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THE GLORY
OF GREECE
PHILOSOPHY, ART, LITERATURE, HISTORY
PHILOSOPHERS: LOVERS OF WISDOM
Many Greeks believed events were caused by the
whims of the Gods
• “Philosopher” = lover of wisdom
• “Big Three”
• Socrates
• Plato
• Aristotle
• Modern science traces many its roots to this
SOCRATES
First of the “great”
philosophers in Greece
Questioned tradition and
peoples beliefs
• Get people to examine the
implications of their beliefs
Ultimately put on trial for
“corrupting Athenian youth
and failure to respect the
Gods”
• Accepted sentence of death, as
being loyal to the laws of Athens
Student of Socrates
Left Athens for 10 years on the
death of Socrates
• Returned to set up a school – the
“Academy”
Argued a government should
regulate EVERY aspect of the
citizens life to provide for their
best interest
Wrote the Republic, where he
imagined society being ruled
by philosopher-kings
PLATO
ARISTOTLE
Student of Plato
Analyzed all forms of
government and found positives
and negatives for each
• Like Plato, suspicious of democracy
• Favored a strong, single ruler
Believed in the “golden mean”
of things (moderation)
• Many European universities would be
developed on subjects taught by
Aristotle writings
ARCHITECTURE AND ART
Plato argued all items had an ideal form
• Aristotle called it the “golden mean”
• Ratio of 1:1.6
Architects would try to portray this harmony
and balance in everything
• Parthenon
• Relaxed human forms
LITERATURE
Began with epic poems
• Iliad
• Odyssey
• Tragedies – stories of suffering that
ended in disaster
• Comedies – Humorous plays that
often mocked people or customs
Greatest authors
• Tragedies – Sophocles, Euripides
• Comedies - Aristophanes
Took many forms – most
famous was drama
Also included historians
• Herodotus