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  • Greece, A History of Ancient Greece, Draco and Solon Laws
    7th century BC also spelled DRACON Athenian lawgiver whose harsh legal code punished both trivial and serious crimes in Athens with death hence the continued use of the word draconian to describe repressive legal measures The six junior archons thesmotetai or magistrates are said by Aristotle to have been instituted in Athens after 683 BC to record the laws If this is correct Draco s code which is generally dated to 621 was not the first reduction of Athenian law to writing but it may have been the first comprehensive code or a revision prompted by some particular crisis Draco s code was later regarded as intolerably harsh punishing trivial crimes with death it was probably unsatisfactory to contemporaries since Solon who was the archon in 594 BC later repealed Draco s code and published new laws retaining only Draco s homicide statutes A decree of 409 408 BC orders the public inscription of this murder law which is partly extant Later authors refer to other laws of Draco which may be genuine but the constitution ascribed to Draco in chapter 4 of the Constitution of Athens by Aristotle is certainly a later fabrication from Solon Code of laws Solon

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  • Greece, A History of Ancient Greece, The Dorians
    Eurystheus of Mycenae The Heraclidae took refuge with Aegimius the king of Doris Several generations later the Heraclid brothers Temenus Aristodemus and Cresphontes led the Dorians back in a successful invasion of the Peloponnese and thus recovered their heritage In actual fact the origins of the Dorians are necessarily obscure but it appears they originated in northern and northwestern Greece i e Macedonia and Epirus From there they apparently swept southward into central Greece and then into the southern Aegean area in successive migrations beginning about 1100 BC at the end of the Bronze Age The invading Dorians had a relatively low cultural level and their only major technological innovation was the iron slashing sword The Dorians swept away the last of the declining Mycenaean and Minoan civilizations of southern Greece and plunged the region into a dark age out of which the Greek city states began to emerge almost three centuries later The migrating Dorians settled chiefly in the southern and eastern Peloponnese establishing strong centers in Laconia and its capital Sparta Messenia Argolís and the region of the Isthmus of Corinth They also settled the southern Aegean islands of Melos Thera Rhodes and Cos along with the island of Crete In fact the Dorians reached as far east as the cities of Halicarnassus and Cnidus on the coast of mainland Anatolia now southwestern Turkey A great wave of renewed colonization beginning in the 8th century BC brought Dorian settlers to the island of Corcyra modern Corfu to Syracuse Gela and Acragas now Agrigento in Sicily to Taras now Taranto in Italy and to Cyrene in North Africa as well as to scattered sites in the Crimea and along the Black Sea Sparta Corinth and Argos were among the most important cities of Doric origin Doric was one of

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  • Greece, A History of Ancient Greece, Early History of the Hellenes
    and not disgraceful The land too was infested by robbers and there are parts of Hellas in which the old practices continue as for example among the Ozolian Locrians Aetolians Acarnanians and the adjacent regions of the continent The fashion of wearing arms among these continental tribes is a relic of their old predatory habits For in ancient times all Hellenes carried weapons because their homes were undefended and intercourse was unsafe like the barbarians they went armed in their everyday life The Athenians were the first who laid aside arms and adopted an easier and more luxurious way of life Quite recently the old fashioned refinement of dress still lingered among the elder men of their richer class who wore undergarments of linen and bound back their hair in a knot with golden clasps in the form of grasshoppers and the same customs long survived among the elders of Ionia having been derived from their Athenian ancestors On the other hand the simple dress which is now common was first worn at Sparta and there more than anywhere else the life of the rich was assimilated to that of the people With respect to their towns later on at an era of increased facilities of navigation and a greater supply of capital we find the shores becoming the site of walled towns and the isthmuses being occupied for the purposes of commerce and defense against a neighbor But the old towns on account of the great prevalence of piracy were built away from the sea whether on the islands or the continent and still remain in their old sites But as soon as Minos had formed his navy communication by sea became easier as he colonized most of the islands and thus expelled the malefactors The coast population now began to apply themselves more closely to the acquisition of wealth and their life became more settled some even began to build themselves walls on the strength of their newly acquired riches And it was at a somewhat later stage of this development that they went on the expedition against Troy What enabled Agamemnon to raise the armament was more in my opinion his superiority in strength than the oaths of Tyndareus which bound the suitors to follow him Indeed the account given by those Peloponnesians who have been the recipients of the most credible tradition is this First of all Pelops arriving among a needy population from Asia with vast wealth acquired such power that stranger though he was the country was called after him and this power fortune saw fit materially to increase in the hands of his descendants Eurystheus had been killed in Attica by the Heraclids Atreus was his mother s brother and to the hands of his relation who had left his father on account of the death of Chrysippus Eurystheus when he set out on his expedition had committed Mycenae and the government As time went on and Eurystheus did not return Atreus complied

