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- The Ancient Indian Art
- The Ancient Indian Music
- The Ancient Indian Literature
- The Ancient Roman Arts
- The Ancient Roman Music
- The Ancient Roman Literature
- Ancient Greek arts
- Ancient Greek Music
- Ancient Greek Literature
- Ancient Hebrew Arts
- Ancient Hebrew Music
- Ancient Hebrew Literature
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Art, music, and literature in ancient India, Greek, Hebrew, and Roman culture portray the relationship of the human to the divine or supernatural and as such, this will make the core purpose of the rest of this paper. So to speak, it is imperative to state that art, music and literature are effective tools which can be used to express a certain culture. In essence, culture entails a certain group of people's way of life. In connection to this point, only one perspective of culture will be taken into consideration and as such, religious outlook of the given Indian, Greek, Hebrew and Roman culture will be brought into the context.
Introspectively, there will be an exploration of the art in each culture and how it portrays the relationship of the human to the divine or supernatural. As well, music within the particular culture will be explored along with the way it portrays the human relationship with the divine or supernatural. Needless to say, each culture's religious outlook analysis will be culminated by an analysis of its literature.
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The Ancient Indian Art
The ancient India has a rich culture and so to speak, its art works have much to say about the Indian's human connection with the divine. In the Bhagavad Gita, Teaching 11, lines 8-13, the Indian visual art was the lotus which was associated with the Brahma of Krishmi-Shri as a symbolism. Essentially, Krishmi-Shri was the lotus goddess along with Moksha or Nirvana, and of Vishnu which was growing out of Vishnu's navel. In this case, Vishnu puts forth the lotus in the creation of the universe. Again in this context, the lotus has multiple symbolisms in the sense that it has attributes of the stem giving the indication that water is the main source of life.
At the same time, the leaf symbolizes fertility of the earth. Furthermore, the lotus uses a flower to symbolize a mother's lap. In the same line of thought, there is the bud which represents virginity along with the whole flower being a symbol of happiness, beauty and eternal renewal altogether. Above and beyond, the lotus flower is given the position of the throne of the gods. Together with this point, Surya, Vishnu, and Lakshmi attributes are presented by lotus tuffs which represent the hair and the Hari which has a yellowish-green color given to Vishnu but used on occasional basis for other gods. Following this point, the Indian culture is represented by the lotus and as such, this shows how the Indians portray their religion as well as the relationship of the humans to the divine through the lotus. This is in accordance to the provisions of Barabara Stoler Miller in the NAWLS2.
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The Ancient Indian Music
In relation to Indian music, there is Krishna who is portrayed as the dark lord. According to Fuller's understanding in the NAWLS2, Bengali Vaisnava Saints' Songs of Devotion to Krishna depicts the Indians' honor to their Krishna who is the dark Lord. Along with this point, Krishna's often-carried flute as well symbolizes that whenever it was played in music, Indians would connect with the divine or supernatural in this sense. One archetypal symbolic account of Krishna gives an idea about him as blue at the same time being seen as to be carrying his characteristic flute as his distinctive musical instrument. This is the flute used in playing music in the ancient India which shows that he is recognized in the music and so to speak the Indians were able to connect with the divine through the playing of the flute.
The Ancient Indian Literature
Basically, literature has to do with the art written works which takes in scripts, letters, fiction and non-fiction among others as such. According to NAWLS2, Indian Literature in Sanskrit which is Rig Veda through Mahabharata makes some of the earliest literary works written during 1400 BCE to 500 BCE'. Mahabharata is yet another work of literature which is divided into 18 books. Furthermore According to NAWLS2 Mahabharata is an amalgam of maha which means great or large and bharata which represents the Bharatas. This implies the great tale of the Bharatas or so to speak the descendants of Prince Bharata. Basically, the Bharatas were a tribe of Aryans known from Vedic ancient times who claimed a legendary Bharata as their ancestor. The longest epic literature in the world in India comprised of eighteen books or Parvans which were projected to be 100,000 couplets. This is about eight times the combined length of the Iliad and Odyssey. Together with this, there is Vishnu Purana which a religious literary work. Bhagavata Purana, which includes a different story of Krishna's birth who was the blue lord, is another literary work.
In respect to the given arts of writing, it is evident that through writing or rather literature, the ancient Indians were able to connect to their gods. So to articulate, they would write books pointing to their religious beliefs like the case of Vishnu Purana which a religious literary work. As well, there are stories written regarding to the birth of Krishna who is the blue god. Generally, such stories and works of literature connect the Indians with the supernatural and so to speak with the divine.
