Ostracism & Aristides

The most honorable man of Athens according to Herodotus: Aristides. His sense of morality, justice, and prudence, made him famous all over the Greek world.  He was reputed to be so fair-minded, that he was known to everyone as Aristides ‘the Just’ (dikaios). He was so scrupulously honest that, in spite of the wealth that passed through his hands, he remained poor. Now, sometime in … Continue reading Ostracism & Aristides

Influencing the vote

Our democracies today are representative. We elect politicians, politicians govern us. In Ancient Athens, you were ruling yourself. Participation was seen as a fundamental element of Democracy. Athenians that behaved as ‘private citizens’ were seen through a negative eye and actually the Greek word for private citizen is “idiotes”, which is where the word ‘idiot’ comes from!   Plato wrote that ‘one of the penalties … Continue reading Influencing the vote

JFK s Solon

John F. Kennedy’s Address before the American Newspaper Publishers Association, April 27, 1961 ‘Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed–and no republic can survive. That is why the Athenian lawmaker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy. And that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment– the only business in America specifically protected … Continue reading JFK s Solon

Senate of Rome

I know that it may be just a detail but whenever I see depictions of the Roman Senate in session (in movies, paintings etc) senators are seated in a semicircular fashion around an open space where the speaker stands and addresses the Senate. Uhm… Sorry. That’s actually wrong. Senators’ seats -at least since J.Caesar’s time- were arranged in straight and parallel lines on either side … Continue reading Senate of Rome