Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute Home

The Warrior Role in Greek Society

by
Anthony F. Magaraci II


Contents of Curriculum Unit 98.03.09:

To Guide Entry


As a teacher of World Cultures, and particularly Ancient Civilizations, I think it is important to expose students to various aspects of each culture and make an attempt to recreate the past conditions in those societies. This provides students with the means to arrive at a subjective awareness of themselves as members of contemporary society, while gathering the necessary objective knowledge of past events to meet this end. Although past and present experiences differ substantially, the process of discerning these differences can lead to an eventual understanding of oneself in his/her place in time. I recall one of my history professors in undergraduate school stating: "If only people would learn from history more often, then the world would be a better place to live in." Thus, a good lesson in history is a good lesson in life.

Much of our interpretation of past events, and, in general, of life in the past, is influenced by our own expectations of the way we believe life should have been experienced by others. This is based upon our understanding of our own experiences. Although many people might argue that it is impossible to fully understand the experiences of those who have lived thousands of years ago, I would argue that it is equally impossible to gather a full understanding of one's own experiences or existence unless a comparison is readily available. Thus, the process of studying history and of establishing one's identity in modern society necessarily becomes the process of discovering comparisons and contrasts found in the various civilizations systematically over time. The prospect of adequately accomplishing this task may appear less than possible for many students, and certainly holds true for a great number of adults. For this reason, I believe that the most advantageous approach to the study of any ancient civilization should commence with a focus upon an aspect of society which is consistently present over a lengthy period of time. This aspect of ancient society should also be present in contemporary society so that comparisons and contrasts can be readily observed. This especially holds true when the ancient civilization in question was rich in culture, and credited with heavily contributing to many aspects of our own society and culture.

The cultures which most accurately meet these criteria are found among the Ancient Greek Civilizations. Greek culture was initially developed by the Minoans and Mycenaens, and reached its pinnacle with Athens and Sparta during the Classical Period. Throughout this time, culture blossomed in such areas as religion, mythology, philosophy, political structure, literature, theatre, art, music, science, mathematics, architecture, and economics. Certainly, Greek society was the equivalent, if not the epitome, of most ancient and contemporary cultures. Simultaneously, the advancement of Greek culture was consistently accompanied by warfare.

The Ancient Greek city-states and their experience with military conflicts throughout their lengthy history were reflective of societal aspirations; the desire to increase and/or preserve the potential for cultural development. The Myceneans were warriors who often fought among themselves, and at other times raided their neighbors with pirate fleets. Spartan boys began training for war by the age of seven. The desire of members of the Spartan aristocracy to maintain great military strength was a priority in their society. In the sixth century B.C. Sparta overthrew Athens. The Spartans and other Greek city-states were overthrown by the Macedonians by 371 B.C. Athens also prided itself on a strong military establishment. Together with several other city-states, Athens fought a series of sporadic wars with the Persians which extended-over a period of forty-one years, 520- 479 B.C. Finally, Athens, an increasingly powerful city-state, found itself engaged in war with Sparta and a number of other lesser Greek city-states. The Peloponnesian war, which was fought from 431-404 B.C. signaled the eventual decline of the Classical Greek civilization.1

Warfare played a constant and significant role in the development of Greek culture. This is apparent in the depiction of military conflicts on various artifacts which have survived over the centuries. The Greek warrior is located among the largest artifacts, buildings and statues, and among the smallest, coins. The warrior is also painted on vases. These objects are all reflective of Greek culture, and of the impact war had upon the people who created and used these objects. The most abundant of these artifacts are the hundreds of vases which have been collected over the years. Among these vases are the "Athenian Red-Figure vases and Attic Black Figure Vases."

The development of this unit will proceed upon the premise that wars had a direct impact upon the development of Greek culture and the people who have identified with this experience to create their cultural identity within that society. The development of this unit will establish a direct correlation between culture and the artists' expression of that culture on ceramic jars in representations of war.

to top


PRIMARY GOALS:

This unit will commence with an extensive examination of the various individual categories which are collectively culture: mythology, science, philosophy, architecture, art, government, economics, and trade. Students will discover how people's lives were influenced by the conditions experienced within the city-states, in particular, Sparta and Athens. Particular consideration is given to warfare because of its impact upon the various aspects of culture found within these Greek societies. Therefore, warfare is the focal point from which our study of Greek culture proceeds. Increasingly important is the students' awareness of Greek warfare and its impact upon the individual. Students are challenged with the prospect of discovering why these wars were fought. Were they fought for worthy reasons? Did people achieve their goals through the act of fighting? What alternatives to warfare existed which might have further benefited society? What was the cost in terms of lives and property as a result of warfare?

