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A Webquest: In Search of the Culture of Ancient Greece
Ancient Greeks strived for perfection and beauty. They avoided excess and held to an ideal deemed “the golden mean” which basically meant neither overdoing nor under-doing anything. Ancient Greek artists held to this ideal in their architecture, painting, and sculptures. Over time this artistic style has become known as classical and many modern works are still created in this style.
Some of the best examples of this simplicity can be seen in the architecture of Ancient Greece, especially that of Athens during its Golden Age. The Golden Age of Athens occurred during the mid fifth century, roughly 461-429 BC and during this time, the Greeks excelled in the arts and sciences. The first stop on this webquest takes us to the most famous building of the Golden Age.
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Stop #1: The Parthenon
Visit The Greeks-Crucible of Civilization at PBS.org
Click on Pericles and read the selection to answer 1-4.
- When was construction begun and when was it completed?
- Who was Pericles? Describe his connection with the Parthenon?
- What was the purpose of the Parthenon?
- Why were its columns made thicker in the center?
Click on the Acropolis Experience and watch both clips to answer the next question.
- What did the frieze inside the Parthenon depict and represent?
Return to the Greeks-Crucible of Civilization Home Page and click on Themistocles. Read the first three pages and on the third click on New Sculpture: Critius boy vs. the traditional Kouros and answer the following.
- Describe the difference between the two types of sculpture.
- Why do you think the Critius boy style grew in popularity after 490 BC?
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Stop #2: The Theatre
- Where was the first theatre in Ancient Greece?
- What did the playwrights explore through their plays?
- What or who was Dionysus?
- Describe the festival celebrated in his name.
Return to the site index of The Greeks-Crucible of Civilization and click on Origins of Theatre-The First Actor, continue reading through The Different Types of Greek Drama and their importance and The Great Playwrights of Athens. Make sure to watch the video. Read Ancient Greek Drama Study Guide Answer the following.
- Which playwright introduced a second actor to his plays?
- What term was used to describe that actor?
- What was the sole actor from earlier plays referred to as? Are these terms also used in literature? How so?
- What were the three types of plays performed in Ancient Greece? Describe each type.
- Describe the element Euripedes added to his plays.
- Explain the origins of the word thespian.
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Stop #3: Meet Socrates
Return to the Greeks-Crucible of Civilization Home Page and click on Socrates. Read through stopping to watch the videos.
- Did Socrates fulfill the Ancient Greek ideal of beauty? Detail how so or how not.
- What does the word philosopher mean?
- What was at the center of Socrates method of inquiry?
- What was Socrates always in pursuit of?
- Who were the Sophists and what was the aim of their teaching methods?
- What were Socrates’ criticisms of the Sophists?
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Stop #4: Wander Around
Use the site index of The Greeks-Crucible of Civilization to find the passages that will detail the root of the following words: