Presentation on theme: "Classical Greece. From the birth of civilization to our own present day, the Middle East has been the crucible of conflict and the birth of empires. The."— Presentation transcript:
From the birth of civilization to our own present day, the Middle East has been the crucible of conflict and the birth of empires. The first war we know about in any detail was the struggle between the Hittites and the Egyptians for dominance in the Middle East of the 13 th century BCE. The power vacuum created by the collapse of these two empires led to the most famous war of antiquity, the Trojan War.
Classical Greece Given the epic grandeur by Homer in the Iliad, the Trojan War was an actual historical event. It demonstrates for us that the idea of a balance of power is a fragile and dangerous mechanism for maintaining peace. The Trojan War also illustrates the dangers of undertaking a preemptive war in the Middle East and the lesson that empires rise and fall because of the decisions made by individual leaders.
Classical Greece The Greek historian Thucydides believed that the Middle East was enormously important in the analysis of how power determines history. He began his history with the Trojan War (c1250-1240 BCE), which took place after the collapse of the Egyptian and Hittite empires. The Hittites were centered in today’s Turkey and they controlled the production of iron (probably the world’s most valuable commodity—besides gold—at the time).
Classical Greece Ramses II tried to conquer the Hittites to get control of their iron resources. Their armies met at the Battle of Kadesh (1274 BCE), the first historical battle we have detailed information about.
Classical Greece Ramses rode into an ambush, but he fought his way out, held off the Hittites until the rest of his army arrived, and claimed victory. The battle actually seems to have been a draw. The two powers signed the first detailed peace treaty in history, which divided the Middle East into spheres of influence.
Classical Greece The Egyptian Empire reached into the middle of Syria; the Hittite Empire extended from northern Syria and into Asia Minor.
Classical Greece Like most attempts to establish a balance of power, this one failed too. Both empires went into decline, and by 1250 BCE there was a power vacuum in the Middle East. Two new powers began to emerge—the Greeks (or as Homer called them the Achaeans) and the Trojans.
Classical Greece Both tried to fill the vacuum in their attempt to control the iron. But in Homer’s version, the Trojan War didn’t start over who controlled the iron, it started as a banquet of the gods, celebrating the wedding of Peleus (mortal king) and Thetis (a sea nymph), the parents of Achilles.
Classical Greece Every god and goddess was invited to attend except the goddess of discord (Eris).
Classical Greece In retaliation, she rolled a golden apple into the banquet inscribed with the words “To the fairest.” Those who fought the hardest for it were Hera (the wife of Zeus), Aphrodite (Zeus’ daughter, the goddess of love), and Athena (Zeus’ daughter, the goddess of wisdom and war).
Classical Greece The goddesses asked Zeus to decide but he gave the decision to a mortal, Paris, the Prince of Troy.
Classical Greece Hera offered power, Athena offered military glory and wisdom, and Aphrodite offered him the most beautiful woman in the world to be his wife. Paris chose Aphrodite. The most beautiful woman was Helen, a daughter of Zeus and the wife of the king of Sparta (Menelaus). His brother was Agamemnon.
Classical Greece When Paris took off with the willing Helen, the Greeks saw this as an act of betrayal and terrorism. So the king of Sparta called on the other kings of Greece to avenge this act. The Greeks mustered a large armada and army.
Classical Greece Each Greek king was an independent ruler but they accepted the command of Agamemnon.
Classical Greece Agamemnon and his troops launched a preemptive war against Troy. The two sides could have negotiated, but honor was at stake. The Greeks not only wanted the return of Helen, they wanted to conquer Troy. The Greeks mistakenly believed the war would be short, but it dragged on for years.
Classical Greece There were no negotiations, only battle after battle, because the cost of withdrawal was too high. So Homer began the Iliad in the ninth year of the war. Much of the story revolves around the stormy relationship between Achilles and Agamemnon.
Classical Greece The Trojans, thinking victory was near, attacked again and again. Achilles returned to battle, killed the Trojan champion Hector (the older brother of Paris), then desecrated Hector’s body before returning it to his father, King Priam. The Iliad ended with the funeral of Hector. But Homer’s audience knew the war would continue.
Classical Greece The real conflict was about dominance in the Middle East and access to the iron of the Hittite Empire. One morning in the 10 th year of the war, the Trojans awoke and found the Greeks gone, leaving nothing but a huge wooden horse as a tribute.
Classical Greece The Trojans believed peace had finally come. Of course, that peace was merely an illusion. When the Greeks finished, Troy was in ruins, its men killed, and its women and children enslaved. Troy, which had visions of becoming a superpower, was destroyed.
Classical Greece The victorious Agamemnon went home to be murdered by his wife. Odysseus wandered for another 10 years.
Classical Greece The gods brought destruction upon the vanquished and victors alike. Within a generation of the fall of Troy, the mighty cities of Greece were attacked by new bands of invaders. For the next 500+ years, Greece plunged into its “Dark Ages.”
Classical Greece For over 200 years, all of the Middle East was in turmoil and disarray. The iron that had been the cause of so much bloodshed was forged into new weapons of war. Among the people who moved to a new land during this time were the people of Israel, who moved out of Egypt and into Canaan, a land they believed God gave them.
Greece There’s a pretty sharp contrast between the huge and centralized Persian Empire, governed by an absolute and almost unapproachable monarch, and the small competing city-states of classical Greece, which allowed varying degrees of participation in political life.
Greece Like the Persians, the Greeks were an Indo- European people whose early history drew upon the legacy of the river valley civilizations (primarily Egypt and Mesopotamia). Classical Greece of historical fame emerged around 750 BCE and flourished for about 400 years before it was incorporated into a succession of foreign empires.
Greece Calling themselves Hellenes, the Greeks created a civilization that was distinctive, particularly compared to the Persians. The total population of Greece was 2-3 million, not even 1/10 th of Persia’s population.
Greece The Greek civilization took shape on a small peninsula, deeply divided by steep mountains and valleys.
Greece Greece’s geography certainly contributed to the political shape of that civilization, which was expressed, not in Persian-style empire, but in hundreds (actually about 700) city- states or small settlements.
Greece Most were very modest in size, with between 500 and 5,000 male citizens. These city-states were fiercely independent and frequently in conflict with each other.
Greece Despite the conflict, they had much in common: they spoke the same language, used the same letters (from the Phoenicians), worshipped the same gods, and every four years they suspended their rivalries to participate in the Olympic Games (started in 776 BCE).
Greece Even though there was an emerging Greek cultural identity, the Greeks could not overcome the political rivalries of the larger city-states—Athens, Sparta, Thebes, Corinth, and several others.