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  • Greece, A History of Ancient Greece, Economy And Society In Classical Greece
    their own needs except in the early period before civilization fully developed Imports of basic foods were more extensive here than in India or China This was one obvious spur to empire to try to assure access to adequate grain supplies Greek expansion pushed out mainly toward sources of grain in Sicily and around the Black Sea Large estate agriculture gained further momentum in the Hellenistic kingdoms Vast estates spread in Egypt and the Middle East requiring specialized banks and financial agents Elements of this capitalistic agriculture affected Mediterranean history later under both the Roman Empire and Arab rule The system also helped generate the surpluses needed for spreading Hellenistic culture and its urban monuments For peasants themselves the importance of commercial farming created an unusual tendency for farming families to cluster in small towns rather than the villages typical of other parts of Europe Asia and Africa Towns of a few thousand people provided trading facilities for grain and other goods while the peasants who lived there could still travel to the surrounding fields for work These rural agglomerations would remain typical around the Mediterranean even after the classical period had ended and the region underwent new political and cultural divisions The importance of trade in basic goods dictated extensive concern with commercial arrangements despite the ambiguous status of merchants themselves Private merchants operated most of the ships that carried foodstuffs and other goods But Greek governments supervised the grain trade providing not only transportation facilities but also storage depots to try to minimize the chance of famines Other kinds of trade were vital also Luxury products from the shops of urban artists and craftworkers played a vital role in the life style of the upper classes and some commodities such as tools and pots were sold more widely There also was some trade beyond the borders of the Mediterranean civilization for goods from India and China Slavery And Production Slavery was another key ingredient of the classical Mediterranean economy Philosophers such as Aristotle produced elaborate justifications for the necessity of slavery to a proper society for without slaves how would aristocrats learn what must be learned to maintain culture or have the time to cultivate political virtue Slaves were acquired as a result of wars unusually frequent in the Mediterranean world compared to China and India Athenians used slaves for household service and also as workers in their vast silver mines which hastened the progress of Athens s empire and commercial operations although working conditions were appallingly bad Sparta used helots or unfree labor extensively for agricultural work The Spartan system relied less on prisoners taken from war for it was imposed by Indo European conquerors over previous residents in the area Of the approximately 270 000 people in 5th century Athens 80 000 to 100 000 were slaves while helots in Sparta outnumbered their masters by a ratio of nearly ten to one In cities such as Athens some slaves enjoyed considerable independence and could earn money

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  • Greece, A History of Ancient Greece, Greece and Ethics
    school of thought that touched on all aspects of life and that may have been a kind of philosophical and religious order In ancient times the school was best known for its advocacy of vegetarianism which like that of the Jainas was associated with the belief that after the death of the body the human soul may take up residence in the body of an animal Pythagoreans continued to espouse this view for many centuries and classical passages in the works of such writers as Ovid and Porphyry opposing bloodshed and animal slaughter can be traced back to Pythagoras Ironically an important stimulus for the development of moral philosophy came from a group of teachers to whom the later Greek philosophers Socrates Plato and Aristotle were consistently hostile the Sophists This term was used in the 5th century to refer to a class of professional teachers of rhetoric and argument The Sophists promised their pupils success in political debate and increased influence in the affairs of the city They were accused of being mercenaries who taught their students to win arguments by fair means or foul Aristotle said that Protagoras perhaps the most famous of them claimed to teach how to make the weaker argument the stronger The Sophists however were more than mere teachers of rhetorical tricks They saw their role as imparting the cultural and intellectual qualities necessary for success and their involvement with argument about practical affairs led them to develop views about ethics The recurrent theme in the views of the better known Sophists such as Protagoras Antiphon and Thrasymachus is that what is commonly called good and bad or just and unjust does not reflect any objective fact of nature but is rather a matter of social convention It is to Protagoras that we owe

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  • Greece, A History of Ancient Greece, Greek Genius
