Journal Entry 11

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Class: 8:10 am-9:30 am, Locke Hall

In class, we took our quiz, then we discussed the women in Herodotus. There were a few characteristics that the women in Herodotus had. There were the “Normal Women,” who were submissive and anonymous. Then there were the “Herodotus Women,” who were strong, wise, cunning, outspoken, and great military leaders. We discussed Artemesia and Tomyris from book 1, and how she was an “agent of payback.” There was also the woman who dressed as Athena and was paraded through the town. There was also the mother of Cleobis and Biton, the brothers who pulled their mom on the cart and then died. There was also the discussion of Cyno, the wife of the shepherd who raised Cyrus. Life’s Five Great Stories were reintroduced in class. They five stories are: social relationships, career, spiritual, partnership, and leadership. There was a discussion of how social relationships and leadership is or can be related. It was brought up that it may be hard to have friends in a leadership role because there are issues of trust and thoughts and concerns of whether they really care about you or if they just want something from you. I can understand the “do they really care” part as this has been shown in Herodotus as well. In the beginning of Herodotus, I think it was in Herodotus, there was the education of Cyrus. Okay, it wasn’t Herodotus…I think. Cyrus was at his grandfather’s palace and was with his friends and they wanted to go out hunting, but only could of Cyrus’ grandfather, the King, said it was okay to. At first Cyrus said no and his friends were upset with him, so then Cyrus went and asked and they were happy with him again. To me, it seemed like his friends were mostly just using him. They probably somewhat cared, but I feel as though if he stopped doing things for them and giving them things, they would have stopped or would no longer want to be his friend.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Reading: 3:30 pm-5:30 pm, My Apartment

Reading Herodotus has been interesting and I remember how in the beginning of the book he wanted to explain why the Greeks and the Persians went to war in the first place and there he started from way back in time and all the events that led up to the war between the Greeks and the Persians. This book starts out with Mardonius leading his army against Athens. On the way to Athens, the Thebans tried to persuade Mardonius to use tactics to defeat the Athenians because just using force wouldn’t work. But, of course, Mardonius didn’t follow the advice. When the Persians get to Athens, they find that no one is there and that the Athenians went to Salamis. The Spartans were shady. they only seem to care about themselves. In the past they begged the Athenians for help and now when the Athenians ask for help they didn’t seem bothered or concerned because they were building a wall that would protect them, so the had no use for the Athenians. But, when the Spartans realized that there uncaring-ness to help may cause the Athenians to join the enemy and when they realized, that even with their wall, they could not be protected from an attack from the sea, they sent troops/soldiers to fight with the Athenians.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Reading: 2:00 pm-4:00 pm, Various Places on Campus

This book contains a lot about battles and strategic planing and attacks from both the Persians and the Athenians. There was a lot of moving around and deception and battles and attacks. How did Herodotus get all this information and how did he confirm it was reliable? I remember in the earlier parts of the book, he would say that certain people or tribes or nations would say one thing and how he would believe some parts and not others. He would compare accounts of events and ides and theories. Now, towards the end of this whole book, he is just stating the events and all that entails as facts. He had to get his information from somewhere, so I find it interesting how he does less comparisons between accounts now. I suppose because its closer to the time when he lived so he could more easily believe the account he has given, rather than state multiple because of being unsure of the actual events that have taken place. Maybe he became more confident in what he was saying and reporting, or he wanted there to be just one main story line that the readers and listeners would be able to follow. Not only do I wonder how ong it took him to gather this information, but how long did it take for him to organize it and rewrite it all together clearly. There were not computers at that time. He might have had someone working for him and wrote what he said. Actually, there might have been people who traveled with him. This whole time I just assumed that he went everywhere all by himself, but he might have a had a person or a group of people who went with him on his travels to find the history of events. Interesting…I never considered this before. It would make a lot of since if this was the case, It would also be asier for him to obtain information if there were multiple people questioning and seeking out answers. Also, traveling with a group would make since. Even in the Odyssey, Odysseus had a large group of men who traveled with him

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Class: 8:10 am-9:30 am, Locke Hall

We talked about marathons for part of the beginning of class. Today is the anniversary of the Boston Marathon. We discussed how Herodotus made the Athenians out to be extremely loyal to the Greek cause. There was also the discussion of how Greek gods don’t exist and how Herodotus makes known that vengeance and wrong doings always get payback, but not so much what the gods are doing. He also doesn’t seem to care to go into details or endings of different characters if they don’t pertain to the main story line. A classmate proposed how the man who was stoned in the beginning of Herodotus, Book 9, was probably stoned so that he wouldn’t influence anyone and decrease their faith in the Greek cause. There was a recap of how before Xerxes began to cry at his banquet with all his army leaders and important people. He began weeping because he thought about how, even though they were a great and strong army, in 100 years, they would no longer be here, living. Herodotus attitude toward Barbarians was a big part of discussions in the people who studied Herodotus. Some believe that Herodotus was giving an example of how the Greeks saw themselves and how they saw the Barbarians and that the y thought themselves most civilized. Discussion of epic storytelling’s in section 23. At the end of chapter 22, Masistius, the Persian military commander, was killed in battle. The Persians lost their military commander because the Athenians would not let up and allow them to recover the body. When the soldiers got back to their camp they cried and lamented. This could have been the end, in the Iliad the lamentation was how the battle of Troy ended. Herodotus shows a contrasting picture of what it means to be a civilized Greek versus what it means to be a civilized Barbarian. He shows how the Persians, the Barbarians, are civilized as well in the way that they lamented for the loss of their military commander. We also discussed how the commander of the Spartans to impale the commander of the Persian army. The Spartan commander acknowledged the good will in this offering, but said how that is something of the Barbarians, and disgracing the bodies of the dead is distasteful to the Greek. Herodotus gives examples of how the Greeks and Barbarians can both be civilized and uncivilized.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Reading: 9:00 pm-11:00 pm, My Apartment

After reading Herodotus, I still don’t really see the value in it. I don’t want to or mean to be rude, but I don’t. The one thing I have learned from this class is time management because this class requires so much of my time…a ridiculously large amount of my time that I do not feel that it deserves. I understand that it is felt that the humanities are important and I am sure that they are, but for something I have spent so much time on, I don’t have anything to show for it but a letter grade on my report card and a few more credits. I’ve discovered I enjoy writing, but not like this. I don’t like these forced journals. It’s not so much that they are forced, but that they have to be a specified length and have certain details of the book and what not. I am a bit disappointed. In the class and in myself. Maybe its because I wasn’t super into the class, but I don’t understand. I didn’t develop a greater appreciation for the humanities. I’m not in awe of Herodotus. The only amazing thing about him that I see is that he spent so much time with careful consideration to create this book of history…so that’s cool. I’m realizing, as I experience more and more styles of teaching and testing, is that teachers/professors teach and test in the way that they understand the easiest/best…not so much whats easiest/best for the student. I feel as though if you for the class we would had a few sections of the book, not the whole thing, just few sections, that would have been better. If we would have really examined and looked into Herodotus’ work and his writing. If we would have had deeper, more meaningful conversations and discussions on the depth and details of his writing, that would have made a greater impact. Instead, we rushed through the book and it just felt like busywork. Busywork that took time away from other important responsibilities.

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