Greece Like the Persians, the Greeks were an expansive people, but their expansion took the form of settlement in distant places rather than conquest and empire. Pushed by a growing population, Greek traders in search of metals (mostly iron) and impoverished Greek farmers (in search of arable land) stimulated emigration.
Greece Between 750-500 BCE Greek settlements were established all around the Mediterranean and the rim of the Black Sea. Greek settlers brought their language, culture, and building styles to these new lands, as they fought, traded, and intermarried with their non-Greek neighbors.
The most distinctive element of Greek civilization, and its greatest contrast with Persia, was in the extent of popular participation in political life. It was this idea of “citizenship,” of free people running the affairs of state, of equality of all citizens before the law, that was so unique.
Greece A foreign king, observing the operation of the public assembly in Athens, was amazed that male citizens actually voted on public policy… “I find it astonishing that here wise men speak on public affairs, while fools decide them.” The extent of participation and the role of “citizens” varied considerably, both over time and from city to city.
Greece Early in Greek history, only the wealthy had the rights of full citizenship, such as speaking and voting in the assembly, holding public office, and leading soldiers in the army. Gradually, lower-class men, mostly small-scale farmers also obtained these rights.
Greece At least in part, this broadening of political rights was associated with the growing number of men able to afford the armor and weapons that would allow them to serve as hoplites, or infantrymen, in the armies of the city-states.
Greece In many places, dictators known as tyrants, emerged for a time, usually with the support of the poorer classes, to challenge the prerogatives of the wealthy. Draco (c. 600’s BCE) and Solon (c 630-560 BCE). Famous “lawgivers” or rulers.
Greece The monetary system that was developing promoted the idea of borrowing, and by the end of the 7 th century BCE, a large number of Greek citizens were in debt. The inability to repay a debt resulted in the enslavement of the debtor or members of his family. This system caused an economic crisis that brought Athens and several Greek cities to the brink of civil war.
Greece In 594 BCE, a wealthy merchant and poet named Solon (c.640-560 BCE)was asked to become governor of Athens and solve the economic crisis.
Greece Solon was over 40 years old, had traveled widely, and was considered among the wisest men in Greece. He refused the offer to become a dictator of Athens, declaring instead he would solve the current economic problems, then step back from power.
Greece His first act was to buy out of slavery all those Athenians who had been sold outside of Athens and to prohibit the enslavement of Athenian citizens as payment for debt. He also canceled all outstanding debt.
Greece Solon’s next step was to ensure the freedom of the Athenian people from exploitation by a few wealthy individuals, while acknowledging that those with the greatest wealth had the biggest stake in the government. To this end, he created a written constitution for Athens, establishing a balanced democracy. All male Athenian citizens were granted the right to vote, to serve on juries, and to bring legal actions against others.
Greece The right to hold office was reserved for the wealthiest Athenians, but these men still had to be elected by their fellow citizens. Solon also established a supreme court that had the power to declare laws unconstitutional. Having written the Athenian constitution, Solon declared that the laws should not be changed for 10 years.
Greece He then retired from office and traveled. Solon was a noted reformer, whose legal code, with its opposition to tyranny and injustice, laid the constitutional foundations of Athenian democracy.
Greece To our founding fathers, Solon was the model of a true statesman. (This plaque is in the House of Representatives).
Greece The evolution of Sparta, famous for its extreme forms of military discipline, differed in many ways from that of Athens.
Greece Early on, Sparta solved the problem of feeding its growing population, not by creating overseas colonies as did many other Greek city-states, but by conquering their Greek neighbors (Messenia—between 640-620 BCE) and reducing them to a status of permanent servitude (essentially state-sponsored slavery). Known as the Helots, these people far outnumbered the free citizens of Sparta (20-1) and represented a permanent threat of rebellion.
Greece Solving the problem of the Helots was how Spartan society came to be autocratic and militaristic. Sparta had to be ready for war at any moment to keep the Helots in their place.
Greece Helots lived in the household of their master but unlike ordinary slaves, their master could not declare them free. They worked as domestic, agricultural and military servants. Helots were served excessive alcohol as an object lesson to other Spartans.
Greece Politically and legally Helots had no rights at all. The state was free to send them or dispose of them wherever they saw fit. The Helots could not vote and could not own property. The Spartans created an elite secret police known as the Krypteria. The Krypteria were responsible for keeping the Helots under control.
Greece The Helots had a huge impact on Spartan foreign policy. Fear of a Helot rebellion meant that the Spartans were afraid of foreign contacts or visitors who might encourage the Helots to revolt. It also meant that the Spartans were hesitant to become involved in military campaigns far from home (like against Persia in Lydia) in case the Helots used the army's absence as an opportunity to revolt.
Greece To maintain their militaristic system, all Spartan boys were removed from their homes at the age of seven to be trained by the state in military camps, where they learned the art of warfare. There they remained until the age of thirty.
Greece The ideal Spartan male was a skilled warrior, able to endure hardship and pain, and willing and ready to die for his city.
Greece Sparta’s rigorous educational system was designed to make its citizens extremely patriotic. Sparta had a “balanced” democracy, in some ways similar to that of the United States (because decisions of the people could be overturned by a supreme court— the Council of Elders).
Greece The Council of Elders was composed of twenty eight men over the age of sixty, who came from the wealthier and more influential segment of Spartan society. They served for life.
Greece Sparta had a strong commander–in-chief in the form of two kings (both hereditary positions based on family). They had priestly obligations and the power to declare war. The Spartan Assembly was made up of all full (male) citizens over the age of 18 (known as Spartiates).
Greece Even though Athens has been celebrated as the major impetus for Western democracy and rationalism, its posture towards women was far more negative and restrictive than that of the militaristic and much less democratic Sparta. As the men of Athens moved towards political participation, women had no opportunities to be included in the Assembly, councils, or the juries of Athens.
Greece In legal matters, women had to be represented by a guardian, and court proceedings didn’t even refer to women by name, but only as someone’s wife or mother.
Greece Famous philosophers (especially Aristotle) justified the exclusion of women from public affairs and general subordination to men this way… “a woman is, as it were, an infertile male. She is female in fact on account of a kind of inadequacy.” The “inadequacy” was her inability to generate sperm, which contained the “form” and the “soul” of a new human being.
Greece A woman’s role in the reproductive process was passive, she was merely the “receptacle” for the vital male contribution. Women were compared to children or domesticated animals, associated with instinct and passion, not the rationality needed to take part in public life.