    concept for matter another proposed air out of which all things come by a process of rarefying and condensing a third asserted that fire was the most mobile most transformable most active most life giving element This search for a material substance as the first principle or cause of all things culminated two centuries after Thales in the atomic theory of Democritus c 460 370 B C To Democritus reality was the mechanical motion of indivisible atoms which differed in shape size position and arrangement but not in quality Moving about continuously atoms combined to create objects While these and other early Greek philosophers were proposing some form of matter as the basic element in nature Pythagoras of Samos c 582 500 B C countered with the profoundly significant notion that the nature of things was something nonmaterial numbers By experimenting with a vibrating cord Pythagoras discovered that musical harmony is based on arithmetical proportions and he intuitively concluded that the universe was constructed of numbers and their relationships His mystical nonmaterial interpretation of nature together with his belief that the human body was distinct from the soul greatly influenced Plato An important consequence of early Greek philosophical speculation was the undermining of conventional beliefs and traditions In religion for example Anaximander argued that thunder and lightning were caused by blasts of wind and not by Zeus thunderbolts Xenophanes went on to ridicule the traditional view of the gods If oxen and lions had hands they would make portraits and statues of their gods in their own image The eroding of traditional views caused Greek inquiry to turn away from the physical world to a consideration of human values and institutions During the last half of the fifth century B C professional teachers called Sophists intellectuals taught a variety of subjectsthe nucleus of our present arts and scienceswhich they claimed would lead to material success The most popular subject was rhetoric the art of persuasion or how to take either side of an argument the sort of thing one learns today in law school The Sophists submitted all conventional beliefs to the test of rational criticism Concluding that truth was relative they denied the existence of universal standards to guide human actions Socrates A Martyr To Truth The outstanding opponent of the Sophists was the Athenian Socrates c 470 399 B C Like the Sophists Socrates turned from cosmic to human affairs in the words of the Roman statesman Cicero Socrates was the first to call philosophy down from the heavens and to set her in the cities of men bringing her into their homes and compelling her to ask questions about life and morality and things good and evil 17 But unlike the Sophists Socrates believed that by asking salient questions and subjecting the answers to logical analysis agreement could be reached about ethical standards and rules of conduct And so he would question passers by in his function of midwife assisting in the birth of correct ideas to use his own figure of speech Taking as his motto the famous inscription on the temple of Apollo at Delphi Know thyself he insisted that the unexamined life is not worth living To Socrates human excellence or virtue arete i is knowledge and evil and error are the result of ignorance Footnote 17 Quoted in M Cary and T J Haarhoff Life and Thought in the Greek and Roman World 5th ed London Methuen Co 1959 p 200 In time Socrates quest for truth led to his undoing for the Athenians unnerved by their defeat in the Peloponnesian War arrested him on the charge of impiety and corrupting the youth By a slim majority a jury of citizens condemned Socrates to die a fate he accepted without rancor and with a last request When my sons are grown up I would ask you my friends to punish them and I would have you trouble them as I have troubled you if they seem to care about riches or anything more than about virtue or if they pretend to be something when they are really nothing then reprove them as I have reproved you for not caring about that for which they ought to care and thinking that they are something when they are really nothing And if you do this both I and my sons will have received justice at your hands 18 Footnote 18 Plato Apology 41 Plato And His Theory Of Ideas After Socrates death philosophical leadership passed to his most famous disciple Plato 427 347 B C Like Socrates Plato believed that truth exists but only in the realm of thought the spiritual world of Ideas or Forms Such universals as Beauty Good and Justice exist apart from the material world and the beauty good and justice encountered in the world of the senses are only imperfect reflections of eternal and changeless Ideas The task for humans is to come to know the True Reality the eternal Ideas behind these imperfect reflections Only the soul and the soul s pilot reason can accomplish this for the human soul is spiritual and immortal and in its prenatal state it existed beyond the heavens where true Being dwells 19 Footnote 19 Plato Phaedrus 247 Disillusioned with the democracy that had led Athens to ruin in the Peloponnesian War and had condemned Socrates to death Plato expounded his concept of an ideal state in the Republic the first systematic treatise on political science The state s basic function founded on the Idea of Justice was the satisfaction of the common good Plato described a kind of spiritualized Sparta in which the state regulated every aspect of life including thought Thus those poets and forms of music considered unworthy were banished from the state Private property was abolished on the grounds that it bred selfishness Plato believed there was no essential difference between men and women therefore women received the same education and held the same occupations as men including the art of war which they must practice like men 20 Individuals belonged to one of three classes and found happiness only through their contribution to the community workers by producing the necessities of life warriors by guarding the state and philosophers by ruling in the best interests of all the people Footnote 20 Plato Republic 451 Plato founded the Academy in Athens the famous school that existed from about 388 B C until A D 529 when it was closed by the Christian emperor Justinian Here he taught and encouraged his students whom he expected to become the intellectual elite who would go forth and reform society Aristotle The Encyclopedic Philosopher Plato s greatest pupil was Aristotle 384 322 B C who set up his own school the Lyceum at Athens Reacting against the other worldly tendencies of Plato s thought Aristotle insisted that Ideas have no separate existence apart from