Students also discover how people's thoughts and actions contributed to the unique conditions found within a particular society, and how these people expressed their life experiences as it was related to warfare. This is accomplished by an extensive study of art and artifacts, in particular, Red and Black Figure Amphorae. By interpreting artifacts, students will discover that the Greeks reflected their culture and society through artistic expressions of warfare.

Accompanying this portion of the unit is an examination of the influences Greek culture has had upon contemporary society, especially in the areas of science, math, architecture, medicine, philosophy, and government. For example, students will learn that our democratic form of government was very similar to the Greek system in Athens. A comparison and contrast can be made by an examination of both political processes. In Athens, all governmental policies and laws were made by the assembly, a body of all adult men who were also citizens. Participation in the governmental process was encouraged of all those eligible to attend. From this body, a council numbering five-hundred was elected for one year terms. The membership represented the ten tribes of Athens equally. The responsibility of the council was to prepare laws which would be voted upon by the assembly. The most powerful role in government was held by the ten generals. The generals were also elected for one year terms, but could be reelected for more than one term, similar to the executive branch of our government. The generals controlled the military within their particular tribes, similar to the governors of each state in our nation who control the national guard.2

Sparta, on the other hand, resembled an aristocracy which can be compared to the ante-bellum South. The citizens of Sparta were direct descendants of the original aristocracy who first established this polis. All others were either freemen or serfs. Laws were established for the benefit of the citizens, not for the freemen, and certainly not for serfs. Only citizens were trained for military service, although the serfs were called upon when needed to fill a military role.3 This was an option which did not exist for citizens of the old South. Examples such as the one presented above allow students to develop values for themselves as members of society. Questions can be raised which carry forward this aspect of the unit. One question could be, "How do you think serfs felt about their societal condition?" Another question might be, "What disadvantages existed for the aristocracies of both Sparta and the old South as a result of limitations and burdens placed upon an entire social class of people?"

The unit will conclude with students learning how to create replicas of ceramic jars for the purpose of expressing the cultural influences found within contemporary society, as they affect the students as individuals. Students will discover methods for creating pottery, and the procedures for creating painted scenes or figures on pottery by working collaboratively with a member of the school art staff. Students, having previously discovered the role individuals play in creating cultural influences and their methods of artistic expression, will then create painted ceramic jars which reflect their own cultural experiences and identities. The jars will be two-dimensional for ease of construction. The scenes painted on the jars will represent one or more facets of life which reflect importance for the individual student.

to top


TEACHING APPROACHES:

Students will be given the opportunity to become active participants throughout the entire unit. A number of activities, such as role-plays and simulations will be incorporated in an attempt to further student comprehension of the historical content presented. These activities also serve specifically to recreate the societal conditions of ancient Athens and Sparta. This permits students to relate their personal value system to the factual events which shaped the history of both civilizations, thus allowing for a subjective understanding of past conditions. The majority of students will be challenged by the prospect of constructing value judgments, especially at the high school level where many students have reached the cognitive maturity to undertake this task, but have not gained practical experience from application. This approach not only stimulates interest in the unit's concepts, but also creates avenues for students to acquire a sense of personal awareness.

Many aspects of Greek culture lend themselves to this type of teaching approach. For instance, the Homeric epic, the Iliad, provides students with a pattern of thought prevalent in Greek society during the Classical Period. A great portion of the Iliad is devoted to the conflict among both gods and men, an eternal struggle experienced by both entities. Particularly interesting is Homer's glorification of war where he reveals his belief that men can only discover their true worth when engaged in battle. Both concepts are found in Homer's account of the Trojan War. Yet Homer alluded to the futility of man's fate. The right choice made by any warrior would lead to an eventual brief but glorious existence. The triumphs of mankind have their price.4

Teachers may ask students, "Do you agree with Homer's concept of man's eternal struggle?" or, "Does Homer's concept of man discovering his true worth hold true in our society, and did it hold true for Athens?"

to top


LESSON OUTLINES:

The unit will begin with an introduction to ancient Greece in which students are exposed to a number of facts concerning Greek culture in the areas of mythology, astronomy, architecture, art, and artifacts. These categories will appeal to the wide range of interests within the classroom. My intention is for students to identify with several aspects of Greek culture which can also be identified with twentieth century thought in the western world. A brief segment on geography follows the introduction. Students learn the location of the various city-states within the overall region, and the climate and the natural resources available to these ancient civilizations. Students will search for possible trade routes, and describe early patterns of life as they were determined by the physical geography. Of special interest is the cultural achievement of the Minoans as made manifest at the Palace of Knossos, Crete.