Greece Aristotle said “it is best for all tame animals to be ruled by men for this is how they are kept alive. In the same way, the relationship between male and female is by nature the male is higher, the female lower, that the male rules and the female is ruled.”
Greece Women were usually married in their mid teens to men ten to fifteen years older. Their main function was to produce sons and maintain the affairs of the household. Sons were expected to become literate while daughters were taught spinning, weaving, and other household tasks. By law, women could not buy or sell land and could negotiate contracts only if the value was less than a bushel of barley.
Greece The Greek writer Menander once exclaimed : “Teaching a woman to read and write? What a terrible thing to do! Like feeding a vile snake on more poison.”
Greece Women in authoritarian and militaristic Sparta actually had more freedom and were accorded more respect. Like Athens, their main job was to bear warrior sons for Sparta. To strengthen their bodies for childbearing, girls took part in sporting events—running, throwing the discus and javelin, wrestling, even driving chariots.
Greece Women in Sparta.
Greece Unlike Athens, women were not secluded or segregated. Women married young men their own age, usually around the age of eighteen. Marriage was usually given a trial period to see if children could be produced, if not divorce and remarriage was accepted. Aristotle, and other Greeks were astonished and appalled at the “freedom” Spartan women had.
Greece Early steps towards Athenian democracy were the result of class conflict so intense, it almost led to a civil war. In 594 BCE Solon pushed Athenian politics in a more democratic direction, eliminating debt slavery, opening public office to a wider group of men, and all (male) citizens were allowed to take part in the Assembly.
Greece Later reformers like Pericles (495-429 BCE), extended the rights of citizens even further. By 450 BCE, all public office holders were chosen by lottery and were paid, so that even the poorest (male) citizen could serve.
Greece Athens did not have a ruler, but had a popular assembly where any male citizen was permitted to speak and vote. The Assembly, where all (male) citizens could participate, became the center of political life. Under normal circumstances, the Assembly met every nine days and majority rule was absolute.
Greece What was known as the Periclean Era (460-429 BCE) was also known as the “Golden Age of Athens” for under the leadership of Pericles, Athens built the Parthenon on top of the Acropolis.
Greece During the Periclean Era, Herodotus (c. 490-425 BCE) wrote the very first work of history (The Persian War); Greek theater was born when Sophocles (496-406 BCE), wrote Antigone and King Oedipus, and Euripedes (480-406 BCE), wrote Medea and Electra.
Greece Athenian democracy was different from modern democracy. It was direct rather than representative. Athenian democracy was also limited to (male) citizens only…no women, no slaves, no foreigners could participate (and together they made up more than half of the population).
Greece Nonetheless, political life in Athens was unequalled anywhere else in the classical world. The Athenians valued the freedom to live as one chose as long as others were not harmed.
Greece Pericles celebrated the uniqueness of Athens in a famous speech: “ It is true that we are called a democracy, for the administration is in the hands of the many not the few. But while the law secures equal justice to all alike in their private disputes, the claim of excellence is also recognized…Neither is poverty a bar, but a man may benefit his country whatever be the obscurity of his condition…We alone regard a man who takes no interest in public affairs, not as harmless, but as a useless character.”
Greece The Periclean Age (or Golden Age of Athens) was short lived as Athens and Sparta were in constant competition with each other trying to control of the Greek mainland. The Peloponnesian Wars (431-404 BCE) were civil wars that were the result of their attempt to dominate Greek life.
Greece After the Persian wars ended in 478 BCE, a group of Greek city-states formed a coalition (known as the Delian League) to create and fund a standing navy to defend against further Persian attempts (there were none). There were thirty members, with Athens being the largest, most powerful member of the Delian League.
Greece Eventually, Athens (under Pericles) absorbed many of the other Greek city- states into a greater Athenian Empire and Sparta got nervous (and jealous). Sparta took the lead in defending what it considered the traditional independence of the Greek city-state.
Greece Not only was Sparta jealous of Athenian power, Athens began meddling in the affairs of several of Sparta’s allies. As the war drew close, Athens had the superior navy while Sparta had the superior land force.
The Spartan strategy was to invade the land surrounding Athens (Attica). While this invasion deprived Athens of the productive land around their city, Athens itself was able to maintain access to the sea, and did not suffer much. Many of the citizens of Attica abandoned their farms and moved inside the Long Walls, which protected Athens.
Greece The Athenian Long Walls allowed Athens access to the sea during times of siege.
Greece The Spartans would occupy Attica for only a few weeks at a time (remember the Helots)—the longest Spartan invasion lasted just 40 days. The Athenian strategy was to avoid open battle with Sparta and rely on their fleet. But the cramped and dirty living conditions in Athens were an easy target for disease.
Greece In 430 BCE the Athenian fleet went on the offensive winning several battles, but an outbreak of the plague (scientists believe it was anthrax or typhus) ravaged the densely packed city. In the first recorded instance of a plague, rampant fever, exhaustive vomiting and diarrhea, and a general delirium, often killed the infected within a few days.
Greece Athens suffering from the plague.
Greece The plague wiped out over 30,000 citizens, sailors, soldiers, and even Pericles and his sons…between one quarter and one third of the Athenian population. The fear of plague was so widespread that the Spartan invasion of Attica was abandoned because Spartan troops were unwilling to be near their diseased enemy.
Greece The war would rage for 27 years (with a six year truce in the middle), and in the end, Sparta defeated Athens as Athens was eventually starved into submission in 404 BCE. The Peloponnesian Wars ended the “Golden Age of Athens,” and even though Sparta won, it set off a series of quarrels between other Greek city-states which weakened Greece overall. A weakened Greece was now vulnerable to attack from a new power to the north: Macedonia.
Greece The Hellenistic Period: With the defeat of Athens in the Peloponnesian Wars, the glory days of Greece were over, but the spread of Greek culture was just beginning. A Roman version of Aphrodite (the Greek original has been lost).
Greece Until the 4 th century BCE, Macedonia was a sleepy frontier state in northern Greece. Most Macedonians were either farmers, pastoralists who followed their herds from mountain pastures to valleys, or engaged in trade with other Greek city-states. King Philip II (r. 359-336 BCE) came to power when more powerful neighbors were on the verge of putting an end to Macedonia’s existence.
Greece Macedonia at the start of Philip II’s reign:
Greece Through diplomacy and sheer cunning, Philip avoided disaster and concentrated on conquering his neighbors. His sights were then set on the Greek city-states to his south.
Greece Since the Greeks could not agree with each other they were not able to form alliances against Philip…he was able to conquer Greece within ten years (by 338 BCE).
Greece When Philip turned to Sparta; he sent them a message, "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city." Their laconic reply: "If.” Philip and Alexander would both leave Sparta alone.
