Greek Literature: Intro to the Three Ages
Greece was the philosophical, cultural and literature epicenter of the ancient Occidental world and laid the foundations of Western thought, logic and government. And Greek literature and language spread though out of the “known world during the reign of Alexander the Great over Greece and Macedonia.
There were basically three ages in art and literature in ancient world: the Archaic period from the beginning to the 6th century b,c, the Classical period from the 5th to the 4th century, and the Greek Hellenistic/Roman period from 3rd century until the present day. This subject will be covered in a series of five or six separate blog posts touching the most important poets, philosophers and playwrights of Greece from ancient times to the present day.
Greek poetry during the Archaic period was not written to be read, but sung or recited and the subject matter revolved around myth. A myth is a story which was part legend based on historical fact and ancient oral tradition and was part folklore and part an expression of religious dogma and moral wisdom, all rich with many gods and goddesses and poetic imagery. Homer was the most important poet of this age with his two epic poems of the Iliad and the Odyssey. This period ended when Athens fell to the Persian army.
Hence began the the Classical period and the golden age of the philosophers and the physicians in which Plato was important and the Hippocratic oath for the doctors was written. Aristotle was the important philosopher in the Hellenistic era and was a student of Plato and a teacher to Alexander the Great. He was considered to be the father of logic.
Since Greek culture and religion spread through-out the world it also spread to ancient Rome, and both the Greeks and the Romans were polytheistic, sometimes often sharing the same gods.