Skip to Content

Tag Archives: socrates

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

Classical Ethics – Part Two

By Brendan M.P. Heard, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom Read Classical Ethics – Part One Here The maxim, know thyself, inscribed over the opening to the very ancient Temple of Apollo at Delphi, was a traditional credo of much speculation. This call to know thyself is inextricably tied to Socrates’ belief that “the unexamined life is

Reflections on the Brevity of Life

By David Hooker, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom Weekly “Life is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” So said  the 17th Century English philosopher Thomas Hobbes in his magnum opus, Leviathan. It is a stark and negative statement, to be sure. Of course, Hobbes had in mind that the life of ordinary people would go much better under

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

Athens

Athens and Sparta were two of the most influential city-states in the ancient world. They both held sway over the history of ancient Greece and to this day have spawned much comparison and analysis. And as we wrote in a previous article, Sparta was known for their militaristic civilization and for their affinity for war. Conversely,

Socrates: The Man Who Knew Too Much

By Jacob Bell, Associate Editor, Classical Wisdom Socrates loved the pursuit of wisdom more than any other. He valued truth, understanding, and examination of self and life above all else. He believed that the most valuable thing a person could do was question their thoughts, beliefs, and perceived truths. For Socrates, the examined life was