Students will begin a study of mythology in an attempt to discover characteristics of daily life and thought found in ancient Greek society. The ancient Greeks assigned their gods mortal traits and weaknesses. Therefore, students are expected to gather insight of ancient Greek society through the actions of their gods. Students have the opportunity to learn the legends of the following gods through role-play activities: Zeus, lord of Olympus; Hera, queen of Heaven; Hestia, goddess of the home; Athena, goddess of wisdom; Demeter, goddess of agriculture; Apollo, god of music, archery, medicine and prophecy; Eros, god of love; Aphrodite, goddess of love; Ares, god of war; Poseidon, god of the sea; Hades, lord of the underworld; and Persephone, his queen.5 Students are provided an excellent opportunity to discover the importance placed upon warfare in relation to other aspects of culture as revealed by various mythological tales.

For example, Ares, the god of war, and his brother and sister, were always eager to engage the enemy in battle. Yet they were, more often than not, unsuccessful. Warfare made Hades, the god of the underworld, happy because he received a steady stream of newly slain warriors for his kingdom. Once people entered the underworld, they assumed their fate as determined by Hades based upon their actions in the world prior to death.6 Discovering how this type of legend unfolds prompts students to place their values within the context of the lesson. For instance, students can be asked, "To what extent can a society claim to be advanced (all innovations) when the extent of this cultural advancement, and of life itself, rests in the balance of warfare and destruction of man?" Also, "Why were the Greeks compelled to worship the will of gods, whose desires ultimately led to man's own destruction?" Of notable interest, Ares was the god who supported and protected the Trojans in their struggle with the Greeks, while Athena, the goddess of wisdom, supported the Greek side.7 An appropriate question to ask students would be, "Do you think both civilizations would have fought for long, or at all, had they worshipped the same god?"

Athena, also the daughter of Zeus, was credited with teaching mankind how to weave cloth and make the wheel, ax, plough, flute and trumpet. She often settled disputes peacefully, but was also skilled in the art of warfare.8 A clear connection between culture and warfare can be established here.

The next avenues of research provide students with different opportunities to examine aspects of Greek culture which have influenced both ancient Greece and the modern world, and those members of society who have made these advancements and contributions.

In the area of medicine students learn that Hippocrates, a medical practitioner, was the first person to establish a scientific approach to medicine. Hippocrates founded a school for medicine where dissection of corpses was performed in an attempt to understand how the human body functioned. He also established a code of practice for other doctors to follow. Hippocrates believed that careful observation and attention to the patient's overall condition was the key to discovering and curing illness. Many doctors still practice this code today.9

In the area of mathematics, students discover that Euclid introduced basic concepts such as the "line" and the "angle", both of which he described within the context of space.10 The geometric mathematician Pythagoras is noted for his contribution to the basics of science. The Pythagorean theorem identifies the "equality in the unequal elements forming the sides and hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle."11 Thus, a relationship is established between all things and space. Pythagoras is also known for his contributions to music and astronomy where he applied his geometric principles.

Pictures of buildings such as the Parthenon in Athens, with its Doric columns, show evidence that knowledge of "angles, proportions, and views" used in geometry were applied to construction and design.12 For example, the columns of the Parthenon are slightly fatter in the middle than at both ends. The columns were designed in this manner to offset the concave appearance which is experienced by the human eye.13 Similar building designs found in contemporary society such as the Court House in New Haven provide students with evidence of the influence of Greek mathematical achievement, and suggests where and how comparisons and contrasts can be formed.

The next portion of the unit focuses on the exploration of various aspects of Greek warfare. Concepts such as hoplite, armor, weapons, formations, and tactics are presented in an attempt to expose students to the warrior's experience as this relates to the influence warfare had on society and culture. This inquiry lends itself to role-plays, when students can re-enact famous battles or the life-style of warriors. The impact warfare had upon the outcome of Greek civilization is an important goal in this unit segment.