the material world knowledge of universal Ideas is the result of the painstaking collection and organization of particular facts Aristotle s Lyceum accordingly became a center for the analysis of data from many branches of learning To us today Aristotle s most significant treatises are the Ethics and the Politics They deal with what he called the philosophy of human affairs whose object is the acquisition and maintenance of human happiness Two kinds of virtue arete intellectual and moral which produce two types of happiness are described in the Ethics Intellectual virtue is the product of reason and only people like philosophers and scientists ever attain it Much more important for the good of society is moral virtuevirtues of character such as justice bravery and temperance which is the product less of reason than of habit and thus can be acquired by all In this connection Aristotle introduced his Doctrine of the Mean as a guide for good conduct He considered all moral virtues to be means between extremes courage for example is the mean between cowardice and rashness In the Politics Aristotle viewed the state as necessary for the sake of the good life because its laws and educational system provide the most effective training needed for the attainment of moral virtue and hence happiness Thus to Aristotle the viewpoint popular today that the state stands in opposition to the individual would be unthinkable Aristotle s writings on formal logic collectively known as the Organon Instrument describe two ways in which new truths can be acquired The first induction moves from particular facts to general truths Deductive logic on the other hand moves from the general to the particular To facilitate deductive reasoning from general truths Aristotle devised the syllogism a logical structure requiring a trio of propositions The first two propositions the major and minor premises must be plainly valid and logically related so that the third proposition the conclusion inevitably follows For example 1 all Greeks are human 2 Socrates is a Greek 3 therefore Socrates is human There have probably been few geniuses whose interests were so widespread as Aristotle s He investigated such diverse fields as biology mathematics astronomy physics literary criticism rhetoric logic politics ethics and metaphysics His knowledge was so encyclopedic that there is hardly a college course today that does not take note of what Aristotle had to say on the subject Although his works on natural science are now little more than historical curiosities they held a place of undisputed authority until the scientific revolution of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries But in no important sense are his humanistic studies such as the Ethics and the Politics out of date Medicine Superstitions about the human body blocked the development of medical science until 420 B C when Hippocrates the father of medicine founded a school in which he emphasized the value of observation and the careful interpretation of symptoms Such modern medical terms as crisis acute and chronic were first used by Hippocrates He was firmly convinced that disease resulted from natural not supernatural causes Writing of epilepsy considered at the time a sacred or supernaturally inspired malady one Hippocratic writer observed It seems to me that this disease is no more divine than any other It has a natural cause just as other diseases have Men think it supernatural because they do not understand it But if they called everything supernatural which they do not understand why there would be no end of such thing 21 Footnote 21 Quoted in M Cary and T J Haarhoff Life and Thought in the Greek and Roman World p 192 The Hippocratic school also gave medicine a sense of service to humanity which it has never lost All members took the famous Hippocratic Oath still in use today One section states I will adopt the regimen which in my best judgment is beneficial to my patients and not for their injury or for any wrongful purpose I will not give poison to anyone though I be asked nor will I procure abortion 22 Footnote 22 Quoted in A R Burn The Pelican History of Greece p 272 Despite their empirical approach the Hippocratic school adopted the theory that the body contained four liquids or humors blood phlegm black bile and yellow bile whose proper balance was the basis of health This doctrine was to impede medical progress until modern times The Writing Of History If history is defined as an honest attempt first to find out what happened then to explain why it happened Herodotus of Halicarnassus 484 425 B C deserves to be called the father of history In his highly entertaining history of the Persian Wars he discerned the clash of two distinct civilizations the Hellenic and the Near Eastern His portrayal of both the Greeks and Persians was eminently impartial but his fondness for a good story often led him to include tall tales in his work As he stated more than once My duty is to report what has been said but I do not have to believe it The first truly scientific historian was Thucydides 460 400 B C who wrote a notably objective chronicle of the Peloponnesian War Although he was a contemporary of the events and a loyal Athenian a reader can scarcely detect whether he favored Athens or Sparta Thucydides believed that his history would become an everlasting possession for those who desire a clear picture of what has happened and human nature being as it is what is likely to be repeated in the future His belief was based on his remarkable ability to analyze and explain human behavior Two examples his definition of statesmanship and his account of Athenians justifying their empire on grounds of power alone have been quoted on page 51 In describing the character and purpose of his work Thucydides probably had Herodotus in mind The absence of romance in my history will I fear detract somewhat from its interest but I shall be content if it is judged useful by those inquirers who desire an exact knowledge of the past as an aid to the interpretation of