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Tag Archives: Athens

Ancient Philosophy: A Crash Course

1. Metaphysics Metaphysics is the very broad and very profound branch of ancient philosophy that attempts to makes sense of the universe around us. Metaphysics asks ‘what is the universe?’ What is it made of? How does it behave? And what about the universe makes toast always land butter side down? This was a subject

The Fragility of Democracy: Athens and the Thirty Tyrants

Written by Edward Whelan, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom Athens is traditionally seen as the birthplace of democracy. However, as we know, democracies are vulnerable to anti-democratic forces, such as populism and authoritarian movements. This was also the case with Athens. For some eight months (404-403 BC) the city was controlled by a pro-Spartan oligarchy known

Alcibiades: A Lion and a Fox

Written by Brendan Heard, Author of the Decline and Fall of Western Art When I was about twenty five years of age, I read Plutarch’s Lives. I did so because I came across it in a used book shop, and it had a nice leather bound cover, and because it seemed to be a history of the

The Darkest Depths of Human Nature: Three Examples From the Peloponnesian War

Thucydides, the ancient Greek historian and general, is most famous for his narrative of the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC). The war was a struggle between Athens and Sparta and led to all-out war between the Greek city states as they sided with one or the other. Thucydides documented not only the military and political decisions

Athens First

By Van Bryan, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom Recently, your editor asked a question… Is nationalism “good”? How interesting, we thought to ourselves. Immediately, hand went to chin. We furrowed our eyebrows in earnest ponderance. Some questions stay with you, dear reader. Like a sore on the roof of your mouth that would go away if

The Athenian Athena

By Ben Potter, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom Anyone with an interest in the classical Greek world may well have been intrigued, possibly confused, by the relationship between the goddess Athena and the ancient centre of democracy, philosophy and theatre, Athens. As Walter Burkett said in his excellent book, Greek Religion: “whether the goddess is named