Greece The Greeks never considered the Macedonians kinsmen, they were considered dangerous barbarians. The Macedonian conquest of Greece (by 338 BCE) accomplished what the Greeks had been unable to achieve—the political unification of Greece. But this came at a high price—the cost was the much prized independence of the Greek city- states.
Greece Philip also set in motion a second round in the collision between Greece and Persia. This project united the Greeks behind the Macedonians as they would fight their common enemy. Even though it had been 150 years since the great battles of Marathon and Thermopylae, many Greeks sought vengeance against the Persians for their earlier assaults on Greece.
Alexander the Great Philip II was about to invade Persia when he was assassinated (336 BCE) so the task fell to his 20 year old son, Alexander III…known to history as Alexander the Great.
Alexander the Great Macedonia at the start of Philip’s reign. Macedonia at Philip II’s death.
Alexander the Great As a 13 year old, Alexander tamed the untamable horse Bucephalus, and this horse became legendary as Alexander’s charger in many battles. When it died in battle (at the age of 30), Alexander named a city after it (Bucephala).
Alexander the Great As an adult, Alexander claimed that he had been sired by the god Zeus, and his mother Olympias backed him up. She said the night before her wedding to King Philip II, she had been sexually assaulted by a thunderbolt (Zeus) and that fire and flame came from her womb. She was beautiful but odd—she came from a Dionysian sect of snake-worshippers and liked to take large reptiles to bed with her.
Alexander the Great Alexander was classically trained and educated (until 16) by the world’s most famous tutor, Aristotle.
Alexander the Great In his short career (13 years), Alexander was able to conquer most of the known world to the Greeks. It is the stuff of legend. Alexander inherited a well disciplined and well equipped army, and Alexander’s ambition drove the Macedonians to conquer one area after another. His attention was first focused on the Persians.
Alexander the Great In 334 BCE, after securing his northern border and brutally crushing a Theban rebellion, Alexander crossed the Dardanelles. With him were 32,000 infantry and 5,000 cavalry. He defeated Darius III at the Battle of Granicus and continued down the Ionian coast, capturing Persian-held coastal cities.
Alexander the Great
The Persians were among the most feared adversaries because they used scythe- wheeled chariots.
Alexander the Great Alexander entered what is now northern Syria in 333BCE, and within a year, defeated Darius III for a second time at the battle of Issus.
Alexander the Great Even though Darius escaped the battle, he was forced to leave his mother, wife, and children in Alexander’s hands as royal hostages. In 332, Alexander conquered the Phoenician coast at Tyre (Lebanon) preventing the Persian fleet from landing and moved south to Egypt.
Alexander the Great When Alexander besieged Tyre, the city was divided into two parts: on the mainland was the “old” city and about ½ mile into the Mediterranean was an island fortress.
Alexander the Great The island fortress was protected by fabled walls that were up to 150 ft high, and Alexander had no navy. First he tried diplomacy, sending two envoys to suggest an alliance. The Tyrians killed the men and threw their bodies into the sea. Incensed, Alexander decided to build a causeway between the mainland and the island, an extraordinary undertaking considering the water reached 20ft deep.
Alexander the Great Alexander ordered the old city demolished and used the debris to build a roadway 200 ft wide (so he could march his soldiers in their phalanxes).
Alexander the Great The Tyrians sent out ships filled with archers and catapults that rained destruction down upon Alexander’s workmen; but the causeway advanced. The Tyrians sent out unmanned ships of flaming pitch and tar into the causeway, setting it on fire; but the work continued. Alexander had two mobile siege towers (150 ft high) built on the causeway with catapults.
Alexander the Great After seven months, the causeway was completed and Alexander launched his attack.
Alexander the Great The Tyrians put up a desperate defense but were overwhelmed by the Greeks and the island fortress fell. Alexander ordered the deaths of all male inhabitants (over 8,000) and the enslavement of everyone else. Today it is still possible to make out the stones of Alexander’s road across the ocean.
Darius tried to get his family back by offering a worthy ransom and ceding territory west of the Halys River (Asia Minor). In his characteristic arrogance, Alexander wrote back “ King Alexander to Darius, In the future, let any communication between us be addressed to the King of all Asia. Do not write to me as an equal. Everything you possess is now mine, so if you should want anything, let me know in the proper terms or I shall take steps to deal with you as a criminal. If you wish to dispute the throne, stand and fight for it and do not run away. Wherever you may hide yourself, be sure I shall seek you out.” Alexander the Great
In Egypt, at the age of twenty-four, Alexander liberated the Egyptians from Persian domination, was crowned pharaoh, and was declared by Egyptian priests to be the “son of Amon, the king of the gods.”
Alexander the Great Alexander then founded his namesake city (Alexandria) at the mouth of the Nile. It would be Egypt’s capital for over 1300 years.
Alexander the Great Alexander then returned to Mesopotamia to deal with Darius III and the Persians. Marching in columns through heat that reached 110 degrees, nearly 50,000 Greeks (and Greek allies) crossed the Syrian desert, the Euphrates, then Tigris Rivers until they met the Persians on the plain near Gaugamela. Darius had over 250,000 infantry, 40,000 armored cavalry and chariots, and 15 war elephants.
Alexander the Great
Darius had deliberately maneuvered his forces to bring Alexander to this plain. The Persians spent the week before the battle making booby traps (pits full of sharpened stakes) and tamping down wide, smooth areas to use their scythe wheeled chariots. Even though he held the upper hand, Darius tried to bargain with Alexander.
Alexander the Great Darius’ peace offering was this: besides paying 30,000 silver talents in ransom for his mother, wife, and children, he also offered Alexander all territory west of the Euphrates River. When Darius’ emissaries brought this offer, Alexander’s chief general, Parmenio, advised “If I were Alexander I would accept this offer.” Alexander famously replied “So would I, if I were Parmenio.”
Alexander the Great Through Persian deserters, Alexander found out where the booby traps were. Parmenio advised a night attack to surprise and panic the Persian forces, but Alexander rejected the idea as dishonorable (also highly unpredictable and chaotic). But a rumor of a night attack might not be a bad one to spread (through spies). Darius kept much of his army up all night for an assault that never came.
Alexander the Great Although considerably outnumbered, Alexander’s (well rested) army defeated the hated Persians on the plains near Gaugamela.
Alexander the Great Some ancient sources say that Darius sought out and charged at Alexander (surrounded by his bodyguards, the Companions) on the battlefield, only to have Alexander kill Darius’ charioteer with a spear. A (false) rumor then spread that Darius was dead which caused the Persian forces to retreat in disarray and panic.
