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

What makes us moral? (The Euthyphro Dilemma)

In a lesser known book of Plato, we find Socrates in the Athenian Agora coming across Euthypro – a soothsayer he knew well – and the two men engage in a short conversation just outside the Royal Stoa. After sharing their news, the two men engage in an argument about morality. Their conversation ended abruptly after Euthyphro felt a bit cornered and found an excuse … Continue reading What makes us moral? (The Euthyphro Dilemma)

Parian Marble

The Parian Chronicle is a chronology of events, inscribed on a marble stele, covering more than 12 centuries of Ancient Greek history. Focusing a lot on events linked with the city-state of Athens, this chronicle presents us with a timeline from the year 1582 BC to 299 BC. It’s a unique timeline that, surprisingly enough, few scholars are familiar with. Most people don’t even know … Continue reading Parian Marble