The Greeks

However, most modern researchers place Homer in the 7th or 8th centuries BC. Of all is works, his greatest contribution can be said to that of Literature I. E. Considering that about fifty percent speeches, provided models in persuasive speaking and writing (one of the many Greek influence on the western world). Two particular works that stood out being The Iliad and The Odyssey. For Homer, these works were written in his point of view of the Gods illustrating how men were pawns to their will.

Equally, however, Homer through these epic stories, showed the resilience of men to overcome struggles In their achievement of power, glory and heroism I. E. He Homeric approach “doer of great deeds”. Homers The Iliad gives account for the ten year battle between Greece (the Greek King Agamemnon) and Troy (Pram, the Trojan King). This epic story tells of a war started as a result to Prism’s son Paris who took with him on his way back to Troy, Helen, the wife of Menelaus (younger brother of Agamemnon). Upon finding out that Helen had left him under her own consent, in his rage and shame sought the aid his elder brother. Legend has it that this epic battle was over love (Helen) but considering that the huge Greek armada (of over 1000 ships) accompanied by many lords or kings from Peloponnesus, Central Greece, Thessaly and certain island was lead by the Mycenaean King Agamemnon, demonstrated typical Greek ideal of conquest and glory in battle.

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From this war many heroes would emerge such as Achilles, the greatest worrier for the Greeks and Hector, leader of the Trojan army and Prima eldest son. The story accounts of how Achilles kills Hector In battle (avenging the death of his dearest friend Patrols), demoralizing the Trojan army whilst reengineering the Greeks (whose armless were In a disarray as a exult of a feud between Agamemnon and Achilles over Bribers, the concubine Achilles).

This epic story concludes with the fall of Troy after the Greek manages to get within the walls of the palace due to the idea of Odysseus (of Ithaca) that they erect a wooden horse as homage to the Gods and hide in it. The Trojan were a people that honor the Gods and in seeing this structure show it as tribute to the Gods and took it “this Trojan Horse” within their palace walls. Their reverence to the God would prove to be their demise as this allows the Greek access to breach their alls, ultimately leading to the fall of the city.

Here, Homer shows how the Gods contributed to man’s downfall and he would again illustrate this in his sequel to The Iliad In The Odyssey. In Homers epic story The Odyssey, his point of view of the Gods and how men were pawns to their will, Is again Illustrated. However, through Odysseus, Homer demonstrates the resilience of men to overcome struggles to ultimately be viewed as heroes. The story of The Odyssey tells of Odysseus having to how the goddess Athena and Zeus had a hand to play in the destiny of Odysseus within this epic story of endurance and struggle.

From the Escape to the Physicians, to his accounts of his adventures including the escape from the Cyclops Polymorphous and his escape after being captive for seven years from the nymph Calypso (compelled as her lover) at her island, Aggie (after being shipwrecked and losing his crew – the songs of the Sirens) when Zeus orders her to release him. Odysseus then returns to Ithaca, disguised as a beggar, formulating a strategy until he can reveal his identity to his servants and son Telemeters and slay the Suitors whom had overtaken his home in their quest for Penelope hand in marriage during his absence.

After slaying the suitors alongside his son and servants, he and his wife Penelope are reunited and life as he knows it is once more. Moreover, Homer’s epic stories of heroism and glory through struggle and rise to power captivated Geek culture and was a source of inspiration for many within society and by extension (through stories, myths or legend) contributed to the development of Greek society in its own right.

Such has been accounted for in the life of Celebrities, of Athens, Greece (then called Hells) who around 6th century B. C. Grew up listening to epic stories of heroism and valor as a boy. Celebrities, an aristocrat (upper class of Greek society) rise to power fist came about with the overtaking of Hippies (son of Postscripts – first ruler of Athens) whose rule was cruel and vengeful (quite the opposite of his father who ruled with a fair hand). It has been said that under his father’s rule life in Athens was “a paradise on earth”.

Celebrities, however, would also be a victim of power struggle (during ancient Greece) when he was also overthrown and expelled by his opposing aristocrat Agora’s, who felt that Greek rule was also his right, with the support of his Spartan ally. Under Agora’s rule life in Athens was one on injustice and inequality and in 508 B. C. (the first record of rebellion in history) the people of Athens took to the streets in rebellion against Agora’s’ rule and through his out. The people then again turned to Clematises for direction.

Celebrities, inspired by the stories of Homer, saw his rise to rule as depiction of man’s resilience to overcome hardship in their achievement of power, glory and heroism. Under his rule once more, saw Athens establish supremacy of the Greek city states, more significantly he established a political structure in Athens. He established an area in which Greeks can meet and discuss matter within the society – the Assembly (a structure that can be seen or has been adopted throughout today’s political structures of the western world).

