy who is fresh to America. He goes through many difficult obstacles such as his teachers not being able to pronounce his name, nobody understands him and people judge him because of his vegetarian lunch he brings with him to school. Through his 5th grade experience, he felt like an outcast. This show is divided into 5 which are each day of the week from Monday- Friday. The center piece of the show is social habits on food and how cultures can be identifies based on their foods they eat.

An issue in our current society is that many tend to immediately judge a person based on their appearance or an action they make. This is a major issue because nobody knows exactly who a person is just because they dress differently or because they eat a different type of food. Nobody is perfect in this world therefore we cant always expect anything to be perfect or right. Everyone is special in their own way and we must all accept that in ourselves and others regardless of race, culture, gender or religion.

This issue can be compared to the story of Medea. In the story, her husband Jason marries another woman named Glauke. The reader automatically judges this woman as a negative figure because she is the one Jason went for because of her power. Just based off the story of Medea, we don’t know much about Glauke. Many may judge Glauke as a negative figure because she has power and many compare power as something that bring evil. But in history there have been great powerful people.

In class, we discussed the story of Medea and nobody seemed to say anything about Glauke. Although she isn’t very relevant in the story, we shouldn’t think of her as a bad figure. Therefore, the story of Medea and the show Save Me A Seat go hand in hand on the issue of judging people before knowing who they really are.

-Adam, Team Ares

 

Barbaric Acts in the Ivory Trade

In the article, “LA charges 3 men in barbaric ivory trade”, the “Others” are seen as those who massacre helpless animals that are close to extinction, for their own profit. Los Angeles City Attorney, Mike Feuer, stated, “‘The ivory trade is barbaric. It jeopardizes many animals that are at risk or on the verge of extinction’…’we must protect these rare animals, who are killed so cruelly for the sake of greed.’” Feuer believes that those who engage in the ivory trade must have no emotions for the lives of animals almost gone extinct. He further states that they are killed for “the sake of greed.” This implements the notion that the “Others” must be emotionless and avaricious. The target audience for this article are those who are against the killings of exotic and rare animals, as well as other poachers. As the article states, “‘a message is being sent to others who would profit from the heartless killing of these creatures: You will be brought to justice.'” This affirms the social value that these heartless killings are inhumane and immoral.

In Herodotus’ Histories 1.4, it says, “For Asia, with all the various tribes of barbarians that inhabit it, is regarded by the Persians as their own; but Europe and the Greek race they look on as distinct and separate.” This usage of the word barbarian by Herodotus is somewhat different to the usage of the word barbaric in the article on poachers in that Herodotus used it to classify the superiority of the Greeks to those who were foreign to them. Basically to outsiders who had different customs, languages and ideas compared to theirs. Whereas in this article, the word barbaric is used to denounce the act of killing animals for your own desires.

Aisha, Team Ares


Citation:

Service, City News. “LA charges 3 men in ‘barbaric’ ivory trade.” Daily News, Daily News, 6 Sept. 2017, http://www.dailynews.com/2017/09/06/la-charges-3-men-in-barbaric-ivory-trade/. Accessed 10 Sept. 2017.

 

To Commit, You Must Take Sacrifices

 

Garfield

Garfield, the fat orange cat known for his smart mouth, laziness, arrogance and love for food, who lives with his owner Jon. Jon decides to expand his family by bringing in a dog named Odie who is lovable but Garfield despises because Garfield feels that Jon is giving Odie more attention than him. This was very difficult for Garfield therefore he decides to kick Odie out of the house which resulted in Odie going missing and ending up in the wrong hands. Garfield then realized what he has done and decides to rescue Odie. Feeling alone and lonely is a major issue in society today. Many people who experience these feelings can feel as if nobody cares for them or a sense of betrayal. However, that doesn’t give the right to pass on the negative message to other peoples lives. How should we react to difficult situations in our lives?

Medea felt betrayed by her husband Jason as he married King Creon’s daughter to gain power. Medea is put in a tough situation where she is furious and wants revenge. This anger resulted in her killing her own children, King Creon and his daughter by poisoning them. She did not kill Jason as she left him to witness everything he has lost and what he has caused. The end result of this entire situation are multiple deaths from a single decision of an individual. Jason left it upon himself to make the selfish decision and therefore has to face the consequences due to his actions to gain a bigger image for himself.

Medea had a feeling of betrayal and felt the urgency to commit an action to seek revenge. Although many emotions arise at certain situations, one must always collect themselves and not pass on the negativity to others because that only makes matters worse and consequences will be faced. This relates to Garfield as he felt betrayed and lonely. His emotions caught to him and took out his anger on Odie. That resulted in a negative setting for Odie which was scary and dangerous. There was then a sense of regret that went through Garfield after he realized what he has done. As a result, Garfield now appreciates Odie’s presence and now is more responsible as he learned from his mistakes.

-Adam, Team Ares

“Skadoosh”


Kung Fu Panda is a movie franchise I’m sure many are familiar with. It follows the exploits of a gluttonous Panda, Po, who goes from being an enthusiastic fanboy, to the humble leader of the Furious Five and the defender of China. A common theme in the movies is the concept of fate, or rather the inability to avoid fate. This concept is first shown in Po, who, despite being reluctant to accept his role as the Dragon Warrior ,eventually lives up to the title, many times over. However, the concept of destiny and fate seems to apply to all of the many characters in the series, good or bad, one of the most prelavent examples being Shen. Shen makes his debut in Kung Fu Panda 2. He is a Peacock King, obsessed with fighting fate, more than any other. Seeking to maintain his rule and high standing as a king, he constantly consults the ‘Soothsayer’, a foturne telling goat, for advice. When faced with the possibility of his kingship being threatened by “a warrior of black and white”, as told by the Soothsayer, he eliminates everything in his path, this being any Pandas and even his own parents. However, his mad rush to quickly silence any possible threats, leads to his own downfall, with Po eventually defeating him in a final confrontation. Though as expressed by the Soothsayer, Shen could have certainly maintained kingship, his arrogance, cruelty and paranoia lead to his demise. In the end, he, a black and white warrior himself, fell to his own schema.

