Week 2 – Minoan Crete

Minoan Crete became a complex civilization by 2000 BC. The city of Knossos was excavated by Arthur Evans in 1899 and other settlements were found in other cities around the island.

The Minoan civilization had impressive palaces where the royalty lived, but they might at first have been religious centres. They had Kamares, eggshell-thin vases with abstract design in white and red and they also had Frescoes on walls at Knossos and also on Akrotini or Santorini. Frescoes usually had paintings of flowers, animals and even bull-leaping – which is interesting, since we do not know if they really jumped over bulls or if it had something to do with their beliefs. Their artwork focused on daily activities. In 1600 BC, some palaces were destroyed and then were rebuilt even more splendidly.

Their economy style is called the command or “palace” economy, meaning that palace officers told people what to make, took it to the palace and afterwards decided who gets what and divided it. There were also found bones from people and children who were most likely sacrificed.

Mionans used a language called “linear A”, but there were found some tablets using linear B, an early form of Greek language. It could either be that the Greeks forced them to use it or that they adopted willingly – either way it is a sign that they were no longer that powerful.

In 1425 BC, Cretan palaces except Knossos were destroyed again and a new civilization, using a new script, emerges and takes over Crete.

Hector

Hector was the son of King Priam of Troy and his wife, Hecuba. His wife was Andromache and he had a son called Astyanax. Hector was honest, trust-worthy and ready to defend Troy. Unfortunately for him, he was killed by Achilles after killing of Patroclus (thinking it was Achilles).

Trojan war

Started because Helena was taken away from Greeks by Paris of Troy. The war originated from a quarrel between the goddess Hera, Athena and Aphrodite, after Eris gaves them a golden apple (sometimes known as the Apple of Discord), marked “for the fairiest”. Zeus sent the goddesses to Paris, who then judged Aphrodite as the “fairest”. In exchange, Aphrodite made Helen fall n love with Paris, who took her to Troy. Agamemnon, king of Mycenae and the brother of Helen’s husband Menelaus, led an expedition to Troy and besieged the city for 10 years because of Paris’ insult.

Achilles gets angry, because Crises, daughter of Apollo’s priest, was taken by Agamemnon and Apollo is offended. Greeks want Agamemnon to give up Chryseis, which he agrees to only if Achilles gives up Brises, leading to Achilles being angry, thinking that Agamemnon always takes all Achilles wins himself. Patroclaus persuades Achilles to let him wear his armour and shield and pretend that Achilles went back to the battle, boosting the morale of fighters. Achilles grieves and goes onto a murdering rampage. Achilles later confronts Hector, the killer of Patroclaus, and kills him, then drags his body. Priam then begs Achilles for the body of his son, Hector, and Achilles start to grieve again and then agrees to a multi-day funeral in honour of Hector.

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