Finally, in a simple act of either choosing a white pebble, meaning yes’ and a black pebble meaning ‘no’ Clematises introduced Democracy. With this act, he took power and authority from the hands of Just a few and created a structured system in which each person in Athens had a say or could contribute to matters regarding Greek society – political democracy. From this, a relation can be made between Homer’s epic stories and Greek society I. E. How one person can make a stand and fight to make a difference for the good of others, essentially becoming a real life hero.

On the other hand, Homer was not the only Greek writer whose works can be connected to the development of Greek society. Hissed another ancient Greek poet, who a native of Biota, a district of central Greece (his father had migrated from Came in Asia Minor) is believed to have been intended to instruct or give meaning. His approach was evident in two of his grand works Theocracy and Works and Days. Like Homer, his works illustrated his point of view of the Gods and the life of men on earth.

However, unlike Homer whose view that the Gods were cynical (men as pawn to the will of the Gods), his view of the Gods was one of devotion and paying homage as illustrated in Theocracy. In Hosier’s Theocracy, the genealogy of the Gods and their struggle for supremacy is chronologically illustrated; from Gaga (Earth) and from her Uranus (Sky), and from them the Titans and particularly Crocus, the father of Hessian, Demeter, Hear, Hades, Poseidon, Zeus – the Gods of Olympus. Ultimately, Hosier’s Theocracy depicted Zeus’ prelacy of all the gods and therefore demonstrating his loyalty of the God’s as oppose to Homer’s.

Like Homer, he to also wrote about the life of men on earth. However, unlike Homer who depicted men in an epic and heroic manner, he chose to give an account of the simple life of mankind and their hardship during an era. Hissed illustrated this in his Works and Days in which he tell of a plight between he and his brother Peres to demonstrate his view of Justice (honesty) and the concept of hard work(in the fields) to achieving success and happiness which was the will of the Gods and would result in reward.

Hosier’s Theocracy and Works and Days is applicable to Greek society as it give an account of the reverence and devotion that Greek culture showed to the Gods as so elaborately demonstrated in art and sculptures of a mass scale depicting the various deities. Furthermore, his reference of Justice and hard work refers to how the Gods reward honesty and offers encouragement or motivation to the commoner (lower class) in Greek society that success or rise to power (an aristocrat) is achievable through these principles.

Unlike Homer, Hissed works explains that success or a rise to power (a pleasant life) in Greek society is achievable to every man through a simple life rather than one of heroism. In conclusion, both the works of Homer and Hissed illustrate their individual perspective of the way of life Greek society. Both demonstrate their view of the Gods and their co-existence with mankind. More importantly though, both these poets of ancient Greece are concerned with how mankind contributed to Greek society, either by an act of heroism or making a difference through living a simple and honest life.

Question 2: (five pages maximum) Identify the accomplishments of significant individuals in ancient Greece: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle were all Greek philosopher of renown. Compare and Contrast their history on the western world is undeniable. Greek culture and history has left use with architecture, art and monuments. It has contributed to disciples such as literature, science and politics (the birth of democracy in Athens). Equally significant of all these contributions however, has been the contribution of thought, logic and reasoning.

These aspects of Greek contribution to today’s western world were best depicted in the lives and works of three of the greatest philosophical minds of ancient Greece: Socrates, his pupil Plato and in turn, his student Aristotle of Stagier. The lives of these men date back to 469-399 B. C. With the life of the ancient Athenian philosopher, Socrates. His contribution included, of course, the birth of philosophy and in the western hemisphere by extension. His Socratic Method involved the use of a series of questions to initiate logical thought in the minds of his pupil.

History accounts of one well known pupil of Socrates and another great Greek philosopher was Plato. Socrates lived during the time of democracy in Athens. However this incept of democracy was skewed after the people of Athens had lost true leadership and direction in the death of Particles (due to plague) as a result of the war against Sparta in their quest to legitimate Athens and the supreme city state. This is follow a period of great success in Athens in 431 B. C. Which saw a city as the heart of trade in the Mediterranean, complemented by the greatest naval fleet that existed.

In trying to establish superiority, Particles had convince the people of Athens to take refuge behind the city walls during the war and their great naval fleet would supply the city during the war with Sparta. However, upon these same ships that were to supply the city, brought with it plagues. This would ravish Athens and in their lost of a true leader in Particles saw a corruption of democracy. With no true direction saw a jostling of power to rule and those who achieved power did so appeasing the will of the masses. As history shows, the Greeks were an arrogant people that reveled in the prospects of conquest and glory.

In 416 B. C. Upon a request for aid from Sicily (during the war with Sparta) it was agreed by the masses that Athens sail for Sicily and in the process conquer them whilst humiliating the Spartan. This turned out to e a bad idea and Athens lost all the ship and men that sailed to Sicily. During this period, Socrates was quite critical of the corruption that existed within Athens at that time and he spoke strongly against this amongst his followers and throughout the city. Socrates’ approach was that a person should question or examine everything through reasoning to ultimately determine right from wrong.

