Saturday, September 24, 2016

Importance of Historical Context

Several days ago in class, Ms. Quinet detailed the Minoan historical background in order to depict the relevance of events such as the Persian Wars, Dark/Golden Ages for the Athenians, and impact of Pericles. I think this context has given me greater insight and understanding of the historical and socioeconomic setting that influenced the Greeks. I think some of the most important events and details that she mentioned include the struggle between establishing democracy for the Athenian government while having tyrants in place, the role of women, slaves, and metics ("foreign aliens") as being rather insignificant and nonexistent in late 500 BC Athenian society, along with the Council of 400 & 500 that dictated voting. I also believe the outcome of the Persian Wars, which Pericles depicts in his funeral oration, signifies the outlook Athenians had toward their future prospects, symbolizing why Pericles attempts to "market" Athens in a positive manner and suggest their lives are balanced all the while promoting nationalism. 

3 comments:

Luke Jeanfreau said...

I think it's also important to look at historical context when looking at things like Athenian democracy. Compared to modern democracy, Athenian democracy would seem atrocious, with very few citizens actually able to vote. But, at the time, this placed a very large amount of power on the people compared to other states at the time.

Luke Jeanfreau said...

I think it's also important to look at historical context when looking at things like Athenian democracy. Compared to modern democracy, Athenian democracy would seem atrocious, with very few citizens actually able to vote. But, at the time, this placed a very large amount of power on the people compared to other states at the time.

Julia Scofield said...

Context is important. As Luke said, now when reviewing Greecian democracy, we would see that it was unfair, with less than 10% being able to vote. The voter population included only male landowners. Knowing this will help to give the next piece of literature that we read context.