Home Forums Lives of Leisure and War Lives of Leisure and War Reply To: Lives of Leisure and War

Tamara Toy

When one contrasts Mycenae and the complex of Knossos, it is easy to see why we have that perspective. Knossos was built with aesthetics in mind. Bright colors and frescos are not meant for defenses. The massive columns could be dangerous under siege and the four entries would be impractical to defend. There is little about Knossos that says that it is defendable. As well, the amount of aesthetics within the compound would take money or power to build; this is usually not what a culture in conflict would expend either on.
When looking at Mycenae, it is the opposite. The location is highly defensive. Entryways like the Lion’s Gate would be easy to defend as well. The fact that people were buried with their weapons implies that they valued their weapons and wished, in some manner, to honor the dead or send them to the afterlife with their highly prized possession. There is little to show for aesthetics in Mycenae, and what we do see, like the Lion’s Gate, has a purpose like showing power and strength. Everything about Mycenae appears to be in support of a culture in conflict, either in defense or appearances.
For myself, I see these representations through art as being in support of the concept of a peaceful Minoan culture and a more war-like Mycenaen culture.