This is the origin of charity, almsgiving: these people were considered saints.

This is the origin of charity, almsgiving: these people were considered saints.

The beginning of the medieval worldview in Europe dates back to the spread of interethnic communities, the displacement of democracies by despotism, the emergence of the cult of the emperor, equated with God. This historical situation gave rise to a new type of social ties – the relationship between the center and the province. This type of relationship left its mark on the social ideal of the feudal era and became the dominant way of correct organization, order – one of the paradigms of medieval consciousness.

The center of the new great powers was the emperor and his capital. The provinces that came under the yoke of the center, from time to time revolted, the center suppressed them. Empires began to disintegrate, and new centers were formed in them, around which their provinces were grouped. New relations between the suzerain and vassals are formed. There are no new slaves, their productivity is declining, slaves are being replaced by columns. Man is no longer a slave of the master, but a slave of the earth. As a result – feudal estates and serfdom.

The offspring of this period – corporations (subordination to a single will, statute, single principles) – among artisans, artists, in monasteries, knightly orders, universities.

The structure of "center – periphery" has an impact on morality: its main formula, necessary for mutual understanding of the requirements of different classes and states, is "the morality of parents and children." Devotion to the elder and loyalty to the class – the basic moral principles of the era. The main thing is to live according to your status.

The relationship between the center and the periphery is finalized in the idea of ​​obedience and hierarchy. At the level of worldview, this is, after all, the idea of ​​one God: all are children of God.

Cognition is dominated by the method of deduction, which leads from faith, that is, ready-made truth, to its proofs. I believe – so I comprehend, that is, I deduce knowledge from faith.

In the Middle Ages, various signs were widely considered to denote the relationship between the center and the periphery, encoded in expressions such as "candle and butterfly" "rose and nightingale." This image seemed to follow the creators of artistic values ​​relentlessly. Why, for example, did the icons have a well-defined canon: in the center of the image of God, the Mother of God, the saint, and around the scene from their lives or details of the event? By the same principle of center and periphery, main and side. That’s how they wrote their lives.

In the architecture of Eastern Christianity in the center of the temple, around – galleries; in gothic cathedrals this idea was implemented vertically. The same in ornamentation: in the center of the Carpet – the main pattern, and the border as a design. The division of the book into sections is also a reflection of the principle of hierarchy.

Without the center they did not see the meaning of life. All medieval culture had its center as a religious ideal and developed around this center. Science substantiates the existence of God. Secular sciences are considered nonsense – because they lead to "hellish darkness": "What fables will physicists tell about the sky?!". In other words, science gives nothing to man when he is "on his deathbed." Does she know anything about the soul and destiny of man in heaven? It is no coincidence that the theme of death in works of art has become so widespread. For example, behind the plowman in the picture is death with a scythe, the engravings often depict a skull, and the main idea that goes through the design of books: no matter what a person does, over him is his death, the end.

In general, doctrine, regulations, and classification dominate in science. However, alchemists, fulfilling orders for the invention of gold, at the same time make some interesting discoveries. And, by the way, despite the halo of mysticism that accompanies their experiments, the rule is quite realistic: do not allow knights in their laboratories and warn future generations of scientists about the danger that is growing due to improper use of "sacred secrets" of science.

As for work, in the Middle Ages, contemplation was preferred to activity. There are three stages of ascent to perfection: worldly people – the first, preachers – the second, monks – the third, highest. Work was not rejected, but it gained the greatest recognition as a means of salvation from sin ("to get tired so as to fall asleep …").

Work for material gain was despised. Feudal moral consciousness condemned the desire to get rich as lust ("Not wealth for man, but man for wealth"). Litigation was forbidden to clergy. Even artisans believed that the craft should only feed, only provide a livelihood, not enrich. The guild structure also prohibited advertising of products, in general, finished items were depersonalized. There could be no profitable activity. The main character is a master who possesses only the secret of the craft.

The church initially treated property negatively. According to the doctrine, property arose along with the Fall. One of the spiritual leaders of monasticism forbade saying "yours" and "mine." Even communal property was not recognized by some orders – their monks were miserable. This is the origin of charity, almsgiving: these people were considered saints.

