The Wisdom of Socrates Could Have Saved Athens

  • Everything we know about Socrates were based on writings by Plato, one of his pupils. Aristotle known for his study of biology and zoology was also Socrates’ student.

    He was a such a unique man. During the height of Athen’s power and wealth in the short Pericles Era, he roamed the streets barefooted in ragged clothes. He didn’t care about his appearance and was considered ugly by Athenian standards at the time. He was a thinker and didn’t like relying on assumptions. He made a lot of friends while irritated others. Unlike most of the civilizations at the time which focused, based and expected outcomes from “Gods”, Socrates questioned the beliefs of these people and why they weren’t using logic and explanation.

    Athens was the most powerful city during Pericles rule

    Their navy was superior, defeating even the most powerful empire of the time, the Persians. They defeated the Spartans but with heavy casualties. When the Generals arrived back to Athens, instead of getting a hero’s welcome, they were put to trial and faced death for not saving their allies.

    Socrates was against the execution of their 6 generals because that would cripple their navy. He understood the value of leadership but the ignorant jury shunned Socrates’ logic.

    Based on Socrates’ quotes, he believed in one God. Jewish influence didn’t occur in Athens in this period.

    The hour of departure has arrived and we go our ways; I to die, and you to live. Which is better? Only God knows.

    Athens lost a huge war to Sparta due to their lack of leadership and the Athenians needed a scapegoat. They obviously chose Socrates for they felt that he was a threat to their civilazation. The method of his execution was to drink posion. The guards and his friends gave him the opportunity to escape but declined. His death marked the end of Athenian rule. They suffered defeat and never regained it.

    January 6th, 2008 | Giovanna | 3 Comments |

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  • mert 01.06.2008

    Success credit might belong to one man but decline and failure is always the reason of a system. Athens might have been the first democracy but it certainly was a mob democracy. Ironically we still have a mob mentality even in US, but at least we have shephards now (AKA mass media). Congrats on joining the blog world Giovanna. Too bad I am in Chicago. I would love to try some Bay area pizza in the blogger meeting.

  • Hey Mert,

    Come on now, Chicago style pizza is the best in the world. The pizzas here are either New York or Chicago style so there’s nothing to miss. In fact we’re meeting at a place called Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria.

    It would be great if you could have made it but I understand how SEO Book’s followers are scattered all over the world.

    True Athens had a mob democracy after Pericles died. Everything was in order but when his plan to conquer Sparta failed, plague infiltrated the city and he died 2 years into the war. That ended their fledgling empire as a city/state. It was an interesting period because it spawned thinkers like Plato and Aristotle. Aristotle the mentor-teacher of Alexander the Great and was the founder of Biology and Zoology.

  • If you ever feel like dropping down to Chicago. in the summer or spring (winter sucks), You and Aaron are always invited out for a Chicago Style Pizza. I lived in Monterey, CA for a summer so all I miss is Breadbowl Clam Chowder. In terms of history, how ironic is not it? Sparta survived as a military based ruthless kingdom so much longer than Athens did on democracy and diplomacy. Spartans were still independent enough not to send any soldiers to Alexander in his quest for Persia, a conquering barbarian in their eyes. I am so glad Aaron got hooked up with a girl who loves history. His already big wisdom is well complemented by you. Lucky man.

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