the future which will according to human nature recur in much the same way My history has been composed to be an everlasting possession not the show piece of an hour 23 Footnote 23 Thucydides History of the Peloponnesian War 1 22 Hellenic Poetry And Drama Greek literary periods can be classified according to dominant poetic forms that reflect particular stages of cultural evolution in Greece First came the time of great epics followed by periods in which lyric poetry and then drama flourished Sometime during the eighth century B C in Ionia the Iliad and the Odyssey the two great epics attributed to Homer were set down in their present form The Iliad describing the clash of arms between the Greeks and Trojans on the ringing plains of windy Troy glorifies heroic valor and physical prowess against a background of divine intervention in human affairs The Odyssey relating the adventure filled wanderings of Odysseus on his return to Greece after Troy s fall places less stress on divine intervention and more on the cool resourcefulness of the hero in escaping from danger and in regaining his kingdom These stirring epics have provided inspiration and source material for generations of poets in the Western world As Greek society became more sophisticated a new type of poetry written to be sung to the accompaniment of the lyre arose among the Ionian Greeks Unlike Homer authors of this lyric poetry sang not of legendary events but of present delights and sorrows This new note personal and passionate can be seen in the following examples in which the contrast between the new values of what is called the Greek Renaissance and those of Homer s heroic age is sharply clear Unlike Homer s heroes Archilochus of Paros seventh century B C unashamedly throws away his shield and runs from the battlefield My trusty shield adorns some Thracian foe I left it in a bush not as I would But I have saved my life so let it go Soon I will get another just as good 24 Footnote 24 Quoted in A R Burn The Lyric Age of Greece New York St Martin s Press 1960 p 166 And in contrast to Homer s view of an unromantic purely physical attraction between Paris and the abducted Helen Sappho of Lesbos sixth century B C the first and one of the greatest of all female poets saw Helen as the helpless unresisting victim of romantic love She who the beauty of mankind Excelled fair Helen all for love The noblest husband left behind Afar to Troy she sailed away Her child her parents clean forgot The Cyprian Aphrodite led her far astray Out of the way resisting not 25 Footnote 25 Quoted in A R Burn The Lyric Age of Greece p 236 Drama in verse developed from the religious rites of the Dionysian mystery cult in which a large chorus and its leader sang and danced Thespis a contemporary of Solon added an actor called the answerer hypocrites the origin of our word hypocrite to converse with the chorus and its leader This made dramatic dialogue possible By the fifth century B C in Athens two distinct forms tragedy and comedy had evolved Borrowing from the old familiar legends of gods and heroes for their plots the tragedians reinterpreted them in the light of the values and problems of their own times In reworking the old legends of the heroic age Aeschylus 525 456 B C sought to spread the new values of the religious reformation first expressed by Hesiod by showing how the old pre moral beliefs cause suffering In his trilogy the Oresteia for example he concerned himself with hubris as applied to the murder of the hero Agamemnon by his queen following his return from the Trojan War and then proceeded to work out its ramifications murder piled on murder until people through suffering learn to substitute the moral law of Zeus for the primitive law of the blood feud Like the prophets of Israel Aeschylus taught that while sin brings misery misery in turn leads to wisdom Zeus the Guide who made man turn Thought ward Zeus who did ordain Man by Suffering shall Learn So the heart of him again Aching with remembered pain Bleeds and sleepeth not until Wisdom comes against his will 26 Footnote 26 Aeschylus Agamemnon In Ten Greek Plays trans Gilbert Murray and ed Lane Cooper New York Oxford University Press 1929 p 96 A generation later Sophocles c 496 406 B C largely abandoned Aeschylus concern for the working out of divine justice and concentrated upon character To Sophocles a certain amount of suffering was inevitable in life No one is perfect even in the best people there is a tragic flaw that causes them to make mistakes Sophocles dwelled mainly on the way in which human beings react to suffering Like his contemporary

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  • Greece, A History of Ancient Greece, Greek Art
    world and was associated with the Roman goddess Venus In more complete examples Aphrodite is shown holding the apple awarded her in the contest among goddesses where she was judged the most beautiful Female nudity was not sanctioned in art until later in Greek history but artists discovered a way to reveal aspects of feminine grace Aphrodite s garments cling to her body outline and emphasize the contours creating the illusion of female beauty at its most sensuous Volute Krater 320 310 B C The Baltimore Painter Greek South Italian Apulian Ceramic height 1 2 m 47 1 2 in Founders Society Purchase with funds from various contributors 1983 25 Intended to serve as a funerary offering this volute Krater set in its own stand was created in a Greek colony in southeastern Italy On the obverse front of the krater an image of the deceased with his horse is shown as part of a funerary monument Above is a scene of banqueting The colonial artist in a style characteristically his own has densely packed the reverse surface of the vessel with a complex assembly of the major deities of the Greek pantheon Zeus enthroned in the center is flanked by gods and goddesses identified by the attributes they hold Below Dionysus and Ariadne ride in a chariot drawn by two panthers Greeks and Amazons battle above Head of Aristaeus 150 100 B C Greek Hellenistic period Marble height 52 1 cm 20 1 8 in Founders Society Purchase Membership and Donations Fund 41 9 Aristaeus was the divine son of the god Apollo and the nymph Cyrene He was known in the ancient world as the founder and patron deity of the city of Cyrene in Libya a Greek colony in North Africa This head from a colossal statue