Alexander the Great Others say Darius saw that he was in danger of being outflanked and fled before he could be captured. Either way the result was the same: the Great King of the Persians raced for his life across the vast plain that was supposed to be the sight of his victory.
Alexander the Great Close up of the “Alexander Mosaic” (from the Roman city of Pompeii).
Alexander the Great From the “Alexander Mosaic.” It was said that Darius III was panic-stricken in his chariot at Alexander’s advance.
Alexander the Great The Greeks inflicted up to 50,000 Persian casualties while losing between 500-1500 men. The Greek army then seized the great cities of Babylon and Susa. They then looted and burned down the Persian capital city of Persepolis. Alexander was hailed the “King of Asia.” Darius was murdered by his cousin (and former advisor)…Alexander ordered a royal burial.
Alexander the Great The great Persian Empire was at an end. The Greek historian Arrian described Alexander: “ His passion was for glory only, and in that he was insatiable…Noble indeed was his power of inspiring his men, of filling them with confidence, and in the moment of danger, of sweeping away their fear by the spectacle of his own fearlessness.”
Alexander the Great No one could stand up to the power and tactics displayed by Alexander and his generals. He pushed his army all the way to the Indus River, where his exhausted troops refused to go any further.
Alexander the Great But after Alexander defeated Darius, he went into a deep depression, in part because there were no more worlds left to conquer, and because his victories exacerbated a tendency towards megalomania. He began to drink heavily, and to his army’s dismay, became “orientalized,” wearing Persian robes and insisting on the Persian custom of hand-kissing to show obedience.
Alexander the Great He planned to merge Greek and Asian institutions and cultures under his control, naming many cities Alexandria in his honor. He forced his men to marry the women of conquered territories to create new, blended civilizations (most marriages dissolved after his death). Alexander himself married several daughters of conquered princes.
Alexander the Great In Babylon, Alexander married a Persian princess (Roxana) and the wedding revelry was carried to such shameful excesses, Alexander’s best friend drank himself to death.
Alexander the Great But his dreams of grand, long lasting empire, ended with his death to fever in Babylon (323 BCE).
Alexander the Great Soon after his death, his empire was divided into three kingdoms, ruled by leading Macedonian generals (Antigonid—Greece; Ptolemaic—Egypt; Seleucid—Persia). The most famous dynasty were the Ptolemies who ruled Egypt (Cleopatra was from this line).
Alexander the Great Although his political ambitions failed, his conquests had a huge cultural impact on the course of world history. Through this conquests, Alexander disseminated Greek culture throughout the First Civilizations—Egypt, Mesopotamia, and India—resulting in one of the great cultural encounters of the classical world.
Alexander the Great Greek culture spread to hundreds of cities throughout the empire…as Greek sculptures and monuments, Greek theaters and markets, and Greek councils and assemblies attracted thousands of Greek settlers serving as state officials, soldiers, or merchants.
Alexander the Great The most famous Alexandria (Egypt) was the largest—with over 500,000 people—it was one of the largest cosmopolitan cities in the world. Here Egyptians, Greeks, Jews, Babylonians, Syrians, Persians, etc rubbed elbows.
Alexander the Great Alexandria’s (Egypt) harbor had space for 1,200 ships which facilitated long-distance trade. The famous Library had over 700,000 volumes.
Alexander the Great From cities like Alexandria, Greek culture spread. A simplified form of Greek was spoken from the Mediterranean to India (even Ashoka published some of his decrees in Greek). An independent Greek state was established in Bactria (today northern Afghanistan). Many young Jews were so attracted to Greek culture there was a fear among Jewish leaders that Judaism might not survive.
Alexander the Great Cities like Alexandria were very different from the original Greek city-states, both in their cultural diversity and in their absence of the independence so valued by Athens and Sparta. Macedonians and Greeks, representing maybe 10% of the population in those Hellenistic kingdoms, were clearly the elite and worked to keep themselves separate.
Alexander the Great In Egypt, different legal systems for Greeks and native Egyptians maintained this separation. Periodic rebellions expressed resentment at Greek arrogance, condescension, and exploitation. But the Greeks sometimes placated subjugated peoples by building temples to their local gods and supporting their priests.
Alexander the Great In India, the Greeks were assimilated into the hierarchy of the caste system as members of the Ksatriya (warrior) caste. In Bactria, many Greeks converted to Buddhism, including one of their kings (Menander).
Alexander the Great Greek influence found in Afghanistan.
Alexander the Great Buddhist art in India began to depict the Buddha in human form for the first time, but in Greek styled fashions with a face resembling the Greek god Apollo.
Alexander the Great Through time, a growing number of native peoples were able to become Greek citizens by getting a Greek education, speaking the language, dressing appropriately, and assuming a Greek name. Clearly, not all was conflict between the Greeks and the peoples of the East.
Alexander the Great By the first century CE, much of Greece’s cultural influence had begun to disappear as the Hellenistic kingdoms weakened and vanished. In the western part of the Hellenistic world, Greek rule would be replaced by that of the Romans, whose empire, like Alexander’s, continued to spread Greek culture and ideas.
Alexander the Great Alexander and his troops were able to create a Greek empire that stretched from Anatolia (Turkey) and Egypt in the west to Afghanistan and India in the east.
The Greek Cultural Tradition Unlike virtually everyone else in the classical world, the Greeks did not create a religious tradition of lasting importance. The religion of the Greek city-states brought together the unpredictable, quarreling, and lustful gods of Mt. Olympus, secret fertility cults, and oracles predicting the future.
The Greek Cultural Tradition The cloud-capped peak of Mt. Olympus, Greece’s highest mountain, was the mythical home of the Twelve Olympians.
The Greek Cultural Tradition Here the gods feasted, drank, and slept with each other—or with mortals abducted from below—in palaces built by Hephaestus (the blacksmith/fire god). Although Zeus, the thunder/lightening wielding king of the gods, was their acknowledged lord, they were constantly fighting with each other. The gods reflected the constant fighting of the Greeks on earth.
The Greek Cultural Tradition The Olympians, often called sky-gods because they roamed through the skies (except Poseidon who lived in the sea and Hades in the underworld), probably came to Greece through Indo-European invaders during the late Bronze Age.
The Greek Cultural Tradition Three deities made up the Olympian “royal family”: Zeus, king of the gods; his wife Hera, goddess of marriage; and Athena, daughter of Zeus, born directly from his forehead, goddess of the arts, wisdom, handicrafts.