The life-style of the Athenian hoplite demonstrates this point. The hoplites were not only soldiers, but also farmers, businessmen, traders, and rich men. These people felt it was their civic duty to report for military service in time of need. The hoplites represented the majority of citizens. They were not full-time soldiers. Rather, they resembled the role people play in modern society during time of war.14

Much of a boy's education and role in Athenian society was influenced by warfare. Although a paid education varied depending upon the financial status of the parent, most boys whose parents could afford to pay for an education learned the fundamentals of fighting. This was accomplished through athletic training in the form of "fitness exercises, jumping, wrestling, throwing the discus and javelin, and boxing".15 At the age of eighteen, all men were required to serve in the military for two years as cadets. During the first year of service, these young men were required to live in barracks outside Athens. Cadets were taught to handle weapons, dress in armor, and drill. During the second year of service, cadets were required to garrison forts along the outskirts of the city. After this two year term, cadets returned to private life where they awaited to be called upon to fight if necessary.16

The unit proceeds with an introduction to Greek art and artifacts. Students view objects which reflect warfare. A great portion of these objects are painted amphorae. Particular attention will be given to the iconography found on the vessels. This iconography (in the form of paintings) depicts Greek hoplites engaged in battle or the epic struggles of the mythological gods. Students will be challenged to speculate on what exactly the artists were expressing in their paintings, and why a great emphasis was placed on this aspect of Greek society. Students are also expected to identify the various forms of vessels manufactured over time.

A prime example of this type of artifact is an Attic Black-Figure Amphora found in the Yale University Art Gallery (catalog #1.1994.1). The object is reflective of Greek society as denoted by the iconographic inscriptions along the panels of the object. Here we have depictions of warfare. In one panel, the goddess Athena, and the god Ares are engaged in battle with two giants. The gods are triumphant as evidenced by the timely retreat of the two giants. On the other panel four figures are preparing a warrior (the fifth figure) for battle. Here we grasp the relationship of gods and mankind; the shared traits and experiences of both beings which symbolized much of their existence.

Although the object reflects conflict, the fact that it is a vessel used for carrying food, wine, or water, and not an object used in battle becomes a point of particular interest. Most people experience contentment after receiving nourishment, or knowing that a life sustaining and necessary supply of material is readily available. Most people would also argue that the presence of military conflict becomes a threat to one's existence. Warfare threatens a change in familiarity with one's environment, and in many instances, death or extermination. I find this to be a curious relationship, and one which leads to speculation concerning the connection between culture and warfare. Greek pottery was a basic essential of the survivability of their culture, yet warfare was a direct challenge to that culture.

The depiction of warfare may appear to be the anti-thesis to cultural development at first glance. Students should be made aware that military conflicts resulted in the destruction of the Greek civilizations and their cultures. Yet, the preservation of societies, and of their cultural identities, would have also depended upon their ability to defend themselves against hostile forces. Warfare was quite common among the ancient Greeks, and although the act of warfare cannot be directly credited with the development of culture, it is a fact that intermittent wars accompanied this development and concomitant changes in cultural identity, while influencing people's perception of society. Cultural development and identity rests with the balance of successful and unsuccessful military conflicts.

Mythology can also be credited with influencing cultural identity. Most historians will argue that religious beliefs form the foundations of cultural identity. Holding this notion to be true, and taking into consideration that Greek gods assumed mortal roles and weaknesses, we can assume that the attic black-figure amphora and its simultaneous reflection of men and gods in military conflict, is an accurate perception of one aspect of Greek culture. This would certainly hold true for the artist who painted this vessel during his/her lifetime, and at one point in Greek history.

I would like to remind you that many gods existed for the Greeks. Caution must be used when placing an emphasis on the importance of warfare and its influence upon Greek culture. The degree of emphasis upon warfare and culture must be in relation to the frequency and lengths of wars fought among the various polis. Also, time intervals between wars must be taken into consideration when determining culture. (see page 3) An examination of the various roles gods assumed in mythology, on earth and in the heavens, is imperative when determining Greek culture.