Again, he would outwardly condemn the will of the masses and their decision to punish by poisoning the fleet generals for their failure to give aid to the men that fell overboard during a small naval skirmish as with the Greeks. Despite the generals’ explanation that the conditions and circumstances did not allow for those men to be saved, they were sentenced to death by poisoning. This scenario demonstrated specifically the philosophy of Socrates that logic (to achieving ‘greater good’) should back every decision and that as individuals we should not conform to conventionality.

The death of these general has a tremendous effect on the naval fleet and as a result Athens was conquered by Sparta in 404 B. C. Again, the arrogance of the people would again emerge and as a result Socrates was to blame for Athens lost to Sparta. Socrates was further condemned to death by poisoning because he was believe to be day. Essentially, however, Socrates philosophy as it related to Greek society was that people should focus on their individualism. Decision making should be based on logic and reasoning in order to determine right from wrong in society.

He said people in society should question everything, and as he puts it, “the unexamined world is not worth living”. Plato, the most talented pupil of Socrates and established philosopher in his own right, lived in Athens around 427-347 B. C. Like Socrates before him, he would become he teacher of Aristotle of Stagier at the Academy founded by himself in 387 B. C. (one of the earliest known organized schools in Western Civilization on a plot of land in the Grove of Hogsheads or Academes – a citizen of Athens). Aside from his contributions in philosophy, he was a mathematician and taught in areas of reasoning, ethics and rhetoric.

However, of his many works and accomplishments, his contributions as illustrated in The Republic can be said to be the greatest, in that he established what is now considered Political Science. Plat’s The Republic stems from his question of Justice. His concern is that of the state and discuss aspects of the ideal community, examining the importance of intelligence or people of intelligence (referring to as he describes as ‘philosophers as kings’) to leadership, all in the best interest of the people guided by what is right and wrong.

Like Socrates, his teacher, he is guided by reason I. E. Right and wrong. However, his idealistic view is that everything is embedded in thought and that and that right and wrong is based on perception). This opposes that of Socrates, who was more concern with determining ethics through logic by means of examination of the hysterical world. Plat’s The Republic and his ideal of ‘philosophers as kings’ can be viewed as his critique of Greek society during his time.

Democracy had already been established in Plat’s time, however here he examines the way leadership was established. Like Socrates before him he refers to how this system is open to corruption (to gain favor though appeasing the masses – Socrates) and mentions that until political power and philosophy (referring to thought and intelligence) are merged as one (instead of the pursuit of self interest) the society structure and the unanimity will not “come to the realization which is possible for it and see the light of day’ (The Republic 47th).

Like Socrates before him, who focused on the individual (through logic) to achieve reality, Plat’s critique of the individual was to provoke consciousness through reasoning or the power of thought for the betterment of society and mankind. History has it, that when Aristotle (384-322 B. C. ) was seventeen years of age, he left his left Stagier, a town near Macedonia and traveled to Athens to study with Plato at the Academy for twenty years.

Like Socrates and Plato before him, whose works and intrusions on the power of thought, logic and reasoning would again be linked to greatness in history in his tutoring of a young heir – later known as Alexander the Great. When Plato died, Aristotle left Athens and traveled to Macedonia where he studied with young Alexander, but would later return to Athens in 334 B. C. Where he in 323 B. C. , there was a strong anti-Macedonian feeling in Athens and so he left for Challis, where he died at the age of sixty-two the following year. Aristotle has been known to have studied and written about and astounding range of studies.

These many fields of learning some founded others advanced by him, included biology, zoology, physics, psychology, ethics, metaphysics, aesthetics, literary criticism and political science. During the Middle Ages, he was simply known as “The Philosopher”. Like Plato who influenced him, his greatest concern was in ethics and politics as manifested in his work Mechanical Ethics (written over 2000 years ago) where he examines intellect and virtue (Plato) in his analysis of the human nature (well-being or happiness) to better understand natural purpose or human function e separates the two; thus establishing the concept of ‘common sense’.

He argued that where intellectual virtues can be learnt, moral virtues must be acquired through habit as shared within a community. Like Plato before his he was also concerned about the traits and habits that would allow people live well within a society. For Aristotle, happiness was not Just about mere pleasure but required a virtuous existence. His views can be viewed as critique of ancient Greek society which demonstrated a clear distinction between the higher class and a lower make the point that although leadership is linked to intelligence, knowledge through observation and experience can as well contribute to the development of society.

He essentially, merges Socrates’ ‘logic’ and Plat’s thought or reasoning in his view of a good society. In conclusion, the works and contributions of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle had certainly influence Greek society and culture. In fact their works and the disciples that they founded or advanced are quite apparent in western world. Their views, whether similar or different, based on logic, reasoning and human nature all concerned with one aspect the relationship between mankind and society.