The Greek Cultural Tradition Zeus was the supreme ruler of the gods and mortals. He embodied power, wisdom, and majesty; he was the father of justice and mercy; and he could destroy his enemies with thunderbolts.
The Greek Cultural Tradition Zeus was the youngest son of Cronus (Saturn) who devoured his older children fearing they would depose him. Zeus was hidden by his mother Rhea on Mt. Ida in Crete where he was raised by nymphs. Later, Zeus made his father vomit his siblings, deposed his father, then crushed the giant Titans, and the established his rule.
The Greek Cultural Tradition He divided the world with his brothers, Poseidon taking the oceans, and Hades taking the underworld. In honor of Zeus, the Olympic Games were held at Olympia in the Peloponnese (near Sparta) every four years.
The Greek Cultural Tradition Zeus married his sister Hera, but he constantly seduced women, both divine and mortal, fathering many children. Hera, his unwilling wife, was portrayed as majestic rather than beautiful.
The Greek Cultural Tradition Hera was famously fiery—understandable considering Zeus’ endless love affairs. She was widely revered as the goddess of marriage and childbirth. Hera intervened against the Trojans because Prince Paris snubbed her.
The Greek Cultural Tradition Athena, Zeus’ most brilliant child, was often shown as a warrior-goddess with a spear and shield. She became the patron of Athens after winning a contest against her uncle Poseidon.
The Greek Cultural Tradition Athena was also often seen with the owl of wisdom.
The Greek Cultural Tradition Midway between gods and men were the heroes. These were men, sometimes with divine parents, who won undying fame through their exploits. Hercules (who performed the “Twelve Labors”—tasks considered utterly impossible for ordinary humans) and Achilles (the greatest warrior) were among this group.
The Greek Cultural Tradition Hercules Achilles
The Greek Cultural Tradition Most Greek religion was connected to the political life of the city (polis) and was centered on festivals and sacrifices performed in public. Public religion was generally happy; by celebrating their gods, Greeks were celebrating their city and themselves. Public sacrifices gave poorer citizens a rare chance to eat meat and it was said that the gods were content to smell the burnt skin and bones of sacrificed animals.
The Greek Cultural Tradition The Greeks did not perform human sacrifices (only animal). In Greece, there was no priestly caste or profession. Priests and priestesses were appointed from full citizens with good reputations. Priesthood was generally unpaid and part- time. Women played an important role serving the goddesses.
The Greek Cultural Tradition To the Greeks, the proper conduct of funeral rites was extremely important because the souls of those left without proper rites were doomed to forever roam the desolate banks of the River Styx that flowed around Hades.
The Greek Cultural Tradition Because of the importance of these rites, especially for men killed in battle, a Greek army would concede defeat only so they could ask the victors permission to retrieve their dead to give them a proper burial. This permission was almost always granted.
The Greek Cultural Tradition During the Bronze Age, inhumation (burial) was the norm. By Homer’s time (8 th century BCE), cremation had replaced burial as the normal way to dispose of the dead.
The Greek Cultural Tradition In Classical times, cremation was the most common, but burial was still performed. By the early centuries CE, burial replaced cremation as the most common rite (probably because of the rise of Christianity).
The Greek Cultural Tradition It was common to put a coin on the corpse’s mouth (or under the tongue or on the eyes) to pay Charon, the ferryman who transported the dead across the River Styx (Acheron) into the shadow- world of Hades. If you couldn’t afford the coin, you were doomed to roam the banks of the River Styx for 100 years.
The Greek Cultural Tradition According to Homer, a soul would arrive at an immense lake in Hades that had to be crossed by boat. Charon, would call out the names of the places within Hades that the boat would be sailing to.
The Greek Cultural Tradition The Greeks of the Classical period believed all souls passed to Hades. Tartaros was a realm below Hades where disobedient, lesser gods were sent for punishment. Elysium was a wondrous realm located at the western end of the earth and inhabited by those that Zeus favored.
The Greek Cultural Tradition During the Post-Classical Period, the concept of reward and punishment for deceased mortals was introduced. At this point, Tartaros became “hell” and Elysium became “heaven”.
The Greek Cultural Tradition The Greeks were known for theater, especially tragedy (tragoidia—which means “goat-song” because the first actors either wore goatskins or were given goats as prizes).
The Greek Cultural Tradition Greek theater began as a ritual honoring the god Dionysus (who was the god of wine and dance, and later the god of dramatic performances).
The Greek Cultural Tradition The first performances had men dressed as satyrs, those mythical creatures who were half-man half- goat—who drank a lot and got wild—they danced and sang in chorus about the god (Dionysus). Dionysus and the Satyrs (c 480 BCE)
The Greek Cultural Tradition In 534 BCE, the actor Thespis made theatrical history by stepping out of the chorus, donning various different masks, and taking different roles. Drama had been born.
The Greek Cultural Tradition By 500 BCE, two actors were performing alongside the chorus, each one playing several parts. The greatest playwrights of Greek tragedy were Sophocles, Euripides, and Aeschylus.
The Greek Cultural Tradition Aristotle remarked that true tragedy involved the downfall of a hero, humanly fallible, caught in a conflict with the laws of gods or men that reveal fatal character flaws. It showed adversity heroically endured or overcome, leading to resignation, even serenity. Aristotle once said, tragic characters were “like us, only finer.”
The Greek Cultural Tradition Aeschylus (c.525-456 BCE), widely considered the father of Greek drama, was the first to write plays in trilogies, the first to use dramatic suspense, and the first to use special effects.
The Greek Cultural Tradition Komoidia (comedy) was another Greek invention which emerged about fifty years after tragedy. One of the greatest “comedians” was Aristophanes (c.450-385 BCE). He was a master of satire, ridicule, and political incorrectness.
The Greek Cultural Tradition Athens was the birthplace of Greek theater and the main dramatic performances took place during the Great Dionysia festival towards the end of March. For four days, citizens went to see the latest plays (which were judged by 10 judges— one from each Athenian tribe—who allotted prizes).
The Greek Cultural Tradition Going to a show cost the equivalent of a day’s pay (for an unskilled laborer), but funds were set aside to allow the poorest to go for free. By the 4 th century BCE, female citizens were allowed to go to the theater. Performances lasted all day, with spectators sitting motionless on unpadded stone benches out in the open (which could be chilly in March).
The Greek Cultural Tradition People brought food and drink to enjoy during a performance (Aristotle noted people drank a lot if the performance was bad). Theater was as popular as football is today (15,000 in the audience was common).
The Greek Cultural Tradition All actors wore masks and were male. Women were not allowed on the Greek stage. Masks were elaborate and often realistic, usually made of linen and molded onto the actors’ faces. Some were horrific—one for Oedipus showed his gouged-out eyes bleeding.
