Lincoln Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial is located in Washington D.C. It is a national monument to honor Abraham Lincoln. Visually, this work of art is similar to Saint Peter’s Piazza. The columns and friezes are very similar. The Lincoln Memorial does not share the imperfect shapes of the Piazza. Rather, the Lincoln Memorial follows the idealized geometry of the High Renaissance. The Piazza is distinct in its dynamic use of trapezoids and ovals. The Piazza’s columns are not vertically decorated like the Lincoln Memorial’s. The Memorial follows a Doric order. Instead of having open space to direct attention to the basilica, the Lincoln Memorial utilizes a huge fountain to focus on the main structure. The Piazza is much older than the Memorial. This is clearly seen through the rustic and aging colors of the Piazza. The Lincoln Memorial is much newer, therefore has a much brighter and modern color. While both utilize techniques from the Renaissance, they have distinct features which tell them apart.

Lincoln Memorial

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St. Peter’s Square

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-Ahmed, Team Mars

#1010unit4

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St. Jean Baptiste Church

While doing some research online I found the St. Jean Baptiste Church in the Upper East Side of New York. The church stands out from the neighborhood its located in. It looks as if it doesn’t belong in the Upper East Side. However, this is the beauty of art as it brings a piece of the past into the present. I found this church to be very similar to the Cathedral of Florence by Filippo Brunelleschi. You can see the resemblance between the domes of both structures. Both feature similar barrel hoops around the domes. There are lanterns on top of both domes as well. From the interior, both domes are painted with biblical art. I tried to research the structure of the St. Jean Baptiste Church but could not find out if the inside of the dome was hallow with an interior structure to support the dome like the Cathedral of Florence. Both structures also feature tower-like structures around the dome. While the tower from the Cathedral looks like something out of a Disney movie, the tower from the Baptiste Church is used to hold and ring bells. While both structures have similarities, they carry their own distinct features which help connect the past to the present.

-Ahmed, Team Mars

#1010Unit3

St. Jean Baptiste Church

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Cathedral of Florence

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Islam in Our Library

I was exploring and looking around the library when I stumbled upon this book titled “Great Ages of Man: Early Islam” by Desmond Stewart. The cover of this book relates to Unit 2 of our class. The figures on the cover can be compared to the Justinian Mosaic. Both pieces feature figures which appear similar, but have their own distinct traits. The figures on the book appear the same, just with different colored clothing and wings. In comparison, the figures in Justinian Mosaic all appear the same but with different clothing and pieces they’re holding. In contrast, most Islamic art at the time did not have figures displayed. The mihrab in the Great Mosque of Cordoba features a similar design to the center of the book’s cover. The horseshoe arch in the Great Mosque of Cordoba is visually similar to the shape on the center of the book. However, as a whole piece, they are complete opposites in the utilization of figures. It’s very interesting to be able to find pieces of art related to our Art1010 class in the Brooklyn College Library. It really helps us connect to the material in class and definitely makes me appreciate the class more.

-Ahmed, Team Mars

#1010Unit2

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References

Stewart, D. (1974). Great Ages of Man Early Islam. New York: Time Life.

Slavery in Chios

You’ve probably never heard of a place named Chios. You probably have no clue about it’s history and stories. Sara Forsdyke can help give you an idea. In Forsdyke’s article “SLAVES, STORIES, AND CULTS Conflict Resolution between Masters and Slaves in Ancient Greece”, she writes of a runaway slave, Drimakos. Drimakos had left behind his life as a slave and led other slaves to do the same. With some military experience, Drimakos fought against the Chian slave masters and was often victorious. Seeing the weak opponent, Drimakos developed a treaty with the Chian masters. Drimakos could take what he wanted from the Chians and in return, he would send back any runaway slaves without reasonable cause to leave. Drimakos, through time, had grown into a cruel authoritarian. So much so that runaway slaves would prefer to stay with their Chian masters rather than stay under Drimakos’ rule. Eventually, the city of Chios placed a bounty on Drimakos’ head. Drimakos was now old and allowed his young boyfriend to kill him and collect the bounty. The Chians eventually placed a shrine for Drimakos in the countryside, where runaway slaves would sacrifice things that they stole. Many Chians can sometimes see Drimakos in their sleep, where he warns them of their slaves’ plots. Forsdyke follows this story up with great analysis of other myths and historical events including slave rebellions.

The proper MLA citation of this article is as follows:

Forsdyke, Sara. “SLAVES, STORIES, AND CULTS: Conflict Resolution between Masters and Slaves in Ancient Greece.” Common Knowledge, vol. 21, no. 1, Jan. 2015, pp. 19–43., doi:10.1215/0961754x-2818001.

Forsdyke’s audience for this article would be anybody interested in the history and themes of slave rebellions. Many myths and stories, including the story of Drimakos, have come about from communities of either slaves or their masters. These stories help us connect with previous history and understand how life was for slaves or their masters.