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  • Greece, A History of Ancient Greece, Section I. The Elements Of The Greek Spirit
    autochthonic elements were mixed together The date assigned to the arrival of these colonists is very remote the 14th and 15th century B C Cadmus is said to have founded Thebes about 1490 B C a date with which the Exodus of Moses from Egypt 1500 B C nearly coincides Amphictyon is also mentioned among the Founders of Greek institutions he is said to have established at Thermopylae a union between many small tribes of Hellas proper and Thessaly a combination with which the great Amphictyonic league is said to have originated These foreigners then are reputed to have established fixed centres in Greece by the erection of fortresses and the founding of royal houses In Argolis the walls of which the ancient fortresses consisted were called Cyclopian some of them have been discovered even in recent times since on account of their solidity they are indestructible These walls consist partly of irregular blocks whose interstices are filled up with small stones partly of masses of stones carefully fitted into each other Such walls are those of Tiryns and Mycenae Even now the gate with the lions at Mycenae can be recognized by the description of Pausanias It is stated of Proetus who ruled in Argos that he brought with him from Lycia the Cyclopes who built these walls It is however supposed that they were erected by the ancient Pelasgi To the fortresses protected by such walls the princes of the heroic times generally attached their dwellings Especially remarkable are the Treasure houses built by them such as the Treasure house of Minyas at Orchomenus and that of Atreus at Mycenae These fortresses then were the nuclei of small states they gave a greater security to agriculture they protected commercial intercourse against robbery They were however as Thucydides informs us not placed in the immediate vicinity of the sea on account of piracy maritime towns being of later date Thus with those royal abodes originated the firm establishment of society The relation of princes to subjects and to each other we learn best from Homer It did not depend on a state of things established by law but on superiority in riches possessions martial accoutrements personal bravery preeminence in insight and wisdom and lastly on descent and ancestry for the princes as heroes were regarded as of a higher race Their subjects obeyed them not as distinguished from them by conditions of Caste nor as in a state of serfdom nor in the patriarchal relation according to which the chief is only the head of the tribe or family to which all belong nor yet as the result of the express necessity for a constitutional government but only from the need universally felt of being held together and of obeying a ruler accustomed to command without envy and ill will towards him The Prince has just so much personal authority as he possess the ability to acquire and to assert but as this superiority is only the individually heroic resting on personal merit it does not continue long Thus in Homer we see the suitors of Penelope taking possession of the property of the absent Ulysses without showing the slightest respect to his son Achilles in his inquiries about his father when Ulysses descends to Hades indicates the supposition that as he is old he will be no longer honoured Manners are still very simple princes prepare their own repasts and Ulysses labours at the construction of his own house In Homer s Iliad we find a King of Kings a generalissimo in the great national undertaking but the other magnates environ him as a freely deliberating council the prince is honoured but he is obliged to arrange everything to the satisfaction of the others he indulges in violent conduct towards Achilles but in revenge the latter withdraws from the struggle Equally lax is the relation of the several chiefs to the people at large among whom there are always individuals who claim attention and respect The various peoples do not fight as mercenaries of the prince in his battles nor as a stupid serf like herd driven to the contest nor yet in their own interest but as the companions of their honoured chieftain as witnesses of his exploits and his defenders in peril A perfect resemblance to these relations is also presented in the Greek Pantheon Zeus is the Father of the Gods but each one of them has his own will Zeus respects them and they him he may sometimes scold and threaten them and they then allow his will to prevail or retreat grumbling but they do not permit matters to come to an extremity and Zeus so arranges matters on the whole by making this concession to one that to another as to produce satisfaction In the terrestrial as well as in the Olympian world there is therefore only a lax bond of unity maintained royalty has not yet become monarchy for it is only a more extensive society that the need of the latter is felt While this state of things prevailed and social relations were such as have been described that striking and great event took place the union of the whole of Greece in a national undertaking viz the Trojan War with which began that more extensive connection with Asia which had very important results for the Greeks The expedition of Jason to Colchis also mentioned by the poets and which bears an earlier date was as compared with the war of Troy a very limited and isolated undertaking The occasion of that united expedition is said to have been the violation of the laws of hospitality by the son of an Asiatic prince in carrying off the wife of his host Agamemnon assembles the princes of Greece through the power and influence which he possesses Thucydides ascribes