Chapter 5: Art and architecture, athletics and discoveries

Pages Contents

Ancient Greek art and culture have become cornerstones of modern western society. It remains present in popular culture and one can see its reiterations on film, art, architecture, and literature. However, throughout Ancient Greek civilization art underwent several distinct changes in medium, style, use, and accessibility. Here, we examine these changes through time.

Following the dissolution of the Mycenaean civilization and the end of the Bronze Age in the 11th century BC, Greek culture fell into a period of relatively little social or artistic progression known as the Greek Dark Ages. The Geometric period in Ancient Greece marked the end of this Dark Age, beginning with the re-emergence of ceramic painting during the Proto-Geometric period (ca. 1050–900 BCE).

The Geometric period is characterized by its use of geometric patterns and shapes in its iconography. The focus of the art also shifted from the more fluid, amorphous shapes of the Mycenaean period and onto more recognizable depictions of the people and animals of the Athenian polis. The period can be split into three eras: the Early Geometric, Middle Geometric, and Late Geometric.

Chapter 5: Art and Architecture, Athletics and Discoveries    130
1 Art133
2 Architecture138
   2.1 The architectural orders138
   2.2 Materials138
   2.3 Temples and other structures139
3 Athletics142
   3.1 Olympic Games145
   3.2 Pythian Games151
   3.3 Nemean Games151
   3.4 Isthmian Games151
   3.5 Heraean Games152

Order a copy of this article Order a copy of this article