In the final segment of the unit, attention is given to various comparisons and contrasts found between the city-states of Athens and Sparta. Those aspects of society which comprise their individual cultural identities are given considerable emphasis. Students are expected to discover how warfare directly influenced the cultural identities or development of the two polis. For instance, students will discover that Athens, while not considered a military city-state, found itself entangled in conflicts to preserve its cultural identity as a peaceful and refined civilization. On one occasion, Sparta, a fierce warrior polis, chose not to fight because of a religious superstition.17 Students will analyze the decisions of those in power as they influenced the outcome of history. Students then speculate on the probable outcome or effects upon those polis involved in the various military conflicts had other decisions been made by those in control. For instance, had the Persians been successful in their military pursuits against the Greeks, how might the culture of Athens and Sparta been changed? What changes to contemporary society might have occurred? Students must recall their previous knowledge of the Persian culture in their attempt to infer the various possibilities.

At various times throughout this segment, and whenever appropriate, students will view slides of Athenian vases to assist them in discovering changes in attitudes about the society in which the Greeks lived. Students will detect subtle changes in culture throughout this process by observing changes in style exhibited by the pottery makers and artists who painted them as they were affected by warfare.

to top


A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF ATHENS AND SPARTA:

Shortly after the Mycenaean victory at Troy, circa 1250 BC., a series of civil wars broke out between the several Mycenaean palaces. After one-hundred years of infighting the Dorians entered the area and defeated the weakened Mycenaeans. The Aegean then entered a dark age when a great cultural decline was experienced by all inhabitants of the region. This lasted until 800 B.C.. During this period, individual groups of herding and farming communities calling themselves Hellenes (Greeks) began rebuilding their own societies in individual communities. It is from these communities that the various Greek polis arose, each with its own cultural identity.18

Sparta was like no other city-state in Greece. The social system was made up of three classes which were hierarchical and specialized. Only the citizens (Homoioi) of Sparta were considered equal and possessed political rights. Those people belonging to this class were born into it. Citizens received an education provided by the state and were permitted to live on rented land. They were not permitted to undertake farming or commercial activity. Their sole purpose in life was to serve in the military.19

The freemen, or perioikoi, were farmers and animal herders who often practiced a trade. Although they enjoyed freedom, they had no rights, and therefore, no influence upon political decisions. The third and lowest class consisted of the Helots. Members of this group were servants of the aristocrats who owned the land and held powerful political influence. They were forced to pay rent and cultivate the land for Spartan citizens. Periodically, the Helots were forced into military service for the state, but they did not enjoy the rights and privileges of the other two classes. Therefore, they did not receive protection from the law.20

Sparta had its own constitution and was governed by two kings, ephors, a council, and an assembly. The kings held complete control over the military. The ephors were magistrates who made sure that respect for the law was upheld, supervised the education of children, and ruled in civil cases. The council, or senate, was comprised of twenty-eight members of the aristocracy who were elected for life. The council held responsibility for making foreign policy, judging high court decisions, and assisting the assembly in making important decisions. The assembly was made up of all the citizens. Their job was to vote or ratify decisions made by the council.21

Sparta was never the economic equal of the other polis. But it did prosper in the areas of agriculture and stock raising. They exported ceramic works to China in return for ivory. These vessels were deep and decorated with birds. The people of Sparta loved poetry, music, and dance. Architecturally, Sparta contained religious temples complete with bronze reliefs.22

In the middle of the sixth century B.C., Sparta suddenly decided to alienate itself from the outside world. Cultural advancement in the form of architecture and pottery making declined rapidly. The leaders of Sparta feared that outside influences would weaken their strength, the ruggedness necessary for survival. From this time forward, the leaders of Sparta decided to devote their lives to developing military strength.23

Athens also had a constitution and an assembly. However, in comparison to Sparta, the entire population was encouraged to participate in all aspects of government. All men had the right to vote by the age of eighteen. Property qualifications were not mandatory. Voters selected an assembly or senate which passed laws favoring the majority of citizens. Athens was the first true democratic polis. As a result of this democratic system, citizens of Athens became culturally and economically wealthy.24

It is estimated that three quarters of Athenians owned land. There was great economic interest in the land, and in trade and manufacturing. Although both a rich and poor class existed in and around the city, the overall wealth of the population surpassed that of other polis. There were an estimated sixty to eighty thousand slaves owned by the Athenians collectively. It was not unusual for a citizen of even marginal wealth to own one or two slaves.25