his authority to his hereditary sovereignty combined with naval power Hom Il ii 108 in which he was far superior to the rest It appears however that the combination was effected without external compulsion and that the whole armament was convened simply on the strength of individual consent The Hellenes were then brought to act unitedly to an extent of which there is no subsequent example The result of their exertions was the conquest and destruction of Troy though they had no design of making it a permanent possession No external result therefore in the way of settlement ensued any more than an enduring political union as the effect of the uniting of the nation in the accomplishment of this single achievement But the poet supplied an imperishable portraiture of their youth and of their national spirit to the imagination of the Greek people and the picture of this beautiful human heroism hovered as a directing ideal before their whole development and culture So likewise in the Middle Ages we see the whole of Christendom united to attain one object the conquest of the Holy Sepulchre but in spite of all the victories achieved with just as little permanent result The Crusades are the Trojan War of newly awakened Christendom waged against the simple homogeneous clearness of Mahometanism The royal houses perished partly as the consequence of particular atrocities partly through gradual extinction There was no strictly moral bond connecting them with the tribes which they governed The same relative position is occupied by the people and the royal houses in the Greek Tragedy also The people is the Chorus passive deedless the heroes perform the deeds and incur the consequent responsibility There is nothing in common between them the people have no directing power but only appeal to the gods Such heroic personalities as those of the princes in question are so remarkably suited for subjects of dramatic art on this very account that they form their resolutions independently and individually and are not guided by universal laws binding on every citizen their conduct and their ruin is individual The people appears separated from the royal houses and these are regarded as an alien body a higher race fighting out the battles and undergoing the penalties of their fate for themselves alone Royalty having performed that which it had to perform thereby rendered itself superfluous The several dynasties are the agents of their own destruction or perish not as the result of animosity or of struggles on the side of the people rather the families of the sovereigns are left in calm enjoyment of their power a proof that the democratic government which followed is not regarded as something absolutely diverse How sharply do the annals of other times contrast with this This fall of the royal houses occurs after the Trojan war and many changes now present themselves The Peloponnesus was conquered by the Heraclidae who introduced a calmer state of things which was not again interrupted by the incessant migrations of races The history now becomes more obscure and though the several occurrences of the Trojan war are very circumstantially described to us we are uncertain respecting the important transactions of the time immediately following for a space of many centuries No united undertaking distinguishes them unless we regard as such that of which Thucydides speaks viz the war between the Chalcidians and Eretrians in Euboea in which many nations took part The towns vegetate in isolation or at most distinguish themselves by war with their neighbours Yet they enjoy prosperity in this isolated condition by means of trade a kind of progress to which their being rent by many party struggles offers no opposition In the same way we observe in the Middle Ages the towns of Italy which both internally and externally were engaged in continual struggle attaining so high a degree of prosperity The flourishing state of the Greek towns at that time is proved according to Thucydides also by the colonies sent out in every direction Thus Athens colonized Ionia and several islands and colonies from the Peloponnesus settled in Italy and Sicily Colonies on the other hand became relatively mother states e g Miletus which founded many cities on the Propontis and the Black Sea This sending out of colonies especially during the period between the Trojan war and Cyrus presents us with a remarkable phenomenon It can be thus explained In the several towns the people had the governmental power in their hands since they gave the final decision in political affairs In consequence of the long repose enjoyed by them the population and the development of the community advanced rapidly and the immediate result was the amassing of great riches contemporaneously with which fact great want and poverty make their appearance Industry in our sense did not exist and the lands were soon occupied Nevertheless a part of the poorer classes would not submit to the degradations of poverty for every one felt himself a free citizen The only expedient therefore that remained was colonization In another country those who suffered distress in their own might seek a free soil and gain a living as free citizens by its cultivation Colonization thus became a means of maintaining some degree of equality among the citizens but this means is only a palliative and the original inequality founded on the difference of property immediately reappears The old passions were rekindled with fresh violence and riches were soon made use of for securing power thus Tyrants gained ascendancy in the cities of Greece Thucydides says When Greece increased in riches Tyrants arose in the cities and the Greeks devoted themselves more zealously to the sea At the time of Cyrus the History of Greece acquires its peculiar interest we see the various states now displaying their particular character This is the date too of the formation of the distinct Greek Spirit Religion and political institutions are developed with it and it is these important phases of national life which must now occupy