Early Christianity also had a negative attitude to family and marriage relations (Adam and Eve were free from love and eroticism). At the dawn of the Middle Ages, Augustine the Blessed wrote that his heart rejoices when he sees how many girls and men have their hair cut by a monk. After the fervent sermon of Francis of Assisi at the end of the medieval period, many of his followers wanted to follow the example of Francis and give up carnal pleasures. Frightened by such an absurd mass psychosis, Francis began to persuade people not to hurry.

To avoid extremes, the church has established degrees: extramarital relations between men and women are a sin; marriage is allowed, but it still overshadows spiritual purity ("Marriage inhabits the earth, and celibacy inhabits heaven"). Innocence in marriage was praised (as brother and sister); glorified the romance of the renunciation of love, the vows of monks on the first night of marriage. Hence the love suffering in the Middle Ages (Abelard and Eloise, Catherine of Siena). It is known that Francis of Assisi doubted himself: "Was it possible to become a monk later?" – and to satisfy his carnal desires, he threw himself naked on a bush of thorns.

Religious fanaticism was encouraged in the relationship between parents and children, fidelity to the religious idea was allowed to deviate from parents.


Ancient culture: Handbook. – K., 1993. BonnarAndre. Greek civilization. – M., 1992. – Kn. 1-3 Dmitrieva NA., Akimova LI Ancient art: essays. – M., 1988. Kumanetsky K. History of culture of Ancient Greece and Rome. – M., 1990.

June 25, 2012

Culture of Ancient Greece of the archaic period (VIII-VI centuries). Abstract

Writing. Poetry. Architecture and sculpture. Vase painting


One of the most important factors of Greek culture VIII-VI centuries. a new system of writing is rightly considered. The alphabet, partly borrowed from the Phoenicians, was more convenient than the ancient composite letter of the Mycenaean era: it had only 24 characters, each of which had a fixed phonetic meaning. If in Mycenaean society, as in other similar societies of the Bronze Age, the art of writing was available only to a few devotees who were in a closed caste of professional scribes, now it becomes the common property of all citizens of the polis, as each of them could master writing skills and reading.

Unlike the compound letter, which was used mainly for accounting and perhaps to some extent for the compilation of religious texts, the new writing system was a truly universal means of transmitting information that could be used with equal success in business correspondence and lyrical writing. poems or philosophical aphorisms.

All this led to the rapid growth of literacy among the population of the Greek polis, as evidenced by numerous inscriptions on stone, metal, ceramics, the number of which is increasing as we approach the end of the archaic period. The oldest of them, such as the now widely known epigram on the so-called Nestor’s Cup with Fr. Pitecus, dating from the third quarter of the VIII century, which allows us to attribute the borrowing by the Greeks of the Phoenician alphabet or the first half of the VIII century, or even to the end of the previous IX century.

Almost at the same time (the second half of the VIII century) were created and, most likely, then recorded such outstanding examples of monumental heroic epics as the Iliad and the Odyssey, from which the history of Greek literature begins.


Greek poetry after the Homeric period (VII-VI centuries) has an extraordinary thematic richness and variety of forms and genres. Of the later forms of the epic, two main variants are known: the heroic epic, represented by the so-called poems of the "Cycle" and the didactic epic, represented by two poems by Hesiod: "works and days" and "Theogony ".

Lyrical poetry became widespread and soon became the leading literary trend of the era, which in turn was divided into several main genres: elegy, iambic, monodic, ie intended for solo performance, and choral lyrics, or melik.

The most important distinctive feature of Greek poetry of the archaic period in all its main types and genres should be recognized as its pronounced humanistic color. The poet’s close attention to a particular human person, to his inner world, to individual mental features is quite clearly felt already in Homer’s poems. "Homer discovered a new world – Man himself. This is what makes his" Iliad "and" Odyssey "ktema eis aei, a work forever, an eternal value" [N. five].

The grand concentration of heroic tales in the Iliad and the Odyssey became the basis for further epic creativity. During the VII and first half of the VI century. there were a number of poems composed in the style of the Homeric epic and designed to close with the "Iliad" and "Odyssey" and, together, to form a single coherent chronicle of the mythological legend, the so-called epic "cycle" (cycle, circle). Ancient tradition attributed many of these poems to "Homer" and thus emphasized their plot and stylistic connection with the Homeric epic. [N. 4, c. 68]

Greek poetry after Homeric time is characterized by a sharp transfer of the center of gravity of the poetic narrative to the person of the poet himself. This tendency is clearly felt in the work of Hesiod, especially in his poem "Works and Days".