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Chapter 4&5 Ancient Medieval
Terms in this set (8)
#1 Macedonia's successful conquest of the Greek poleis can be attributed to several factors. What are they?
Pella - City in Macedon Greece
Demosthenes - Demosthenes was one of the first people to see that Philip of Macedon was going to try to take over Greece. He warned the Athenians about the danger, but they didn't really believe him. Later, when the Athenians realized that Demosthenes had been right, they sent Demosthenes along with some other men (women couldn't go on embassies) to try to bargain with Philip in Macedon, but it was too late. After Alexander the Great died in 323 BC, Demosthenes tried to help Athens break free of Macedonian rule. Aristotle, who supported the Macedonians, left town. But Demosthenes' revolt failed, and he was put in jail in 322 BC. He escaped from jail and ran away, and before anyone found him, he died. Many people said he had taken poison to kill himself. He was about 65 years old.
Chaeronea - The Battle of Chaeronea was fought in 338 BC, near the city of Chaeronea in Boeotia, between the Macedonians led by Philip II of Macedon and an alliance of some of the Greek city-states including Athens and Thebes.
Isocrates - Isocrates was the father of liberal education as we know it. For Isocrates, and this is another crucial contribution, effective speech making was taken as a sign of good training, not as the goal itself. Notice how this, at the same time, upholds a noble intellectual and social tradition, yet further grates against Plato's call for idealism. At its best, speaking does not stand as a goal--the show is not the issue--yet, it merely represents something else (learning) so is not in itself the real thing. Isocrates educated the practical man toward graceful style, influential leadership, issue oriented analysis--preparation of the citizen, not Socratic/Platonic idealism. Education in the "wisdom of choice," rather than "in the wisdom of knowing."
Sacred War (3) - The Third Sacred War (356-346 BC) was fought between the forces of the Delphic Amphictyonic League, principally represented by Thebes, and latterly by Philip II of Macedon, and the Phocians. The war was caused by a large fine imposed in 357 BC on the Phocians by the Amphictyonic League (dominated at that moment by Thebes), for the offense of cultivating sacred land; refusing to pay, the Phocians instead seized the Temple of Apollo in Delphi, and used the accumulated treasures to fund large mercenary armies. Thus, although the Phocians suffered several major defeats, they were able to continue the war for many years, until eventually all parties were nearing exhaustion. Philip II used the distraction of the other states to increase his power in northern Greece, in the process becoming ruler of Thessaly. In the end, Philip's growing power, and the exhaustion of the other states, allowed him to impose a peaceful settlement of the war, marking a major step in the rise of Macedon to pre-eminence in Ancient Greece.
League of Corinth - a political and military organisation established by Philip IImilitary organisation established by Philip II of Macedon in 338/337BC.The purpose of the League was to create political stability in Greece by making allpolitical stability in Greece by making all participating states swear to observe aparticipating states swear to observe a Common Peace.
During the first half of the fourth century B.C., Greek poleis, or city-states, remained autonomous. As each poleis tended to its own interests, frequent disputes and temporary alliances between rival factions resulted. In 360 B.C., an extraordinary individual, Philip II of Macedonia (northern Greece), came to power. In less than a decade, he had defeated most of Macedonia's neighboring enemies: the Illyrians and the Paionians to the west and northwest, and the Thracians to the north and northeast. Phillip II instituted far-reaching reforms at home and abroad. Innovations—improved catapults and siege machinery, as well as a new kind of infantry in which each soldier was equipped with an enormous pike known as a sarissa—placed his armies at the forefront of military technology. In 338 B.C., at the pivotal battle of Chaeronea in Boeotia, Philip II completed what was to be the last phase of his domination when he became the undisputed ruler of Greece. His plans for war against Asia were cut short when he was assassinated in 336 B.C. Excavations of the royal tombs at Vergina in northern Greece give a glimpse of the vibrant wall paintings and rich decorative arts produced for the Macedonian royal court (37.11.8-.17), which had become the leading center of Greek culture.
