The Minoan civilization, renowned for that luxurious palaces and also works the art, greatly influenced the Mycenaean civilization, but their means of life, culture and beliefs were fairly different, and it mirrors in your art.

You are watching: Compare and contrast the minoan and the mycenaean societies


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Minoan Bull-Leaping Fresco from the royal residence of Knossos

The Minoan and also the Mycenaean civilizations flourished ~ above Crete and also the Greek mainland throughout the 3rd and the 2nd millennium BCE, and also Homer immortalized lock in his 2 epic poems, the Iliad and the Odyssey. There are specific similarities in between the two, as result of the Mycenaeans appropriating a many Minoan cultures. However, their means of life, society and ideas were quite different, and also it mirrors in your art. This short article will perform these artistic differences and present your most necessary works of art.


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Minoan ladies in Blue Fresco indigenous the palace of Knossos, via old Origins

Both human beings decorated your palaces and other frameworks with frescoes, utilizing lime plaster and vibrant colors. The only distinctions are their iconographic elements.

Minoans relied heavily on religious iconography, depicting the pictures of your gods and especially goddesses. Typical motifs are additionally processions and also sacred rituals, such together bull-leaping. The Minoan iconography strongly shows their society matriarchal framework – the photos of women overcome their visual arts, and also female symbolism is present at virtually every depiction.

Experts top top the Greek Bronze age often state that the Mycenaean wall surface paintings, although seen as a extension of Minoan, are of lesser quality. The influence of the Minoans is plainly visible in mrs imagery and also general style. However, Mycenaeans to be slightly more simplistic in their depictions. They wanted symmetry and geometrical motifs, uneven Minoans that did not choose to leave empty, undecorated spaces. The human figures are stylistic in Mycenaean wall paintings, and also males are more common.

Another important difference is the hunt and also war scenes the we find in Mycenaean art. Unlike Minoans, well-known for their relaxed thalassocracy, the Mycenaean society was oriented in the direction of war and also expansion, and it verified in their art.


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Mycenaean Shield Fresco, Mycenae, note Cartwright, 2017

Palaces Architecture

Both worlds are well known for building complicated palaces, and archaeological evidence confirms the they to be administrative, residential and spiritual centers. Again, Mycenaeans obtained many architectural attributes from Minoans but adapted them come fit your society’s beliefs and demands.


The maze-like layout of Minoan royal residence at Knossos (left) and also a feasible reconstruction (right), via Minoan Labyrinth

The many famous and also largest Minoan job-related of style is a palace at Knossos, a supernatural dwelling the king Minos. The center place in the royal residence is a huge courtyard, with rooms, halls and tiny chambers dispersing from it in every direction. Historians think about that the maze-like structural complexity of the palace is more than likely what inspired the myth about the Minotaur and also the Labyrinth.

Minoans decorated your palaces with wall surface paintings and used colorful colors to paint the columns, balustrades, and pediments, which organized the multiple story of the palace.

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The north Entrance the the Knossos Palace, Theofanis Ampatzidis, 2018

The frescoes are mostly of spiritual thematic, although numerous depict organic scenes, such as marine life, superordinary animals and flowers.


The Throne Room v a Griffin Fresco native the royal residence at Knossos, via do in Crete

Mycenaean palaces, favor their visual arts, reflect the militaristic character that their civilization that Homer so marvelously explained in Iliad. The best-preserved palaces space those in Pylos and also Tiryns. The difference from the Minoan format is an extremely clear.