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Literary Analysis Of The Greek And Roman World

             Hardy contrasts the cultures and lifestyles of the Romans and the Greeks. Beginning with a brief overview of how the Greeks came about, Hardy explains the archaeological findings of German Businessman Schliemann and Englishman, Sir Arthur Evens. He also goes onto explain how the Achaeans came about to become a ruling class and dominate Southern Greece. He then goes onto explain how the Achaeans conquered the Minoans of Crete and in turn became the dominant power of the Aegean Sea.
             Hardy's then goes onto explain the lifestyles of the Greeks in the fifth century B.C. which obviously he finds very important because he spends two chapters upon this subject. He first explaining the landscape and how it is much the same and that over the past 2,500 hundred years practically nothing has changed. He also goes into the detail of the government and how it is pretty much a direct democracy. He explains the processes of the Council of 500 and the real governing bodies of the Athenians, the Assembly. To it belonged all Athenian males over the age of twenty. The Assembly would meet on the hill of Pynx nearly every ten days. When something was put to a vote, one must be present in order to take part in this.
             Hardy next moves on to explain the literature and the athletics in Greece. All Greek literature is said to begin with Homer and his works, The Iliad and The Odyssey. Both poems are woven around the war against Troy, which was captured by the Achaeans in approximately 1184 B.C. The Greek theatre was full of drama and prohibited comedy. The comedy was bawdy and completely personal in its attacks thus being inhibited. This 5th century comedy quickly changed however when the 4th century rolled around. This new comedy was brought to Greece by Plautus and Terence who became ancestors of western comedy.
             The Greeks believed, before the Olympic Games, that everyone should participate in athletics not for money but for entertainment and for the joy of the competition.

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