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A few Initial Questions: French simphonie, symphonie; Ital. According to Grove, during the 18th century, the symphony developed into the most important compositional genre of instrumental music, while the adjective "symphonic" points towards a longer, compositionally fully developed work. Where does the word come from?

Pre classical contributors

The Early Greek World, History and Prehistory [For a more detailed history and cultural overview of ancient Greece, see the Perseus web site click here.

Classical Greece - HISTORY

Geography and Greek Culture The geography of Greece is a primary factor, if not the pre-eminent feature of the culture and lives of the ancient populations who lived there. Inhabiting an area that is ninety percent mountains with little arable land forced the Greeks into ways of life which did not center strictly around farming and agriculture.

They were, for the most part, driven to go to sea to make ends meet. Indeed, no place in Greece is further than fifty miles from the sea, so the inevitability of fishing and maritime adventure was incumbent on many in antiquity, as it still is. To this day, many Greeks make a living in shipping, for instance, Aristotle Onassis, the multi-millionaire who acquired a fortune in international trade and married Jacqueline Kennedy after the assassination of her first husband.

Ironically, while the mountainous topography pushed the Greeks to explore lands far beyond their immediate locale, at the same time it also separated the cities of Greece and obstructed intra-Hellenic contact, leading many of them to develop along discrete, sometimes incompatible lines.

For instance, settlements as close as Athens and Thebes which are less than sixty miles apart not only came to see each other as "foreign" but even evolved a long-lasting rivalry that persisted into the Classical Age.

Ironically, in some ways the ancient Greeks became generally friendlier with peoples across the sea than their own neighbors, because the landscape made foreign nations seem "closer" than many cities on the Greek mainland.

Overall, their geographical situation forced the ancient Greeks from early on to look outward from their immediate locality and internationalize their interests.

This broadened their horizons and exposed them like few other civilizations to foreign ideas and ways of living. The ensuing cosmopolitanism played an important role in their development as a focal group in ancient Western Civilization.

For a people living on the edge of nowhere, they found themselves uniquely thrust in medias res "into the middle of things".

The Prehistory of Greece The earliest inhabitants of Greece are a mysterious—and possibly mythological—people called the Pelasgians about whom we know very little. These natives and their culture were overwhelmed and ultimately utterly annihilated by the invasion of a new people known now as the Indo-Europeans click here to read more about the Indo-Europeans.

Persian Wars

So, when people today study the ancient Greeks, they are examining not the earliest known humans in the area but later invaders called the Indo-Europeans. This is clear because of the language the Greeks spoke. All extant forms of ancient Greek clearly derive from a common ancestor called Proto-Indo-European, a language which engendered a large number of daughter languages found across much of the Eurasian continent, all the way from India to Norway.

These closely related tongues show that the Indo-Europeans must have migrated over thousand of miles in different directions, displacing natives and settling themselves in lands across a wide swath of the Eurasian continent. Another thing we know about the Indo-Europeans is that they tended to enter a region in successive waves.

That is, Indo-Europeans rarely migrated into an area just once, and Greece was no exception. As early as BCE one Indo-European contingent had begun infiltrating the Greek peninsula and by the end of that millennium at least three major discrete migrations of these intruders had surged across various parts of Greece.

One racial group of these Indo-Europeans was called the Ionians. They settled along the eastern coast of Greece, in particular the city of Athens, and along the western coast of Asia Minor modern Turkey. Another group, the Dorians, settled the Peloponnese the southern part of Greece and many inland areas.

The result was a "dark age" accompanied by massive disruptions in the Greek economy and civilization, including a total loss of literacy. This dark age lasted about three centuries, from to BCE and, while it seems from our perspective today like a dismal time, it must have been a dynamic and fascinating period in Greek history, perhaps a wonderful time to have lived.

Many of the things we associate with Greek culture—for instance, vase-painting, epic poetry, and ship-building—assumed their basic and most familiar forms during this "dark" age. Particularly, many of the Greek myths read and studied today are traceable to this time period.

Quite a few are set in the generations just before the dark age or in its early phases. For example, the famous cycle "collection" of myths about the Trojan War—if, in fact, it is based on any real event in history—must date to some time around BCE.

Among other famous characters included there are the beautiful Helen and her hapless Greek husband Menelaus, the king of Sparta. All later became enduring characters in drama as well as epic. The gods also play a large role in The Iliad, in particular, the king of the gods Zeus, the sun god Apollo, and the goddess of wisdom Athena.

Along the way he encounters a number of deities and monsters and much mayhem, but ultimately with the help of his patroness, the goddess Athena, he arrives back in his kingdom safe, if not entirely sound.

There encounters his wife Penelope and son Telemachus after an absence of twenty years. These stories convey such a compelling sense of realism about their day and time that more than one scholar has been tempted to see in them history rather than mere myth, but their historicity is questionable at best.

One such investigator was Heinrich Schliemann, a nineteenth-century German millionaire and archaeologist, who excavated what is now known as Troy. The debate about the amount of verifiable history preserved in Homeric epic lingers unresolved to this day, a tribute to the enduring, gripping picture of humanity painted by this purportedly blind poet.

The Pre-Classical Age of Greek History With the reappearance of written records after the dark age, Greek history as such comes back into focus.

From the earliest extant inscriptions and vase-paintings with writing on them, we know that the alphabet was introduced to the Greek world at some point around BCE, which is probably at or about the time Homer himself lived.

This provides one way to explain why his epics, originally composed "orally" i. They came into being at just the right moment, when oral poets were still active but writing had been introduced so oral poetry could be recorded.

This revolutionary period in Greek history—and indeed world history—witnessed the rise of the polis, the classical city-state for instance, Athens, Sparta and Corinth which would dominate the political scene for several centuries.In the end, be it called the Lyric Age, the Age of Colonization, the Age of Tyrants, the Age of Lawgivers or simply the Pre-Classical Age, these three centuries of Greek civilization ( BCE) are by any name one of the great revolutionary periods in human history.

Pre-Han Classical Chinese Thought: Confucianism and Daoism-Written Responses for Questions 1. Confucianism is a system of ideological beliefs and ethical philosophy that is developed from the teachings and thoughts of ancient Chinese teacher Confucius.

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