The reign of Alexander the Great (336-323 B.C.) would change the face of Europe and Asia forever (10.132.1; 55.11.11). As crown prince, he received the finest education in the Macedonian court under his celebrated tutor Aristotle. At the age of twenty, already a charismatic and decisive leader, Alexander quickly harnessed the Macedonian forces that his father's reforms had made into the premier military power in the region. In 334 B.C., he led a grand army across the Hellespont in Asia. With some 43,000 infantry and 5,500 cavalry, it was the most formidable military expedition ever to leave Greece. The first to reach Asiatic soil, Alexander leapt ashore, cast a spear into the land, and dramatically claimed the continent as "spear won." In a remarkable campaign that lasted eleven years, he went on to fulfill his claim and more by conquering the Persian empire of western Asia and Egypt, and by continuing into Central Asia as far as the Indus Valley. In the end, he was defeated by his own army, which insisted on returning to Greece. On the way back, he died of fever in Babylon at the age of thirty-three. All the lands that he had conquered were divided up among his generals (52.127.4), and it was these political divisions that comprised the many kingdoms of the Hellenistic period (323-31 B.C.).
#2 Alexander the Great's Imperial politics were influenced by his own upbringing, the different cultures he encountered, and some key historical precedents. Give at least one example of each type of influence.
Olympias - Olympias, (born c. 375 bc—died 316), wife of Philip II of Macedonia and mother of Alexander the Great. She had a passionate and imperious nature, and she played important roles in the power struggles that followed the deaths of both rulers.
To what effect did Alexander's conquests have a lasting effect on world affairs?
Alexander the Great's conquests in the third century BC had a profound impact on eastern and western culture. With the expansion of his empire, Hellenism, or Greek-influenced, culture spread from the Mediterranean to Asia. The passage of his armies through the mountainous regions of modern-day Afghanistan and Tibet led to the expansion of trade routes between Europe and Asia. The opening of these routes not only increased trade but allowed unprecedented cultural and religious exchanges between the east and west.
Greek quickly became the language of trade and commerce and people from all over the empire benefited from its common use. They could now understand each other easily whatever their personal culture and language. Use of a common language also led to widespread appreciation of Greek art, drama and philosophy.
Alexander's empire created a stable environment for trade in cities to flourish without fear of attack. Governments under his rule now protected and promoted trade which lead to the emergence of primary routes like the Silk Road.
How did Alexander's conquests and ideas formulate his legacy?
In addition to creating a stable and prosperous environment for trade, Alexander laid the foundation for new political systems. His generals divided up his empire after his death and installed themselves as absolute rulers in the Mediterranean and Asia. They created three key territorial states: the Seleucid Empire, Macedonia, and the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt. Greek culture passed to neighboring peoples as these kingdoms expanded. Alexander even stabilized the political landscape in the Indus River Valley. This led to the emergence of the Mauryan Empire, the first such empire in India.
To what extent did the various Alexandrian cities represent Alexander's ambitions for empire?
Caravan cities were not the only cities to thrive in Alexander's new cosmopolitan world. The Egyptian city of Alexandria was a center of culture and commerce. Founded by Alexander himself, Alexandria became the capital of Egypt under the Ptolemaic dynasty. Located directly on the Mediterranean, Alexandria's Great Harbor became an important hub for sea trade. Greek and Egyptian religion fused with the creation of the anthropomorphic god Serapis by Ptolemy I. Serapis combined aspects of the Egyptian god of the dead, Osiris, with the living Apis bull. This type of Greek-influenced religious transformation occurred throughout the Mediterranean.
Explain how the three Hellenistic kingdoms reflect the differences among the three main civilizations we have studied so far?
Diadochi - The Diadochi were rival friends / military leaders who had served Alexander the Great. Historian Diodorus Siculus reports that, just as Alexander had predicted, there was fighting among his followers to determine who would succeed him:When [Alexander] was quitting life in Babylon and at his last breath was asked by his friends to whom he was leaving the kingdom, he said, 'To the best man; for I foresee that a great combat of my friends will be my funeral games.' And this actually happened; for after the death of Alexander the foremost of his friends quarrelled about the primacy and joined in many great combats.
The autonomy of individual cities of the Classical era gave way to the will of the large kingdoms that were led by one ruler. As Alexander left no apparent heir, his generals controlled the empire. They fought common enemies and against each other as they attempted to establish their power, and eventually, three major kingdoms emerged through the strife that followed the death of Alexander in 323 BCE and persisted for the most part over the next three hundred years.