Unlike Sparta, all citizens or men aged eighteen were eligible for military service. This was not a hierarchical society, although it was usually the rich and middle class who were called to fight. There were approximately twelve thousand paid members in the navy. Vessels were maintained and commanded privately by the rich class of citizens.26

Athens was the cultural hotbed of Greek civilization. It was known for its writers, artists, scientists, and philosophers. Athens became famous throughout the Aegean for its fine painted vases testament to the highly sought after culture of Athens.27

to top


LESSON PLANS:

Lesson Plan #1: (Three Days)

Purpose: To provide an introduction to Greek culture which prompts students' interest in the unit topic

Objective: Students will become familiar with the various amphorae and iconography depicting the aspects of Greek culture concerning warfare and mythology. Students will learn that the iconography is reflective of the individual in Greek culture.

Activity: Students will view slides of the various types of Greek amphora and observe the iconography as it relates to art, warfare, and mythology. Students will speculate upon the possible meaning of the iconography.

Materials: 1. Slide Projector 2. Slides (prepared from Greek Vases: A Guide to the Yale Collection: by Susan Matheson). Vocabulary: Amphora, Hydria, Pelike, Stamnos, Skyphos, Kantharos, Kylix, Lekythos, Squat Lekythos, Oinochoe, Column Krater, Calyx Krater, Arballos, Alabastron, Pyxis, Iconography, and, Culture. Part 1: Direct approach/ 15 minutes. A. The teacher will begin the lesson by asking students "What is culture?" and "How does art reflect the culture of a society?"

B. All students will have five minutes to respond by writing down their answers in their notebooks.

C. Each student will have an opportunity to report his/her answer to the class.

D. The teacher will follow-up student responses and instruct students to write the following statements in their notebooks.

1. "All artistic expression reflects how the artist perceives society and culture."

2. "All artistic expression is the result of societal influences upon the individual."

3. "Much can be learned about the culture of a society if we learn how to interpret artistic expression correctly."

Part 2: Inquiry/ 20 minutes.

A. The teacher will operate the film projector enabling students to view the slides of Greek vases.

B. The teacher will identify each style of vase presented in the slides.

C. Students will write down the description of shapes for each vase for each slide presented. The descriptions will be gathered from both teacher and student responses.

D. The teacher and students will describe the iconography found on three vases and base their answers on the following questions or statements.

1. Describe the basic shapes painted on the vase.

2. Do these shapes represent anything recognizable?

3. What are the predominant colors used to paint the vases?

4. Why has the artist chosen to portray this scene?

5. What cultural significance does the scene suggest existed for the ancient Greeks?

Part 3: Closure/ 10 minutes

A. The teacher will review the main concepts covered in the lesson.

B. Students will verbally respond to teacher directed questions which review these concepts.

C. On the third day, students will take a 10 minute quiz which reflects their grasp of the concepts.

to top


Lesson Plan #2:

Purpose: To recognize the relationship between Greek mythology and Greek culture.

Objective: Students will discover how the gods in Greek myth assumed mortal traits and weakness, and how these tales, in turn, influenced the way people lived.

Activity: Students will read The Rival Twins in Michael Gibson's Gods, Men & Monsters and complete the question and answer sheet.

Materials: Copies of 1. The Rival Twins, 2. Question and Answer Sheets, 3. Vocabulary Definitions Vocabulary: Castor, Polydeuces, Idas, Lynceus, Zeus, Sparta, Poseidon, mortal, outraged, Marpessa, suitors, chariot, Apollo, Messene, spurned, and Olympus.

Part 1: Direct approach/ 15 minutes

A. The teacher will begin the lesson by asking students "Why do you think mythology was important to the Greeks?" "How do the actions of the gods resemble the actions of people?" and "Do you think mythology influenced the way people lived or do you think people invented these tales to reflect on their own lives?"

B. All students will have seven minutes to respond by writing down their answers in their notebooks.

C. Each student will have an opportunity to report his/her answers to the class.

D. The teacher will follow-up student responses and instruct students to write the following statements in their notebooks.

1. "All Greek gods assumed mortal traits and weaknesses."

2. "Most Greeks felt it was their duty to meet the gods' expectations of people."

3. "The Greeks modeled the existence of gods after their own existence."

4. "We can learn compare Greek mythology to actual events which unfolded in history."

Part 2: Inquiry/ 15 minutes

A. The teacher will pass out a copy of each handout to the students.

B. Students will read The Rival Twins and answer all problems on the question and answer sheet, using the vocabulary guide to assist them.