The Greek Cultural Tradition Most actors were men of good standing in the community. A maximum of three actors played all the speaking parts, making quick changes of costumes and masks. Most costumes were simple, based on everyday dress.
The Greek Cultural Tradition
The most elaborately dressed person on stage was the flute-player (the aulos) who accompanied the chorus. The chorus consisted of 12-15 actors who danced, recited, and sang (and became less important as individual actors became more prominent).
The Greek Cultural Tradition The Greeks developed cranes to introduce gods high up on stage and allow them to fly across stage.
The Greek Cultural Tradition In Euripides’ Medea, the queen flew across the stage in a chariot with the bodies of her dead children. Some acting was so realistic, it is said women in the audience sometimes fainted.
The Greek Cultural Tradition The Greek theater form that emerged after 400 BCE:
The Greek Cultural Tradition In the 6 th century BCE as theater was just beginning to gain in importance, a freed slave named Aesop began writing moralizing Fables. Among the best known were The Tortoise and the Hare, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, The Lion and the Mouse and The Fox and the Grapes (where we got the term “sour grapes”).
The Greek Cultural Tradition Literacy: by 700 BCE, the Greeks had adopted the Phoenician alphabet (our Roman (or Latin) alphabet came from the Greeks.
The Greek Cultural Tradition By 500 BCE, most urban Greeks were semi- literate (they could read but not always write). In antiquity, the main writing material was papyrus (from the papyrus plant grown almost exclusively in Egypt—the word paper comes from papyrus).
The Greek Cultural Tradition Text was written horizontally, and the reader slowly unwound each scroll (papyrus was very expensive and very fragile).
The Greek Cultural Tradition Scrolls were wrapped around sticks, identified with tags, and stacked like loose rolls of wallpaper in numbered boxes and barrels. Many scrolls were 25+ft long, making reading them cumbersome and taking two hands. The index of the great Library at Alexandria was said to be over 120 scrolls.
The Greek Cultural Tradition There was a lack of inexpensive material to write on, so people often wrote notes on wood or shards of pottery (known as an ostrakon—where the term ostracism (temporary exile) comes from).
The Greek Cultural Tradition The Greeks, always rivals of the Egyptians, developed parchment (vellum), made from animal hides. Parchment was harder to write on, but much tougher.
The Greek Cultural Tradition In the 3 rd century CE, parchment sheets began to be sewn together into what is known as a codex (a bound book). By the 6 th century CE, parchment had replaced papyrus as the preferred writing material.
The Greek Cultural Tradition The Greeks say Philosophy (Greek for ‘love of wisdom’) began with them. The Greeks were the first to think systematically, almost free of constraints, about the universe and humanity’s place in it. Ethics, logic, metaphysics, philosophy— Greek words for concepts the Greeks originated.
The Greek Cultural Tradition Philosophical enlightenment affected the physical sciences as early philosophers were also scientists/mathematicians. History, astronomy, biology, zoology, geography, geometry, trigonometry (and countless other scientific words) are Greek. The first known philosophers came from the Ionian Coast (today’s western Turkey) between 600-500 BCE.
The Greek Cultural Tradition Thales (c.625-547 BCE) is considered the founder of natural philosophy (what we call science today). He correctly predicted a solar eclipse (in 585 BCE) that stopped a battle between the Lydians and the Medes because they were superstitiously terrified.
The Greek Cultural Tradition Thales deduced that water was the primary principle of everything, and he believed that the Earth was spherical. Thales became revered as one of the Seven Sages of Greece because he reached his conclusions by observing and thinking, not because scripture or divine revelation told him.
The Greek Cultural Tradition The Seven Sages: Thales, Pittacus, Bias, Solon, Chilon, Cleobulus, Myson. A Roman mosaic of the Seven Sages:
The Greek Cultural Tradition A student of Thales, Anaximander (c. 610-547 BCE) proposed that there were countless worlds beyond our knowledge out in apeiron (infinity). He was the first to conceive of the Earth as a body suspended in space. He is credited with making the first map and sundial (important to an age without clocks). He even speculated about evolution after studying fossils.
The Greek Cultural Tradition The first man to be called a philosopher (lover of wisdom) was Pythagoras (c. 570-497 BCE). Pythagoras was a philosopher/mathematician, conjuror and mystic. Dressed in white robes and wearing a gold coronet, he was the first who sought to explain the nature of all things in mathematical terms. He believed in an immortal soul that would be reincarnated as an animal (so he was a vegetarian).
The Greek Cultural Tradition Pythagoras’ great mathematical discovery was that the sum of the squares on the two shorter sides of a right- angled triangle equals the sum of the square on the remaining side, the hypotenuse.
Socrates After the defeat of the Ionian revolt against the Persians (494 BCE), intellectual life moved to Athens. One of the most famous philosophers in history was Socrates (c. 470-399 BCE). Socrates was the first Athenian-born philosopher and he changed the focus of philosophy from speculation about the physical world to ethical issues.
Socrates Socrates became the archetypal philosopher with his disdain for worldly riches, his intellectual curiosity, and his bravery. He likened himself to a “gadfly,” stinging people into thought. And like a fly, he got squashed.
Socrates He was, by all accounts, short and stout, not given to good grooming (often dirty), not very handsome, and a lover of wine and conversation. Anyone could listen to him debating topics of the day on the streets of Athens. Since he didn’t charge any fees (unlike the Sophists) he became impoverished when he abandoned his trade as a sculptor/stone mason and walked around in rags and barefoot.
Socrates In exchange for his teaching, the wealthy young men of Athens made sure that he was taken care of. Since he claimed to have few needs, he took very little, much to his wife Xanthippe’s disappointment. Socrates had set his mind on higher things so he seemed indifferent to wealth, sex, and the trappings of success.
Socrates Considered an intellectual martyr, philosophy was for Socrates a sacred path, a holy quest—not a game to be taken lightly. He said that he did not teach, but rather served, like his mother, as a midwife to truth that is already in us.
Socrates Socrates gained fame for questioning Athenians about fundamental, usually unchallenged concepts. “What is truth?” “What is courage?” “What is justice?” “What is friendship?” “What is arete?” (virtue, valor, excellence, goodness) His questions usually revealed the ignorance in others, often making him unpopular (especially when he asked “Who is truly fit to govern?” The answer appeared to be…no one.
Socrates Socrates was not a democrat or an egalitarian. To him, the people should not be self-governing; they were like a herd of sheep that needed the direction of a wise shepherd. He denied that citizens had basic virtue necessary to nurture a good society (unlike Kong fu Tzu), instead equating virtue with a knowledge unattainable by ordinary people.
