Men In mosaics

Thomas Carlyle said, "The history of the world is but the biography of great men."  The study of great men, such as the ones we've studied in mosaics, led me to further exploration.  Looking at their lives, we see that there are lessons to be learned.  The men portrayed here, whether real, fictional, or fictionalized have impacted history.  We see their influence to this day.  They serve as examples of manhood.  Modern man has changed though.  With the rise of feminism, men were challenged as gender roles were being redefined.  This lead to confusion about what it means to be a  real man.  As our standards of what defines masculinity continue to progress, it is essential that we continue to study man's place in society.

The Epic of Gilgamesh Mankind is known for building monuments This piece is dedicated to the goddess Ishtar who had a temple in the city of Uruk, home of Gilgamesh. "draw near to Eanna, seat of Ishtar the goddess" - Tablet I page 1
The Epic of Gilgamesh The bull has been a symbol for men for centuries. Gilgamesh is described as, "Surpassing all other kings, heroic in stature, brave scion of Uruk, wild bull on the rampage!" - Tablet I page 2
The Epic of Gilgamesh Man needs a challenge Gilgamesh has a dream foretelling of Enkidu "The stars of the heavens appeared above me, like a rock from the sky one fell down before me." "[and you, O mother, you] made it my equal." - Tablet I page 10
The Epic of Gilgamesh Men fight to settle differences oftentimes When Gilgamesh and Enkidu meet, they fight "They seized each other at the door of the wedding house, in the street they joined combat, in the Square of the Land." - Tablet II page 16
Civilization and its Discontents Man is said to have primal needs. Sigmund Freud spoke of many things including dreams and aggression. "Civilization has to use its utmost efforts in order to set limits to man's aggressive instincts" page 96
Civilization and its Discontents Spectator sports are popular among men. Luta is Portuguese for fight. "men are not gentle creatures who want to be loved, and who at the most can defend themselves if they are attacked; they are, on the contrary, creatures among whose instinctual endowments is to be reckoned a powerful share of aggressiveness" page 94
Civilization and its Discontents Various men throughout history have stood for something. "I have not the courage to rise up above my fellow men as a prophet, and I bow to their reproach that i can offer them no consolation..." page 149
Civilization and its Discontents Men deal with things in different ways, some retreat from society. Sigmund Freud mentions hermits in chapter two of his book Civilization and its Discontents. "The hermit turns his back on the world and will have no truck with it." page 50
The Left Hand of Darkness Men have a myth of solitude. The Left Hand of Darkness mentions winter and solitude in chapter one. "I was cold, unconfident, obsessed by perfidy, and solitude, and fear." page 20
The Left Hand of Darkness What makes a man? The Left Hand of Darkness introduces us to a people that lack the attributes of sex unless they are in kemmer "In this first phase of kemmer (Karh. secher) he remains completely androgynous." page 90
The Left Hand of Darkness When do you become a man? "comparable to preadolescents" is how the people of the planet are described in chapter 7 page 95
The Trials of Socrates We see rest and reflectation take place in boxing which traditionally was a man's sport. Socrates mentioned shadows in The Apology,"One must literally fight with shadows to defend oneself and cross-examine with no one to respond." The Apology, page 28
The Trials of Socrates Man's search for truth is ongoing and ancient Socrates was looking for universal truth "You see, men of Athens, this is the truth of the matter" The Apology, page 43
The Trials of Socrates Men have a need to explore. Socrates summed up some of the charges against him, "Socrates commits injustice and is a busybody, in that he investigates the things beneath the earth and in the heavens, makes the weaker argument the stronger, and teaches these things to others." The Apology, page 29
The Trials of Socrates Until more recent time, judgment was handed down by men. The Trials of Socrates deals with laws and judgement, this piece depicts Death who is one of the four horseman come to announce judgement. Socrates said, "you bring me here, where the law requires you to bring those in need of punishment, not instruction." The Apology, page 40
An Ideal Husband Stress is a leading factor for heart attacks in men. "I never knew what terror was before. I know it now. It is as if a hand of ice were laid upon one's heart. It is as if one's heart were beating itself to death in some empty hollow." - Act 2 page 228
An Ideal Husband Love wasn't always a part of marriage for men. While there is no mention of Cupid in An Ideal Husband, Oscar Wilde has mentioned him in other work. In Act Four, Lord Goring proposes to Mabel a bit suddenly and shortly thereafter she heads into the conservatory. "Lord Goring returns from the conservatory, looking very pleased with himself, and with an entirely new buttonhole that some one has made for him." page 287
The Daodejing of Laozi Man has an intimate relationship with water. "Water is good at benefiting the myriad creatures, while not contending with them." Chapter Eight page 8
The Daodejing of Laozi The majority of those that serve in the military are men. "Even though they have armor and weapons, they will have no reason to deploy them." Chapter Eighty page 83
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