Humanism is a broad group of ethical philosophies that support the pride of all people, centered on their capability to identify the right from wrong by appealing to human rationality and quality without turning to the supernatural or the divine religious authority. It is a word derived from the Latin word humanitas. Its definition varies from one philosopher to the other. Some define it as a philosophical and ethical stance that emphasizes the importance and the need for human beings. However, humanism has no philosophical meaning when we refer to the Greeks. Humanism in Greek loosely refers to how Greek art and literature places the human experience before any other thing, as opposed to Christians and Hebrews who believes that God is the one to be at the center of all events.
The Greeks humanism can also be interpreted to mean an emphasis on the human body. With regards to Greeks, humanism has nothing to do with philosophy or religion, but in actual sense, it focuses on the effect of this type of literature and culture on the human experience in its psychological and moral behavior. How Greeks culture and artwork do promote humanism? It is apparent from their statues and ancient carvings. Greek sculptures revealed nude men who were strong and with well-defined muscles. That on its own is clear evidence that promotes human as a measure of things. The sculptures depict superhuman physique, actively supporting the beauty of man.
The Greeks Cultural beliefs have a great impact to the present day. Many activities such as sports that people treat with great honor today had its origin and true meaning from the ancient Greek culture. The sports were purposefully for the military training. Survival in the war depended greatly on the ones ability to run from the enemy and their ability to throw objects to attack them or as a means of defense. In simple terms, current generation blindly follows while neglecting the reason for sporting. The original Greek Olympics were by the chapters of Iliad and Odyssey that describe athletic events. Both the physical beauty and athleticism practiced in the Greek culture; all emphasizes humanism.
There was lots of artwork in Greece. According to the Greeks, the arts symbolize national life. It had not only aesthetic value but also had political importance where it means the pride of the people in their settings and also to promote unity and consciousness. The Parthenon at Athens, for instance, was the temple of Athena meant to protect the goddess who was watching over the life of the state. The Athenians were revealing evidence about how much they love their city and their hopeful wish of its continuity by providing the goddess with a beautiful shrine, the Parthenon.
Noticeably, Greek art differs from those of other people of that time in its ethical role. The artwork was not for the sake of it but the ennoblement of man, unlike other people who were doing art as an expression of the artists personal philosophy. The artifacts were to exemplify qualities of the artistic. The Athenians never showed any distinction between the aesthetic and the ethical spheres. Both the beautiful and the good were alike and treated equally. According to them, true morality constitutes the conscious living, disgusting excesses, avoidance of grossness, and other forms of conducts that were considered aesthetically offensive. As a final touch, the Greek art was not naturalistic when compared to latest forms of art. However, the ultimate attention focuses on how it depicts beautiful bodies which had nothing to do with fidelity to nature. Greeks only had an interest in expressing human ideals.
The history of Greek art splits itself logically into three significant periods. The first, which can be termed as the archaic period, spread over the seventh and sixth centuries. During the better part of this age, sculpture was controlled by Egyptian influence, as can be identified in the frontally and rigidity of the various statues, with their square-shaped shoulders and one foot somewhat advanced. Just before the end, however, these conventions were stepped over. The main architectural panaches also had their root in this period, and construction of many essential temples followed. The second term, which took the whole of the fifth century, observed the total perfection of both the architecture and the sculpture. The art during this time was entirely idealistic. Throughout the fourth century, which was the last age of Hellenic art, the architecture weakened, and sculpture assumed different characteristics. It came to reveal more clearly the response of the single artist, to include traces of realism, and to miss some of its quality in expressing the civic pride.
For all its artistic superiority, Greek temple architecture was one of the modest of structural forms. The temple comprises of only five in number which includes the cella or nucleus of the building, column, lintel, gabled and the pediment. The cella was a rectangular chamber to stock the gods statue, the columns formed the entrance and surrounded the cella, and the lintel held the roof. Two different architectural styles were established, representing adjustments of certain of these elements.
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