Diodorus writes in “The Library, fragments from books 34/35″ of the first Sicilian slave revolt. “The rich men of Sicily rivalled the Italians in pride, greed, and wickedness; for many of the Italians who had great numbers of slaves had driven their shepherds to such a degree of villainy, that they allowed them to rob and steal, rather than provide them with any necessary subsistence.” (27). The evil behind the slave masters of Sicily can be compared to that of the Chians. Both slave masters allowed their slaves to steal in order to survive, rather than to properly feed them. The cruelty behind their actions helps us to understand the life and community of a slave master, similar to Forsdyke’s article.

-Ahmad B. Khan, Team Mars

New York County Courthouse

I walked past the New York County Courthouse a few weeks ago and noticed how similar it was to certain buildings we’ve discussed in class. From the front, it looks almost identical to The Pantheon in Rome. The Pantheon features a spherical body, in contrast to the County Courthouse’s hexagonal design. Besides that, they both have similar Doric Order elements to them. The shape and design of the cornice, frieze, and shafts are similar. The top of the columns are narrower than the bottoms. The pediments have similar shapes, however, they are designed differently. The Pantheon has a more basic/plain design compared to the Courthouse’s. Both have text written in similar fonts along the frieze. While the Pantheon does not have stairs leading up to the entrance, the Courthouse has very high steps. It feels elevated from the ground, unlike the Pantheon. It’s interesting seeing elements of Roman architecture around New York City, which has such a different history. It makes me understand and appreciate what Roman/Greek design has done for the rest of the world.

-Ahmed, Team Mars

#1010Unit1

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Greek Architecture in the Concrete Jungle

IMG_8257While in Downtown Brooklyn with my friends, we passed by the Borough Hall. This building reminded me of the Greek temples that we learned about in class. One reason it is like the Greek temples is that it is made out of marble, a common material used in Greek temples. Another Greek feature is the statue on top of the building. The statues in Greek temples were depictions of the gods. On the top of the cupola, there is a statue of Justice, which is a very important part of the government. This statue has Greek features such as the contrapposto  pose and  similar facial features as many Greek statues. The most Greek-like feature of this building is the columns in the front of the building. The type of column used on this building are Ionic columns. These columns can be identified as Ionic because of their scroll-like capitals and by their bases. Also, the Ionic styles is also identifiable by its running frieze. Unlike the Ionic friezes on the Greek temples, the friezes on Borough Hall do not have sculptures on them. On Ionic friezes on Greek temples, there are sculptures depicting famous Greek battles and stories. Also, Another difference that separates Borough Hall from the Greek temples of which its design was based on is its purpose. The purpose of Borough Hall is to act as a government building for the Borough of Brooklyn. Greek temples were used by Greeks as a place of worship. It is here where they would pray and give sacrifices to the gods. Each temple would represent a specific god, such as the Parthenon. The Parthenon was built in the city of Athens to represent the patron goddess of the city, Athena. Athena was the patron goddess of Athens because according to myth, she won it over Poseidon by gifting the city an olive tree. They also believe that Athens was created by Athena. We learned this story in Classics 1110 and in this story, Hephaestus, the smith god, tried to rape Athena, who is a virgin goddess, and he ejaculated on her leg and when she wiped it off and threw it on the ground, the earth goddess incubated it and made a baby. This baby would eventually become the city of Athens and Athenians believed that they were autochthonous, which means born out of soil. Even in today’s society, Ancient Greece’s influence can still be seen.

Articles used:

Article about Greek Temples

Article about Borough Hall

“He’s some king, right?”

After asking a few of my friends about their knowledge of Alexander the Great, it’s clear that most teens don’t know much of Alexander. Here are my interview answers:

Questions

1. Do you know who Alexander the Great was?

2. What do you know about him?

3. Where did you learn about him?

Interviews

Mizan Uddin (18, friend, my house)

  1. Yes, a little bit.
  2. He conquered Greece. I’m pretty sure he had a city under his name as Alexandria. He conquered far into Europe I believe.
  3. I learned this in middle school.

Minhajur Rahman (18, friend, my house)

  1. Vaguely.
  2. He’s well known because he killed a lot of people.
  3. I learned of him in 6th grade history class.

Ashfaq Ahmed (18, friend, my house)

  1. I’ve heard of him before.
  2. He was a king somewhere, right?
  3. I learned of him in my high school history class.

Analysis

It’s clear that 18 year olds (at least my friends) don’t know much about Alexander the Great. They all recall memories from middle school history classes. Besides that, almost nobody knows past that. They don’t know that Alexander’s empire was called Macedona. He studied under Aristotle from a young age. They knew his famous city was called Alexandria, but they didn’t know it was located in Egypt. They don’t know that it was a Hellenistic civilization. Mizan knew that Alexander the Great conquered much land, but he claimed he conquered western civilization. Alexander, in fact, conquered most of East Asia. They kept pushing more East, until Alexander eventually died and wasn’t able to rule the land he gained. He was a great conqueror, but not exactly a king. We’ll never know if he would’ve been a great king. His trip to this very distant land changed his attitude towards Persians. People didn’t view him the same and eventually he died.