Socrates Striking at the heart of Athenian democracy, he contemptuously criticized the right of every citizen to speak in the Athenian assembly. On occasion, he had positive things to say about the great enemy of Athens, Sparta. This brought him into conflict with Athenian authorities.
Socrates In 399 BCE Socrates was accused of “not recognizing the city’s official gods and introducing new ones” and “corrupting the young.” He was convicted and given the choice: exile or the death sentence. He chose death, claiming he would not abandon Athens, and to his end, discussed the immortality of the soul.
Socrates His end was not very dignified—drinking a dose of poison hemlock caused convulsions and vomiting.
Plato Socrates favorite (and most brilliant) student was Plato, arguably the greatest philosopher ever (c. 429- 347 BCE). Most of his writings survive, with works ranging from cosmology (the study of the origin and structure of the universe) to politics.
Plato Disgusted with Athenian politics because of the death of his beloved teacher Socrates, Plato left Athens and lived with the Pythagoreans in Italy. At the age of 40, after his self-imposed exile of about 12 years he returned to Athens, where he founded the Academy for a select few to study philosophy. The Academy is considered the Western world’s first university.
Plato Raphael’s School of Athens (Plato’s Academy).
Plato Probably Plato’s most famous work, The Republic, was a sketch for a good and just society. This vision of a Utopian society was ruled by an elite trained from birth for the sole task of ruling. The Republic would be ruled by this class of highly educated “guardians” led by a “philosopher-king” who was guided by virtue.
Plato These “guardians” would be able to penetrate the countless illusions of the material world and grasp the “world of forms,” where ideas like goodness, beauty, justice, and mathematics lived a real and unchanging existence. Plato’s “Theory of Forms” meant that everything was a copy an ideal, unchanging Form, which had a permanent, indestructible, existence outside the confines of time and space.
Plato For Plato, nothing lasts and nothing ever stayed the same, except the world of the Forms (where there was permanence, order, and ultimate reality). Forms were blueprints (there were countless cats, dogs, trees, etc but they were made from the single, universal “cat,” “dog,” “tree.”) Even men were made in the universal Form of man. The key was the “soul,” which was immortal, existing even before birth. At death, the soul was reincarnated into a new life form.
Plato Only such people who understood this (the “guardians”) were fit to rule. The rest of society was divided into two lower orders—soldiers and the common people. This ideal state was predicated on the soul's three elements: “reason, courage, appetites.”
Plato In Plato’s Utopia (The Republic), there was no talk of personal freedom or individual rights. Everything is rigidly controlled by the guardians for the good of the state. As for the rest of the citizenry, their duty is simply to understand how to best put whatever talents they possessed to work for the benefit of society as a whole and devote themselves solely to that task.
Plato Plato’s state is certainly not a democratic one…he openly condemned democracy as a source of bad government. This has led several modern philosophers to condemn his works as supporting totalitarianism.
Plato http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69F7GhAS OdM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69F7GhAS OdM Plato’s allegory of The Cave is all about the shadow world we all live in…the world available to our five senses…the world of illusion. What we see around us is not the “ultimate” reality; if we could only pull back the curtain that divides us from this reality, we would be confronted by something extraordinary.
Aristotle Plato’s most famous student (and the tutor to Alexander the Great) was Aristotle (c. 384-322 BCE).
Aristotle Aristotle was probably the most complete expression of the “Greek” way of knowing because he wrote and commented on practically everything. He grew up in Macedonia, not Athens so he was always considered an outsider. Often seen as the contradiction to his teacher Plato, Aristotle once said “Plato is dear to me, but dearer still is the truth.”
Aristotle In 335 BCE he founded his school, the Lyceum, which was open to all (men), unlike the Academy. This became the world’s first research institute, with a library, museum, and collections of natural objects. Aristotle systematically classified the natural world—botany and biology begin with his studies.
Aristotle He dissected animal and human corpses, making notes and illustrations. Alexander sent his ex-tutor specimens during his world conquest. He mapped out several fields of inquiry, including biology, law, economics, politics, meteorology, ethics, logic, and physics. He even catalogued the constitutions of 158 Greek city-states.
Aristotle The universe, according to Aristotle.
Aristotle Most famous for his reflections on ethics, he argued that “virtue” was the result of rational training and good habits that could be learned. He believed the best form of government was a mixed system, a combination of the principles of a monarchy, an aristocracy, and a democracy.
Aristotle Aristotle was more realistic (or conservative) than Plato when it came to the ideal society, accepting slavery and women’s inferiority as natural. Unlike Plato, Aristotle placed great emphasis on the importance of empirical investigation. He laid the groundwork for a logical philosophy that would dominate Western and Islamic thought until the Scientific Revolution.
Democritus (460-370 BCE) Democritus was the first to propose the existence of countless atoms, which are constantly in motion and traveling in an infinite void, as the basic stuff of the universe. This came to known as Atomism.
Epicurus (341-270 BCE) Followed Democritus in his belief of atomic theory but became known for arguing that the gods had no influence on life and his rejection of an afterlife. Life, he believed, should be devoted to the pursuit of simple pleasure and friendship: “Happiness is the greatest good.” In other words, make the most of life. This became known as Epicureanism.
Epicurus Happiness was achieved by eliminating all mental and physical pain (including the desire for wealth, fame, etc)… His school in Athens, the Garden, competed with the Academy of Plato and the Lyceum of Aristotle.
Epicurus Unlike both of these schools, it admitted women, and even one of Epicurus's slaves. It taught the avoidance of political activity and public life.
Hippocrates Hippocrates (c. 460- 377BCE) became the most famous physician in antiquity, and a large number of medical treaties are attributed to him.
Hippocrates Hippocrates had a probing, scientific mind, a mind that described, then analyzed. He studied fractures and recommended treatments; he distinguished between diseases that were contagious and diseases that were self-contained; and he described how to treat infections. He was also very concerned with diet, proper hygiene, and with the concept of preventive medicine.
Hippocrates Probably his most compelling essays were on the “sacred disease” (epilepsy). He made an extensive study of epilepsy and concluded that it was caused by a malfunction in the brain. Medicine for Hippocrates was a sacred trust. Even if diseases didn’t come from the gods, he believed that the true doctor had an obligation to the gods just as he did to his patients.
Hippocrates He wrote for posterity what is the living statement of Greek medicine: the Hippocratic Oath. …to be honest in the practice of medicine, to do no harm to your patients, and to keep patient information confidential.