C. The teacher will monitor the activity and provide assistance when necessary.

Part 3: Cooperative/ 10 minutes

A. The teacher will instruct students to provide evidence gathered from their handouts which would prove the above statements correct.

B. Students will verbally report their answers to the class.

C. The teacher will follow-up student responses.

Part 4: Closure/ 5 minutes.

A. The teacher will review the main concepts of the lesson and provide the students with concluding comments.

B. The teacher will answer any final questions concerning the topic which students may have.

to top


Lesson Plan #3: (Six Days)

Purpose: To provide students with an understanding of military life and warfare.

Objectives: Students will learn how Athenian men trained for fighting, their military service, how warfare brought about sports, battle tactics, formations, and weaponry.

Activity: Students will read six handouts, one handout per day and complete question and answer sheets. Students will speculate on how warfare might have affected life in Greek society through classroom discussions.

Materials: Copies of all reading materials, question and answer sheets, and vocabulary guides for each day. In Martin Windrow's The Greek Hoplite, A Citizen's Duty, Every Man an Athlete, Military Service, The Hoplite's Equipment, Battle Formation, Battle Tactics.

Vocabulary: Athens, Classical Period, Hoplite, Metics, Discus, Javelin, Cadets, Tunics, Barracks, Garrison, Public Pension, Cuirass, Greaves, Formations, and Phalanx

Part 1: Direct approach/ 10 minutes.

A. The teacher will begin each lesson by asking students questions which prompt curiosity or interest in the topic to be learned. For example, on day one the concepts of the lesson are introduced as follows. "Why did the citizens of Athens feel it was necessary to always be prepared for war?" "How was society structured in a manner which made it possible for citizens to have time for war?"

B. All students will have five minutes to respond by writing down their answers in their notebooks.

C. Each student will have an opportunity to report his/her answers to the class.

D. The teacher will follow-up student responses and instruct students to write the following statements in their notebooks.

1. "The Greek hoplites were ordinary citizens who were willing to fight to protect their way of life."

2. "Every citizen had a vested interest in society."

3"Citizens had time to fight because most people owned slaves and metics who could conduct daily business."

Part 2: Inquiry/ 15 minutes.

A. The teacher will pass out a copy of each handout to the students.

B. Students will read A Citizen's Duty and answer all problems on the question and answer sheet, using the vocabulary guide to assist them. C. The teacher will monitor the activity and provide assistance when necessary.

Part 3: Cooperative/ 15 minutes.

A. The teacher will instruct students to provide evidence gathered from their handouts which would prove the above statements correct.

B. Students will report their answers to the class.

C. The teacher will follow-up student responses.

Part 4: Closure/ 5 minutes.

A. The teacher will review the main concepts of the lesson and provide conclusive comments.

B. The teacher will answer any final questions concerning the topic which students may have.

References 1 Greenbladt, Lemmo. Human Heritage. 1989. pg. 175.

2 Grant, Neil. The Greeks. 1990. pp. 13-14.

3 Burckhardt, Jacob. History of Greek Culture. 1963. pp. 18-23

4 Crow, John A. Greece. The Magic Spring: 1970. Pg- 49.

5 Gibson, Michael. Gods, Men & Monsters. 1977. pp. 6, 7.

6 Gibson, Michael. pg. 41.

7 G ibson, Michael. pg. 41.

8 Gibson, Michael. pp. 53, 56.

9 Grant, Neil. pg. 41.

10 Grant, Neil. pg. 42.

11 Leveque, Pierre. The Greek Adventure. 1968. pp. 217-218.

12 Grant, Neil. pg. 34.

13 Grant, Neil. pg. 35

14 Windrow, Martin. The Greek Hoplite. 1985. pg. 6.

15 Windrow, Martin. pg. 8.

16 Windrow, Martin. pg. 10.

17 Leveque, Pierre. pg. 242.

18 Greenbladt, Lemmo. pp. 159, 160.

19 Leveque, Pierre. pg. 162.

20 Leveque, Pierre. pg. 163.

21 Leveque, Pierre. pp. 165, 166.

22 Leveque, Pierre. pp. 169, 171.

23 Leveque, Pierre. pg. 172.

24 Grant, Neil. pp. 12, 14.

25 Burckhardt, Jacob. pg. 49.

26 Grant, Neil. pg. 14.

27 Crow, John A.. pp. 203-205

to top


Teacher Annotated Bibliography

Burckhardt, Jacob. History of Greek Culture: New York: Frederick Ungar Pub. Co.. 1963.