our attention In tracing up the rudiments of Greek culture we first recal attention to the fact that the physical condition of the country does not exhibit such a characteristic unity such a uniform mass as to exercise a powerful influence over the inhabitants On the contrary it is diversified and produces no decided impression Nor have we here the unwieldy unity of a family or national combination but in the presence of scenery and displays of elemental power broken up into fragmentary forms men s attention is more largely directed to themselves and to the extension of their immature capabilities Thus we see the Greeks divided and separated from each other thrown back upon their inner spirit and personal energy yet at the same time most variously excited and cautiously circumspect We behold them quite undetermined and irresolute in the presence of Nature dependent on its contingencies and listening anxiously to each signal from the external world but on the other hand intelligently taking cognizance of and appropriating that outward existence and shewing boldness and independent vigour in contending with it These are the simple elements of their culture and religion In tracing up their mythological conceptions we find natural objects forming the basis not en masse however only in dissevered forms The Diana of Ephesus that is Nature as the universal Mother the Cybele and Astarte of Syria such comprehensive conceptions remained Asiatic and were not transmitted to Greece For the Greeks only watch the objects of Nature and form surmises respecting them inquiring in the depth of their souls for the hidden meaning According to Aristotle s dictum that Philosophy proceeds from Wonder the Greek view of Nature also proceeds from wonder of this kind Not that in their experience Spirit meets something extraordinary which it compares with the common order of things for the intelligent view of a regular course of Nature and the reference of phenomena to that standard do not yet present themselves but the Greek Spirit was excited to wonder at the Natural in Nature It does not maintain the position of stupid indifference to it as something existing and there an end of it but regards it as something in the first instance foreign in which however it has a presentiment of confidence and the belief that it bears something within it which is friendly to the human Spirit and to which it may be permitted to sustain a positive relation This Wonder and this Presentiment are here the fundamental categories though the Hellenes did not content themselves with these moods of feelings but projected the hidden meaning which was the subject of the surmise into a distinct conception as an object of consciousness The Natural holds its place in their minds only after undergoing some transformation by Spirit not immediately Man regards Nature only as an excitement to his faculties and only the Spiritual which he has evolved from it can have any influence over him Nor is this commencement of the Spiritual apprehension of Nature to be regarded as an explanation suggested by us it meets us in a multitude of conceptions formed by the Greeks themselves The position of curious surmise of attentive eagerness to catch the meaning of Nature is indicated to us in the comprehensive idea of Pan To the Greeks Pan did not represent the objective Whole but that indefinite neutral ground which involves the element of the subjective he embodies that thrill which pervades us in the silence of the forests he was therefore especially worshipped in sylvan Arcadia a panic terror is the common expression for a groundless fright Pan this thrill exciting being is also represented as playing on the flute we have not the bare internal presentiment for Pan makes himself audible on the seven reeded pipe In what has been stated we have on the one hand the Indefinite which however holds communication is only a subjective imagining an explanation furnished by the percipient himself On the same principle the Greeks listened to the murmuring of the fountains and asked what might be thereby signified but the signification which they were led to attach to it was not the objective meaning of the fountain but the subjective that of the subject itself which further exalts the Naiad to a Muse The Naiads or Fountains are the external objective origin of the Muses Yet the immortal songs of the Muses are not that which is heard in the murmuring of the fountains they are the productions of the thoughtfully listening Spirit creative while observant The interpretation and explanation of Nature and its transformations the indication of their sense and import is the act of the subjective Spirit The general idea which this embodies is the form in which man realizes his relationship to Nature weighty import in question to that delirium into which men fall during sickness and interpreter is wanted to explain these dreams and this delirium That Nature answered the questions which the Greek put to her is in this converse sense true that he obtained an answer to the questions of Nature from his own Spirit The insight of the Seer becomes thereby purely poetical Spirit supplies the signification which the natural image expresses Everywhere the Greeks desired a clear presentation and interpretation of the Natural Homer tells us in the last book of the Odyssey that while the Greeks were overwhelmed with sorrow for Achilles a violent agitation came over the sea the Greeks were on the point of dispersing in terror when the experienced Nestor arose and interpreted the phenomenon to them Thetis he said was coming with her nymphs to lament for the death of her son When a pestilence broke out in the camp of the Greeks the Priest Calchas explained that Apollo was incensed at their not having restored the daughter of his priest Chryses when a ransom had been offered The Oracle was originally interpreted exactly in this way The oldest Oracle was at Dodona in the district of the modern Janina Herodotus says that the first

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