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paharo45

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There are too many philosophers to count, but these are the ones I am studying at the moment. It's fascinating to me how influential the Greek philosophers are. Here's some things I am learning:

#1 Socrates

If philosophy had a poster boy, Socrates might very well be it. The father of Western philosophy, Socrates was a gadfly to Athenian society, questioning everything and Master to Plato. Known for the Socratic Method and his unflinching commitment to truth, Socrates' influence is immeasurable despite never having written a word.

#2 Plato

Rightly succeeding his mentor on this list, Plato's Academy saw him birth the first "university" of its kind. His unabashed idealism, immortal Forms, allegories like the Cave, and the pursuit of 'The Good' in moral philosophy set the stage for much intellectual discourse.

#3 Aristotle

Aristotle, another of Plato's students, had a more grounded approach to philosophy than his predecessor. With establishing principles of logic and reason, and contributions to virtually every field of academia, from poetry to physics, Aristotle's body of work remains foundational.

#4 Heraclitus

Heraclitus, famed for the idea that "change is the only constant," viewed the cosmos through a lens of process, flux, and an everlasting Logos that governs the world. Although little of his work survives, his influence on ancient and modern thinkers is profound.

#5 Epicurus

Known for his eponymous philosophy, Epicurus taught that the greatest good is to seek modest pleasures in order to attain a state of tranquility, freedom from fear (ataraxia), and absence of bodily pain (aponia). Often misunderstood, Epicureanism is starkly different from the modern use of 'epicurean' - it's much less about a luxury lifestyle and more about ethical considerations regarding personal fulfillment.
 
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This is a great collection of philosophers but you're right. There's so many more! Here are my favorites:
  • Socrates - Often considered the father of Western philosophy, he famously proclaimed, "I know that I know nothing," emphasizing the virtue of wisdom in acknowledging one's own ignorance.
  • Plato - A student of Socrates, known for his works such as "The Republic," which looked at justice and the ideal state, and his theory of Forms or Ideas.
  • Aristotle - The pupil of Plato and tutor to Alexander the Great, his extensive writings cover topics ranging from metaphysics to biology, poetics to politics.
But let's not forget the likes of Diogenes with his cynic approach to life, Pythagoras for his contributions beyond the famous theorem, Epicurus for his thoughts on pleasure and simplicity, and Zeno for his paradoxes and founding of Stoicism.
 

Athens and the creation of democracy

I've been thinking about Athens and how it's the birth of democracy. I wondered if other societies had experimented with the concepts or if Athens was unique? Does anyone know? I know that there's been some evidence that other societies experimented with community leadership, but none had a true democracy like what Athens developed.

It was unique in developing a system where a significant portion of its inhabitants could participate directly in decision-making processes. This early form of democracy was largely initiated under the leadership of Cleisthenes in 508/507 BC. His reforms reorganized the population into ten tribes based on their residence rather than lineage, promoting a broader and more inclusive political engagement.

In this Athenian democracy, citizens had the right to attend the Assembly (Ekklesia), where they could speak and vote on legislation and executive decisions. The Council of Five Hundred (Boule), selected by lot for each of the ten tribes, proposed legislation and handled daily affairs. This lottery system for public office sought to prevent power monopolies and encourage civic participation.

I know that this work truly influenced other democratic governments through the world!

Feel free to chime in with your thoughts- I find this stuff interesting.

History of the tradition of decorating boats for Christmas

One of the most interesting Greek Christmas traditions to me is the one where people decorate boats. So, I started to research the history. Here's a bit of what I discovered:

The roots of the tradition of decorating boats in Greece for Christmas can be traced back to the country's longstanding ties with the sea. In Ancient Greece, people would often looked to the sea for both sustenance and inspiration, and it was not uncommon for ships to be adorned with religious symbols and decorations.

It also has ties to early Christianity in Greece. According to Greek Orthodox beliefs, Saint Nicolas (aka Santa Claus) was a sailor, and he is the patron saint of sailors. Decorating boats is often seen as a way to honor him.

Over time, this practice became associated with the Christmas season, and the boats began to be decorated specifically for the holiday.

People also make paper boats to decorate. Some call these the "yule boat" or karavaki. One of the most famous examples of this practice is the Yule boat, or karavaki.

The earliest known evidence of decorating boats for Christmas in Greece dates back to the 19th century. During this time, sailors would deck out their boats with lights and tiny boats. These tiny boats were often placed inside the larger boat, symbolizing protection from harm while at sea.

Does anyone have anything to add?

Interesting Greek History Topics I Like

The Persian Wars: The wars fought between Greece and the Persian empire in the 5th century BC were some of the most consequential conflicts of ancient times. Learn about the key events, such as the Battle of Marathon and the Battle of Thermopylae, and the strategies that allowed the Greeks to repel the Persian invaders.

The Rise of Athens: Arguably the most influential city-state in ancient Greece, Athens was the birthplace of democracy, philosophy, and the arts. Follow the rise of Athens from a humble village to a powerhouse of trade and culture.

The Peloponnesian War: The decades-long conflict between Athens and Sparta was a turning point in Greek history, leading to the decline of Athens and the rise of Macedon under Philip II and his son Alexander.

The Life of Alexander the Great: The young conqueror who led his armies across the known world, Alexander the Great is one of the most famous and admired figures of ancient history. Learn about his upbringing, his conquests, and his legacy.

The Olympic Games: A tradition that continues to this day, the ancient Olympics were a celebration of sports, culture, and political power. Explore the origins of the games and the events that took place.

Studying the Trojan War - Was it Real?

Did the Trojan War really happen? I am doing a bit of research and wanted to know what you guys thought:

The war is believed to have happened around 1200 BCE, and while there is no concrete evidence to support its occurrence, it is widely accepted as factual.

What is confusing me is how prevalent it is in Greek Mythology. In addition to the gods' involvement in the conflict, various stories and legends were added over time to give the tale more depth and drama. For example, the character of Achilles was said to be invulnerable except for his heel, which led to the phrase "Achilles heel" being used to describe a person's one weakness.

While some scholars once dismissed the Trojan War as pure myth, modern archaeological evidence has suggested that it may have been a real event. Excavations at the ancient site of Troy have revealed evidence of a long period of conflict and destruction, and historians have found similarities between the tale as it is told in ancient texts and what is known about the region's history at the time. While many details of the Trojan War are still shrouded in mystery, it seems increasingly likely that it was not just a legend but a real event that has been passed down through the ages.

For Ancient Greeks, Our Modern Democracy is an Oligarchy.

Share and discuss Greek history!

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