Egypt and parts of the Middle East came under the rule of Ptolemy, Seleucus controlled Syria and the remnants of the Persian Empire, while Macedonia, Thrace, and parts of northern Asia Minor came under the hegemony of Antigonus and his son Demetrius. Several smaller kingdoms were established at various times, in Hellenistic Greece. Notably, the Attalid kingdom was formed around Pergamum in eastern Asia Minor, and the independent kingdom of Bactria was created after Diodotos led a rebellion of Greeks there against Seleucid rule. Most of the classical Greek cities south of Thessaly and on the southern shores of the Black Sea remained independent.
To what extent did the Diadochi fulfill Alexander's intent for the empire?
After the death of Alexander, and the disposal of his half-brother and posthumous son, the Diadochi were the successful claimants to power over Alexander's empire. Since the Diadochi were, literally, followers, the period of the Diadochi began with Alexander's death in 323 B.C. and ended about 30 years later, with the death of the last of the successors, Seleucus I. This period is referred to as the Wars of Alexander's Successors. By this time there were 3 divisions of the Hellenistic empire, the Ptolemies in Egypt, the Seleucids in Asia, and the Antigonids in Macedonia.
What Happened to the Territory of the Diadochi:
Basically, the Romans took it.
The empire of the Seleucids had been greatly reduced. 3rd century Parthians took the eastern area. Greek settlers in Bactria revolted in the mid-second. Rome annexed what remained: it became the Roman province of Syria.
Egypt fell to the Romans under Octavian (Augustus) when Cleopatra died.
Lysimachus had taken control of Pergamum. When he died, Philetaerus, loyal to Seleucus I, took over. When Seleucus died, Philetaerus declared himself king, the first of the Attalid Dynasty. The last member of his dynasty died in 133. Rome gobbled up the territory, making it the province of Asia.
To what extent did the Diadochi extend the Hellenization throughout conquered lands?
Greek cultural influence and power was at its peak in Europe, Africa and Asia, experiencing prosperity and progress in the arts, exploration, literature, theatre, architecture, music, mathematics, philosophy, and science. It is often considered a period of transition, sometimes even of decadence or degeneration, compared to the brilliance of the Greek Classical era. The Hellenistic period saw the rise of New Comedy, Alexandrian poetry, the Septuagint and the philosophies of Stoicism and Epicureanism. Greek Science was advanced by the works of the mathematician Euclid and the polymath Archimedes. The religious sphere expanded to include new gods such as the Greco-Egyptian Serapis, eastern deities such as Attis and Cybele and the Greek adoption of Buddhism.
name of the first generation of military and political leaders after the death of the Macedonian king and conqueror Alexander the Great in 323. To settle the question whether his empire should disintegrate or survive as a unity, and, if so, under whose rule, they fought four full-scale wars. The result, reached by 300, was a division into three large parts, which more or less coincided with Alexander's possessions in Europe, Asia, and Egypt.
During the next quarter of a century, it was decided whether these states could endure. As it turned out, there were no great territorial changes, although there were dynastic changes. After 280, the period of state-forming came to an end.
To what extent were the Diadochi compelled to adopt the traditions and cultures of the lands they had conquered?
After Alexander the Great's ventures in the Persian Empire, Hellenistic kingdoms were established throughout south-west Asia (Seleucid Empire, Kingdom of Pergamon), north-east Africa (Ptolemaic Kingdom) and South Asia (Greco-Bactrian Kingdom, Indo-Greek Kingdom). This resulted in the export of Greek culture and language to these new realms through Greco-Macedonian colonization. Equally, however, these new kingdoms were influenced by the indigenous cultures, adopting local practices where beneficial, necessary, or convenient. Hellenistic culture thus represents a fusion of the Ancient Greek world with that of the Near East, Middle East, and Southwest Asia, and a departure from earlier Greek attitudes towards "barbarian" cultures. The Hellenistic period was characterized by a new wave of Greek colonization (as distinguished from that occurring in the 8th-6th centuries BC) which established Greek cities and kingdoms in Asia and Africa. Those new cities were composed of Greek colonists who came from different parts of the Greek world, and not, as before, from a specific "mother city". The main cultural centers expanded from mainland Greece to Pergamon, Rhodes, and new Greek colonies such as Seleucia, Antioch, Alexandria and Ai-Khanoum. This mixture of Greek-speakers gave birth to a common Attic-based dialect, known as Koine Greek, which became the lingua franca through the Hellenistic world.