Shen’ tale is one eerily similar to Oedipus. They both exemplify an arrogance and greediness that leads to their downfalls. They try to fight fate, which in of itself isn’t terrible, but their methods ultimately seal the tragic fate which awaits the two. A lack of desire to humble oneself and control their violent tendencies makes them susceptable to the tradgedies of their fates. In the world of Kung Fu Panda, the pressure and stress of fate is known not solely to Shen. All of the characters, even his ‘conqueror ‘, Po, know the cruelty of fate. Though Po felt the stress of fate and its expectations for him, expectations which he at many times tried to run from, through humility he was able to accept and eventually conquer the obstacles which fate laid out for him favorably. Shen, his polar opposite in the movie, lacked this humility needed to shift his fate favorably. The raw and unbridled desire to dominate fate led to an equally harsh end. Such is true of Oedipus. He also lives in a world where many people are subject to the fate which the gods bestow upon them and the will which they hold over them. Even the gods of Greek Mythology themselves are subject to the strings of fate. However, there is a stark difference in the reaction. Odysseus, a ccontemporary king of Greek myths, also was reluctant to accept  his fate, which, in his case was engaging in war. However, a humility towards the gods of their world allowed him to endure the obstacles  and ultimately be rewarded. Oedipus knew no such humility and as retribution, was made the most humble and pitiable of humans or any beings for that matter, by the end.

In contemporary society, crime tells the story of both Oedipus and of Shen. Instead of fate though, we have Law. The Law(federal and religious), acts as the overarching aspect of society which all of us must submit to. Those who commit crimes, be theft, rape or murder, are those who refuse to submit to the law, just as Shen and Oedipus did not submit to fate. All of us, whichever the country, are subject to the law and all people have felt the harshness and unfairness of law at some point of another. However, we acknowledge that it is a necessary force in order to maintain some semblance of peace in the world we live in, and we are better off for it when following it. People who commit crimes, justifiable or unjustifiable may have also felt the sting of law prior to committing crimes, yet feel they have the authority to go against it, as though they alone have felt the unfairness or constrainment of it. They fail to show humility in the face of the law, both federal and religious, and suffer for it, either dying or being sent to prison. By that point they may feel humility in the face of law just like Shen and Oedipus with fate, but by that time, it is too late.

https://youtu.be/QuLUZIvf-l8k

Skaie Cooper,Team Ares

Fate Or Free Will

In this specific scene the iconic character of Anakin Skywalker, who has been recreated numerous amounts of times (cartoons, books, comic books, movies, etc.), faces a glimpse of his universally known destiny…of becoming Darth Vader.
The fate of the great Jedi, Anakin Skywalker, is a well known story.  He was once regarded as a legendary war hero for the great republic by the mass population of worlds that had heard tales of his exploits.  But not only was he known as a hero, he was also known as “The Chosen One”.  The being that would inevitably bring balance and peace to the force.  The Jedi Order had raised Anakin on this great prophecy that had been foretold over the millenniums, that the Order had existed for.  This prophecy had been so ingrained and burned into his head that he spent nearly all of his life attempting to live up to it.  For any being, that is a measure that is difficult to live up to.  Being hailed as practically a messiah is not easy for anyone to live with because they have to constantly try to live without exhibiting any flaws, which for any normal being is impossible.  This prophecy would inevitably break Anakin, because like the average person, he had many flaws.  He was emotional, temperamental, caring, loving, compassionate, and much more.  These attributes albeit don’t really seem all that terrible for a person to have, but for someone such as Anakin especially with the powers that he had, was dangerous.  Which is why it was a common rule for Jedi to try to abstain from producing strong emotional ties, for fear that such ties would lead them down the path of the dark side.  In the end his predetermined “fate” of becoming the Chosen One did not come true.  The story of Anakin Skywalker constantly begets the philosophical question of whether or not if we all have our own predestined fates or if we have the power to choose.  Anakin ended up choosing his own path, choosing to seek forbidden and ultimate power, and choosing to be corrupted by the dark side and transforming into Darth Vader.  

The question is an issue that many people face in the modern world, especially millennials.  I myself am unsure of whether or not I have my own predestined fate that is slowly fulfilling itself as my time on this earth progresses or if I have free will and am making my own choices.  Do we have a fate and if so, will anything we do cease to change our fates?  Or do we have a choice and does every choice we make end up changing what inevitably happens to us in the end?

     This motif or theme is very prevalent in the story of “Oedipus Rex”, otherwise known as “Oedipus The King”.  But unlike Anakin, Oedipus wasn’t able to choose his own “fate”.  In the story Oedipus, who was orphaned as a child because of his father being told of the prophecy that his own son would end up killing him and marrying his wife, was told of the infamous prophecy while on his adventures.  Oedipus would then spend a good portion of his efforts trying to stop the horrible prophecy from happening.  Which in the end would be futile, as he had ended up killing his father, marrying his mother, and subsequently manually relinquishing his sense of sight (taking his own eyes).  Like Anakin, Oedipus knew his “fate” so-to-speak, but because of the fact he ended up self-fulfilling and sealing his own fate.

I believe that Sophocles wanted the reader of this epic to ponder on the question of fate and free will, amongst other things whilst reading “Oedipus Rex”.  

#OldisNew #CLAS2 #SEAN #TEAMARES #Oedipus #Sophocles