The Ancient Roman Arts
As far as the ancient Roman arts are concerned, there are many sculptures as well as the designs of the temples. In line with this, there were many paintings and sculptures by important artists which have been done of material from Vergil's Aeneid. According to Fitzgerald Robert in the NAWLS2, there is a painting like Guercino Barbieri, The Death of Dido (painting; 1625); Michele Wauters, Dido and Aeneas (tapestry, 1790), J.M.W. Turner, Aeneas and the Sibyl (painting, 1798-1800). All these give examples of the Roman arts. Vergil's Aeneid is named after the hero, and the work is markedly symmetrical along with the aspect of Vergil (adapting many particulars and elements of Homer's Odyssey.
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In this sense, there is an example of a god tormenting Odysseus with the sole aim to prevent his homecoming, and a goddess on the other hand is tormenting Aeneas, preventing Aeneas' speedy establishment of a second home. From this perspective, the Roman arts or architecture as it has been provided has Aeneas who perhaps is used to depict the role of gods. In this sense, this portrays how the humans are related to the supernatural or divine world which is ruled by gods. As well, Roman culture in this sense is ruled by gods and goddesses who determine one's course of life.
The Ancient Roman Music
Considering Music in the ancient Rome, there were the musical compositions, in what was referred to as classical music or art music, based on Vergil's Aeneid. In reference to Fitzgerald Robert in the NAWLS2, there are music like Henry Purcell, Dido and Aeneas which was an opera, Niccolo Piccinni, Dido, Niccolo Piccinni, Dido Abandoned G. Rossini, The Death of Dido which was a cantata, Hector Berlioz, The Trojans , the Opera along with the Deodat de Severac, Dido and Aeneas which was a symphonic poem. From this point, it is important to state that the music as well addresses Aeneas who was prevented by the goddess to establish a home. This shows that the Roman people valued the part played by the divine or the supernatural. Aeneas must marry so as to establish the Roman Empire and so to speak, it is evident that the Romans related with the main god and the goddess as the divine realm or the supernatural.
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The Ancient Roman Literature
Literature has to do with the art of writing and in this case, the literature with the example of Vergil's Aeneid Book emphasis on tradition or the ways of the forefathers. As well, it has addressed the subordination to state power and the supernatural. Furthermore, Fitzgerald Robert in the NAWLS2 provides that Aeneid which is flanked by material prior to Aeneas' coming in Italy to set up the homeland that would later on become Rome as depicted by Books 1-6 and materials after his arrival according to Books 7-12 shows that Romans had writings in form of books. Another thing to note is that an epic was written in regard to the establishment of the Roman Empire and as such which is Vergil's Aeneid Book. Given that the role of gods and goddess is provided in the given case, it is evident that the literature as well reflected the relationship of the Romans with the divine or the supernatural and as such portrays the culture from a broader point of view.
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Ancient Greek arts
Greek art is very rich and in this combination, ancient Greek art with the particulates of the architecture has been portrayed as to be straight but in reality so crooked. In this sense, it has been revealed through the visual arts like the ancient Greek vase paintings. In the same line of deliberation there is an etching by Pablo Picasso known as Nestor's Tales of the Trojan War; Landscape with Polyphemus by Nicholas Poussin, Poseidon with Odysseus' Ship by P. Tibaldi,Penelope Weaving by Pintoricchio, and Telemachus and Mentor [Athena] ) by G. Tiepolo. These arts are just as depicted by Fagles Robert and Fitzgerald Robert in the NAWLS2.
From the point of view of these arts, it is evident that the Greeks had a relationship with the supernatural given that there were omens that would lead to death according to the Homers Odyssey epic. Several episodes of the odyssey have been pointed out as to be illustrated on vases. At the same time, the one who protected Odysseus, the goddess Athena is reflected in the Telemachus and Mentor by G. Tiepolo (translation by Fagles Robert and Fitzgerald Robert in the NAWLS2). From this perspective, it is evident that the Greeks had a relationship with the divine or supernatural in their religious culture. Needless to say, Homer's Odyssey shows how the Greeks used to relate with the supernatural with the example of the goddess Athena. In this reflection, the Greek culture is revealed as to have had religious practices and goddesses being used for protection.