#4 Why is the Hellenistic world described as "cosmopolitan?"
How did this urban culture differ from that of the Greek Poleis?
The Hellenistic Age marks the transformation of Greek society from the localized and introverted city-states to an open, cosmopolitan, and at times exuberant culture that permeated the entire eastern Mediterranean, and Southwest Asia.
Alexander integrated non-Greeks into his army and administration, leading some scholars to credit him with a "policy of fusion." He encouraged marriage between Greeks and non-Greeks, and practiced it himself. This was extremely unusual for the ancient world. His conquests ushered in centuries of Greco-Macedonian settlement and rule over non-Greek areas, a period known as the Hellenistic Age. Alexander himself lived on in the history and myth of both Greek and non-Greek peoples. Already during his lifetime, and especially after his death, his exploits inspired a literary tradition in which he appears as a towering legendary hero in the tradition of Homer's Achilles.
To what extent had an "urban culture" already existed before Alexander's conquests?
Instead of the previous preoccupation with the Ideal, Hellenistic art focused on the Real. Depictions of man in both art and literature revolved around exuberant, and often amusing themes that for the most part explored the daily life and the emotional world of humans, gods, and heroes alike.
The autonomy of individual cities of the Classical era gave way to the will of the large kingdoms that were led by one ruler.
To what extent had the polis transformed during the Age of Alexander and the successors?
On a spiritual level, the 4th century witnessed a permanent change in the attitudes of all Greeks. What resulted was a new attitude toward life and its expectations - a new world view. In the classical world of the polis, public and private lives were fused. Duty to the city-state was in itself virtuous. But in the Hellenistic world, public and private lives were made separate, and the individual's only duty was to himself. In art, sculpture, architecture, or philosophy or wherever we choose to look, we see more attention paid to individualism and introspection. Universal principles of truth - Plato's Ideas and Forms - were rejected in favor of individual traits. By the 4th century, Greek citizens became more interested in their private affairs rather than in the affairs of the polis. For example, in the 5th century, we will find comedies in which the polis is criticized, parodied and lampooned. But in the 4th century, the subject matter has changed and has turned to private and domestic life. In other words, whereas 5th century comedies focused on the relationship between the citizen and city-state, 4th century comedies made jokes about cooks, the price of fish, and incompetent doctors.
In general, the democracy of the city-state was made for the amateur and not the professional. The ideal of the polis was that every individual was to take a direct role in political, economic, spiritual and social affairs. But perhaps this was just too much responsibility to place on the shoulders of the citizens. For instance, we have Socrates, the most noble Athenian. He spent his entire life trying to fathom the mysteries of life: what is virtue? what is justice? what is beauty? what is the best form of government? what is the good life? He didn't know the answer to these questions but he tried to find out by asking as many people as many questions as possible. What Socrates found was that no Athenian citizen could give him a definition of any moral or intellectual virtue that would survive ten minutes of his questioning. The effect of such a discovery on the part of the young men of Athens was profound. Faith in the polis was shattered for how could the polis train its citizens to be virtuous if no one knew what it meant to be virtuous.
To what extent did Hellenization change urban life in the conquered territories?
The Hellenistic Age marks the transformation of Greek society from the localized and introverted city-states to an open, cosmopolitan, and at times exuberant culture that permeated the entire eastern Mediterranean, and Southwest Asia. While the Hellenistic world incorporated a number of different people, Greek thinking, mores, and way of life dominated the public affairs of the time. All aspects of culture took a Greek hue, with the Greek language being established as the official language of the Hellenistic world. The art and literature of the era were transformed accordingly. Instead of the previous preoccupation with the Ideal, Hellenistic art focused on the Real. Depictions of man in both art and literature revolved around exuberant, and often amusing themes that for the most part explored the daily life and the emotional world of humans, gods, and heroes alike.
The philosophies of Plato and Aristotle both derive from the teachings of Socrates, but they diverge in some important ways. What are those main differences?
Plato's ideal and just state is an aristocracy, the rule of the best. He believed leaders needed to be wise and trained in how to run a state, just as captains of ships are trained in how to run a ship.