Question of the Day

For this assignment, I had to ask three people these questions:

  1. Do you know who Alexander the Great was?
  2. What do you know about him?
  3. Where did you learn about him?

I asked my mom, my sister, and my friend these questions and these are the responses I got:

Clare Ryan, my mother, 57 years old, our home:

  1. Yes.
  2. He was a great Roman warrior.
  3. High School History Class

Kaitlyn Ryan, my sister, 16 years old, our home:

  1. Yes.
  2. He was an important Roman guy.
  3. Global I in High School

Maya Maharaj, my friend, 18 years old, Instagram Direct Message:

  1. I do, but vaguely.
  2. He was French or something.
  3. Middle School.

Between these three people, there wasn’t any true information about Alexander the Great. My mom was close when she said he was a great warrior, but he was Greek not Roman. After I told Kaitlyn he was Greek, she said that she knew that and that she got Rome and Greece mixed up and that she hadn’t learn about him since freshman year. Maya’s information was more inaccurate because she learned about him in middle school and couldn’t remember information about him. There wasn’t really a difference from what I learned in class and what they learn. The only real difference was that I learned this information recently and that they hadn’t learned about him for years. The correct information about Alexander the Great was that he was the Macedonian leader of the Greek Empire who expanded it all the way east to the Indus River. Him and his army would travel all over and conquer land all the way down in Egypt to the Indus River. He was often referred to as a god, some saying that he was a descendant of Heracles and Zeus. In Theocritus’ Idylls, it states, “At his side, regarding him with favor, sits Alexander, destroyer of the Persians, a god, wearing his colorful diadem.” This view was strengthen by the many images that portrayed Alexander as a god such as the Sardonyx Cameo that shows Alexander with ram horns on his head like the god, Ammon, to show his strength and power. Even though people seem to know very little about him, Alexander the Great is one of the greatest leaders in history and has had a large impact on history and future empires that came after him.

Alexanderthegreat

Image Link

 

Barbaric Atrocity in the World

Unfortunately, many atrocities occur in the modern world. An example of these atrocities is the deaths of Thato Salemane and Tumisang Lengau. These girls, ages 16 and 18, were brutally murdered and possibly raped on Friday, September 8th and discovered the next day. In the article, the provincial deputy police commissioner, Major-General Jones said,”To have such young vulnerable women killed in this barbaric manner is appalling and cannot be tolerated.” In this statement, the word barbaric is referring to the murderer/s and the brutal way they killed these girls. I think that this term is used justly for today’s meaning of the word because in modern society, barbarian, which is where the word barbaric is derived from, means a person in a savage, primitive state according to dictionary.com. If we are referring to the original meaning of the word, which is a non-Greek, then this word would be unfit, but since we are not, it is used justly. The target audience that this article is trying to reach is the general public because the police want to protect the public and to get as much information as they can about the girls’ murder. This article is meant to show that such horrific violence against anyone, especially women, will not be tolerated.

The word “barbarian” has been around since Ancient Greece. It has been used in the writing of Herodotus to describe non-Greek warriors throughout history. In his writing, Herodotus uses barbarian to describe the Persians. For example, Herodotus writes, “That was what the barbarians thought; but the Athenians, when they came to hand-to-hand fighting, fought right worthily” (Herodotus 47). I think in this context, Herodotus says barbarians in a negative context. This is because he uses Persians and barbarians interchangeably and he usually uses the term barbarian to describe the Persians when he is boasting about the Greeks like the example shown above. In both the article and Herodotus’s writings, barbaric and barbarian are used in a negative context. The difference is that Herodotus uses barbarian to describe non Greeks and to speak boastfully about Greeks and in the article, barbaric is used to describe the dark side and savagery of humanity.

“Barbaric.” Dictionary.com, Dictionary.com, http://www.dictionary.com/browse/barbaric?s=t.

Barbaric Definition

EtheridgeNew24, Jenna. “Two Teenage Girls Stabbed to Death in ‘Barbaric Manner’.”News24, News24, 10 Sept. 2017, http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/two-teenage-girls-stabbed-to-death-in-barbaric-manner-20170910.

