Categories
Love

The 4 Greek words for Love

AGAPE

The sentiment of intense devotion affection concern and involvement directed towards a person, place, object, activity or idea. Agape is used commonly to describe the most profound and stimulating relationship possible between two people but can be extended to love of country love of children love of animals and so forth. Existing regardless of changing circumstances, agape is the type of unconditional love.

EROS

The attraction, love, and passion felt for a person. Eros was the Greek god of love and according to mythology he was included among the primitive powers of the universe, a self-born deity that emerged at the beginning of time. The sexual power of Eros was felt by the Greeks in a cosmic sense, as a binding force that compelled the conflicting elements of which Chaos consisted to combine in harmony, and as something that gives life to everything in our world.

PHILIA

The personal and friendly type of love that does not include an erotic element. An attraction fueled by a sincere interest to be closer to a person or an idea. Philia is accompanied by care, respect and altruism as it refers to an experienced-based love, thus making it a close bond connection between two or more people. It is considered a very special type of love as it is the only one freely chosen.

STORGE

The pure, deep and unreserved love, especially between parents and their children. The love of a mother for her kids. Storge is a natural affection that in an instinctive way is expressed and felt among family members, companions or even pet owners. Storge creates a warm bond and a type of selfless dependency.

Georgios Jakobides
Mother love (storge). Georgios Jakobides
Categories
History Politics

JFK and 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 by the Constitution- -not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasize the trivial and the sentimental, not to simply “give the public what it wants”–but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mold, educate and sometimes even anger public opinion.’

The politically fertile ground of Athens needed someone to sow the seeds of Democracy. That someone was Solon.

‘Society is well governed when its people obey the magistrates, and the magistrates obey the law’

Growing up in 6th c.BC Athens, he was fortunate enough to receive his education by the best teachers and he used to frequent among the most respected philosophers of the day. That superior education earned him the reputation of not only being the most learned Athenian of the day but also one of the wisest law-givers of the ancient world, admired both by Greeks and Romans.

SOLON
SOLON (640-558 BC, Athens)

Athenian society was on the brink of collapse and Solon was called in to save the day. He immediately introduced a number of measures:

  • He cancelled all debts
  • He forbade loans
  • He freed the enslaved

All this was possible after he persuaded all citizens of Athens that from now on, the Law and only the Law shall be above all.

We have to keep in mind that Solon lived during an age of tyrants. Athens was governed by rulers that were in possession of political power through violence and force. Solon’s behavior in this politically hostile and perilous environment was always dictated by his zest for freedom, equality and social justice.

‘Men keep their agreements when it is an advantage to both parties not to break them; and I shall so frame my laws that it will be evident to the Athenians that it will be for their interest to observe them’

Even when he was really old he never stopped reminding his fellow citizens that it was their duty to get rid of all tyrants as soon as possible -and he did this publicly, displaying unprecedented boldness.

He even ignored the continuous threats of the notorious Peisistratus -one of the most powerful and feared demagogues of the day. Even though Peisistratus’ rule was actually fair and temperate (Aristotle notes that his administration was ” more like constitutional government than a tyranny”) in the eyes of Solon, Peisistratus was still a tyrant, as he wasn’t chosen by ‘The People’. When the ruler’s attempts to shut the wise statesman ‘s mouth proved fruitless, Peisistratus asked him what makes him so determined to continuously oppose his government! Solon answered: “My old age” [Diod.Sic. Book 9,4]

jfk

Categories
Philosophy

Diogenes: Politically incorrect

John William Waterhouse: Diogenes [1905]
John William Waterhouse: Diogenes [1905]
An anecdote that involves the cynic philosopher Diogenes of Sinope (404-323 B.C.):

” When some strangers (visiting Athens) expressed a wish to see Demosthenes, he (Diogenes the cynic) stretched out his middle finger and said, “There goes the demagogue of Athens.”

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers. Book VI. Chapter 2. [34] 

So, there you go… The first recorded use of the middle finger!