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Ancient Greek Music
Homer's Odyssey has inspired several art music with the new term used being the classical music. For instance, there is Ulysses by Reinhard Keise, Ulysse by Francois Rebel, penelope by Rolf Liebermann and Rock version of Homer's Odyssey among others((translation by Fagles Robert and Fitzgerald Robert in the NAWLS2). In this context, Ulysses is another name of Odyssey as it is in Roman myths and as such, its inclusion in music shows that given that he was the hero through whom the operation of goddess Athena was portrayed, then, Greeks must have had a relationship with the divine or the supernatural by use of music (Homer 169).
Ancient Greek Literature
Ancient Greek was rich in literature in the sense that books, poems and other literary works were written by the Greeks to express their traditions and culture from the larger point of view. For example, there is Homer's Odyssey which is a written ancient Greek epic poem and so to speak attributed to Odyssey who was a great Greek Hero. Greek literature as well entails the tragic literature inclusive of tragic heroes with the example of the tragedy of Odyssey (Mikalson 46). Myths and tales were also common in the Greek ancient literature. There is also tales of the Brave Ulysses and the etching of Nestor's Tales of the Trojan War (translation by Fagles Robert and Fitzgerald Robert in the NAWLS2).
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This is to suggest that the ancient Greek had writings ranging from those that were handwritten in books and others as well engraved. Given that there was much in the literature about Odyssey, it is imperative to point out that since Odyssey as a hero was influenced by the supernatural, the Greek literature actually reflected the Greeks' relationship with the supernatural or so to speak the divine realm. As well books such as John Boardman's Athenian Black Figure Vases: A Handbook, reflects the goddess who was known as Athena (translation by Fagles Robert and Fitzgerald Robert in the NAWLS2). In this sense, it is evident that the Greeks portrayed their relationship with the supernatural and in this case the goddess Athena through literature.
Ancient Hebrew Arts
In the ancient Hebrew, visual art or architecture has much to tell about the Hebrew culture. In fact, there are temples of Saturn and Castor which symbolizes that Rome was a religious empire (Warrior 2). Basically, the art is filled with Bible illustrations which take in the relief sculpture showing the expulsion of Adam and Even from the Garden of Eden. Besides this point, there is an engraving of the Fall of man by Albrecht Durer. There is also a painting showing the sacrifice of Noah by Bernardo Cavallino(translation by Prinsky in the NAWLS2). Besides, there is also the painting of Joseph thrown into the pit by Bartolome Esteban Murillo and Jacob Blessing the Sons of Joseph by Rembrandt Von Rijn just to mention a few.
Having provided the nature of the Ancient Hebrew arts, it is evident that the arts were influenced by their religious beliefs. In this sense, the sculptures, paintings and engravings among others portrayed the commitment of the Hebrews to their religion. Needless to say, the tabernacle of the Hebrews is sculpted as well as build so as to reflect their religious beliefs or worship. As well, it depicted their relationship with the God of the Bible and showing the blessings one can receive once he obeys him and the punishment thereof like the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden.
Ancient Hebrew Music
As far as the Hebrew Music is concerned, much has been put in music regarding what is written in the Bible. Particularly, Prinsky in the NAWLS2 states that there are pop music versions of the Bible, Godspell, and Jesus Christ Superstar as examples of the music in the ancient Hebrew. Apart from this point, there are also vocal music compositions such as George Frideric Handel's dramatic oratorios of Esther, Saul, Joseph in Egypt, and Israel in Egypt, Moses and Aaron and Elijah just to mention a few. The Hebrews' songs reflect that the Hebrews had a strong relationship and reverence to their God.
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Ancient Hebrew Literature
Hebrew literature in this context comprises of Biblical Literature which has to do with the stories of the Bible. The literature is composed of the apocalyptic literature, dramatic literature, Dead Sea Scrolls, Masoretic text, from the Masorete and the Bible-related literature from the larger point of view just as Prinsky in the NAWLS2 provides. Literature in the Bible inclusive of Susana and the Elders, Tobit, Judith, and Maccabbees 1 &2 and the most important source of Chanukkah are some of the Hebrew's literatures. Just as it has been highlighted, the literature depicts Hebrew's relationship with the supernatural or the divinity. In this sense, the literature was influenced by the mere fact that the Hebrews were religious. Again in this context, this is a clear indication that Hebrews portrayed their relationship with the divine or supernatural through both oral and written literature.