Full Article

Kings vs. Terrorists

Barbarian, is generally a word with a negative connotation. Throughout human history, the word has been used to describe the “others.” If you’re not the usual, you’re barbaric. A great example of this is in Herodotus’ Histories; “Croesus, son of Alyattes, by birth a Lydian, was lord of all the nations to the west of the river Halys … So far as our knowledge goes, he was the first of the barbarians who had dealings with the Greeks, forcing some of them to become his tributaries, and entering into alliance with others. He conquered the Aeolians, Ionians, and Dorians of Asia, and made a treaty with the Lacedaemonians.” (1.6) Herodotus was a Greek historian and was describing King Croesus of Lydia. Since Croesus wasn’t like the Greeks, he’s called a barbarian although his achievements don’t sound as such. Describing the lands Croesus conquered and calling him a lord is contradictory to a barbarian. If Croesus was somehow Greek, he’d be heralded for his achievements.

A recent article from LifeZette features the use of the term barbarian as well. A student had posted on Facebook about a successful airstrike against ISIS: ‘“I’m glad we could bring these barbarians a step closer to collecting their 72 virgins.”’. Once again, barbarian is used to describe the “others” who are not the usual. Now I don’t support terrorism or ISIS at all, but why isn’t barbarian used to describe any events in America? Plenty of horrific crimes are and have been committed in America but I’ve never witnessed any suspects or criminals be called barbarian. Barbarian is used to describe the uncivilized but if an American commits an uncivilized act it’s supposed to be just a hiccup in society. This results in a split in communities where people are singled out because they’re similar to the barbarians. Racism and Islamophobia arise when a group of people is described much differently than others. Connotations and assumptions are brought into the mix and separation in society occurs.

A simple term such as barbarian can cause many problems in our society. Herodotus singled out Croesus as a barbarian, ignoring his achievements, and attributed to the negative connotation attached to the Eastern empires. A student singled out a group of people as barbarians which attribute to the rise of racism in our society. Both of these instances can be avoided and as a result, our society can become a less hateful one.

-Ahmed, Team Mars

“PC Madness: Student Investigated for Mocking ‘Barbarian’ Terrorists.” LifeZette, 5 Sept. 2017, http://www.lifezette.com/polizette/pc-madness-student-investigated-mocking-barbarian-terrorists/. Accessed 11 Sept. 2017.

 

Aphrodite and Cupid

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Nestled in between the humming streets of Manhattan lies the Elizabeth Street Garden. Amidst all the beautiful sculptures located there, I found these two statues. I believe one of them represents a variety of Aphrodite, the Roman version Venus. Venus has a much higher association with grapes and wine. Every year in April there would be a wine festival called Vinalia Urbana, where they would honor Venus, who the Romans regarded as the goddess of the average everyday wine. Her hair is also styled so that it appears her hair is flowing, which is seen in certain historical and modern reincarnations of art depicting Aphrodite and Venus, for example the painting titled The Birth Of Venus by Sandro Botticelli.

Another reason I believe that this could be a representation of the goddess is because of the statue situated a few feet away from her. Many of the statues in the Elizabeth Street Garden don’t seem to match however these two are very similar. This second statue bears resemblance to Cupid the son of Aphrodite, at one point cupid began being depicted as a chubby boy like the one sitting atop the fountain. Grapes also surround him and the statues are facing the same direction. It is not confirmed that either of these statues go together but I feel as if they could definitely be seen as representing Cupid and Aphrodite. I have chosen this quote from the Homer’s Odyssey, ‘The Song of Demodocus’ “Zeus’s daughter Aphrodite will always spurn me and love that devastating Ares” It shows how much Aphrodite loves Ares. Cupid, being the child of Ares and Aphrodite, is also a symbol of their love.

-Zunaira, Team Mars

How trustworthy are humans?

In the movie The Dark Knight, The Joker has a scene where he’s being interrogated by Batman. In this scene, The Joker is physically beaten but manages to win the altercation simply through words. He says “You see, their morals, their code, it’s a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble. They’re only as good as the world allows them to be. I’ll show you. When the chips are down, these… these civilized people, they’ll eat each other. See, I’m not a monster. I’m just ahead of the curve.”

Interrogation Scene

Recently, the Syrian Refugee Crisis has affected millions of people throughout the world and at a time where morals should’ve helped, instead people turned on one another. Millions of people required safety but instead, countries would close their borders and let people suffer. Everyone would like to claim that they’re helpful and kind, generous people but as soon as trouble showed up, all their morals were dropped. Realistically, no country could simply accept millions of people into their society with no consequences, however, banning entry and deporting people back to a place in turmoil is simply put, an immoral thing to do.

In the play “Medea”, human morals would go against the murder of others, especially children. However, Medea, who is going through a troubled time of her husband leaving her, breaks this moral by murdering her own two children. Before her husband left her, Medea assumingly would’ve never imagined committing such a horrendous act. However, as is clearly shown, a time of trouble or uneasiness can change people and cause them to do terrible things. This may be an extreme example but shows that rules and morals are easily broken. Humans are capable of doing terrible things to one another and are not as trustworthy as most of us assume.