This volume provides readers with a good knowledge of Greek culture; the fine arts, poetry and music, philosophy, science, and oratory, as they relate to the development of Greek history.

Crow, John A.. Greece: The Magic Spring: New York: Harper & Row Pub. 1963.

Provides readers with an in depth knowledge of the development of Ancient Greece from the Doric invasion through the Greek Renaissance. This Volume allows readers to develop insight into the psyche of Greek thought as it was related to historical events.

Gibson, Michael. Gods, Men & Monsters: New York: Peter Bedrick Books. 1977.

Provides both teachers and students with a detailed account of the various Greek mythology. This book provides readers a unique opportunity to learn how Greek history was influenced by religious beliefs.

Grant, Neil. The Greeks: How They Lived: New York: Brian Trodd Pub. House Ltd. l990.

Provides students easy to understand concepts which describe the basic aspects of ancient Greek society and culture.

Greenbladt, Lemmo. Human Heritage: A World History: Ohio: Merrill Pub. Co.. 1989.

Provides teachers and students with background information concerning ancient Greek culture and major turning points in their history.

Leveque, Pierre. The Greek Adventure: Ohio: The World Pub. Co.. 1968.

This volume describes the rise of Greek civilization from the Neolithic period to its decline with the Roman Conquest. The cultural influence of the Greek polis on civilizations such as China and India and among other polis is given considerable attention.

Windrow, Martin. The Greek Hoplite: New York: Franklin Watts Ltd. 1985.

Provides students knowledge of all aspects of Greek warfare; weaponry, training, tactics, and military life.

to top


Student Annotated Bibliography

Connolly, Peter. The Greek Armies: Morristown: Silver Burdett Company, 1979.

Provides students with easy to read and comprehend material which covers weaponry, battle tactics, fortifications, and the historic battle of Salamis.

Gay, Kathlyn. Science in Ancient Greece: New York: Franklin Watts, 1988.

Provides students with knowledge of ancient Greek advancements and contributions in the areas of philosophy, astronomy, mathematics and geometry, geography, and, physicians and anatomists.

Grant, Neil. The Greeks: How They Lived: New York: Brian Trodd Publishing House Limited, 1990.

Provides students easy to understand concepts which describe the basic aspects of ancient Greek society and culture. Gibson, Michael. Gods, Men & Monsters: New York: Peter Bedrick Books, 1977.

Provides both teachers and students with a detailed account of various mythology. This book provides readers a unique opportunity to learn how Greek history was influenced by religious beliefs.

Mellersch, H., E., L. Minoan Crete: Life In Ancient Lands: New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1967.

Provides students with an in depth knowledge of all aspects of ancient Minoan Crete culture. Particular attention is given to artifacts discovered at Knossos.

Warren, Peter. The Aegean Civilizations: The Making of the Past: New York: Peter Bedrick Books, l989.

Provides students with a detailed knowledge of ancient Greek life in the Bronze age. Detailed colored prints of masks, settlements, frescos, and sculpture, aid student comprehension of written material.

Windrow, Martin. The Greek Hoplite: New York: Franklin Watts Ltd., 1985.

Provides students knowledge of all aspects of Greek warfare; weaponry, training, tactics, and military life.

to top


Annotated Material List

1.Slides of Greek Vases: (prepared from Greek Vases: A Guide to the Yale Collection: by Susan Matheson).
A slide presentation of Greek vases is incorporated to introduce students to Greek mythology and warfare as this relates to culture.

2. Art Supplies: chip board, paint, brushes, glue, wood, diagrams, plaster gauze, tape, and clay.
Students construct dioramas which depict several aspects of ancient Greek society and culture found within Athens and Sparta. Students make painted pottery (two dimensional) to represent some aspect of contemporary society and culture which has particular importance.

3. Costumes: clothing which has been previously used within the school system, or material which can be distributed to students and fashioned at home to make costumes. Plastic swords and shields.
Students perform role-plays which represent societal roles, actual events which have taken place (wars), and mythological tales.

to top

Contents of 1998 Volume III | Directory of Volumes | Index | Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute

© 2014 by the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute
Terms of Use Contact YNHTI