He divided his ideal state into three classes. The lowest and largest class is the producers: the farmers, craftsmen, traders, and others involved in commerce. The next class is the warriors, those who defend the state. They are educated in sports, combat, and philosophy and tested by both terrifying and tempting situations. From the best of warrior class, the ruling class is drawn. Its members will study philosophy and be given government and military positions until age 50, when the best of them become philosopher kings.
Plato believed every human's soul is divided into three parts: appetite, spirit, and reason. Each of his three classes matches one aspect of a person's soul. The lower class is linked to appetite, and it owns all the land and controls all the wealth. The warrior class is spirited and lives by a code of honor. The ruling class is linked to reason and lives to gain wisdom.
The ancient Greeks are the cornerstone of Western philosophy. If you were born in a country in Europe, a country settled by Europeans, or a country at any point ruled by a European power, the essence of Greek philosophy has found its way into your worldview in one way or the other, and that's a fact. Capitalist or communist, liberal or conservative, Coke or Pepsi, the people who have had the greatest influence on the way we think and how we live in the Western world took their cues at some point from a Greek. Over 9 times out of 10 this Greek will be Plato or Aristotle of Athens, the city-state which was to philosophy in ancient Greece what Sparta was to kicking ass.
Although Plato had been his teacher, Aristotle disagreed with much of Plato's philosophy. Plato was an idealist, who believed that everything had an ideal form. Aristotle believed in looking at the real world and studying it.
Aristotle spent many years teaching in Athens, which was under the control of Macedon. When Alexander the Great died, however, anti-Macedonians took control of Athens. Linked to Macedon, Aristotle was accused of not accepting the gods of Athens, one of the same charges leveled against Socrates. Unlike Socrates, however, Aristotle did not stand trial. He fled to a home in the countryside, saying, as the story goes, that he did not want Athens to "sin twice against philosophy" (its first sin being the execution of Socrates). Aristotle died the following year in exile.
Like Plato, Aristotle, wrote extensively on the subjects of tyranny and the rule of law. He hoped that his Politics, a collection of essays on government, would provide direction for rulers, statesmen, and politicians.
To what extent did Plato and Aristotle criticize the Greek Polis?
Plato and Aristotle both developed important ideas about government and politics. Two of the many political subjects that these men wrote about were tyranny and the rule of law. Tyranny occurs when absolute power is granted to a ruler. In a tyrannical government, the ruler becomes corrupt and uses his power to further his own interests instead of working for the common good.
The rule of law is the principle that no one is exempt from the law, even those who are in a position of power. The rule of law can serve as a safeguard against tyranny, because just laws ensure that rulers do not become corrupt.
Plato was a student of Socrates. Socrates taught by asking questions about a subject and getting his students to think critically about it. Today, this is known as the Socratic method, used by many professors in law schools.
Socrates' questioning often led to criticism of Athenian democracy and its politicians. An increasing number of Athenians viewed Socrates as a threat to their city-state.
A few years after losing the war with Sparta, Athens put the 70-year-old Socrates on trial for not accepting the gods of Athens and for corrupting the young. Socrates denied the accusations, but he was found guilty and sentenced to death.
When Socrates died, Plato concluded that democracy was a corrupt and unjust form of government. He left Athens for a decade. Returning in 387 B.C., he established a school of higher learning called the Academy.
lyceum - Lyceum, Athenian school founded by Aristotle in 335 bc in a grove sacred to Apollo Lyceius. Owing to his habit of walking about the grove while lecturing his students, the school and its students acquired the label of Peripatetics (Greek peri, "around," and patein, "to walk"). The peripatos was the covered walkway of the Lyceum. Most of Aristotle's extant writings comprise notes for lectures delivered at the school as edited by his successors.
Plato fell in with a wandering philosopher by the name of Socrates, of whom you may have heard, who encouraged his students to challenge conventional wisdom to the point that he was finally executed in 399 BC for corrupting the youth. This, Plato would say, was a major turning point in his life, and he fled Athens to avoid a similar fate by association. He wound up in Sicily, where he joined an order of Pythagoreans (something along the line of celibate math mystics), whose fixation with numbers would inspire the cosmology Plato would become famous for.
When Plato died, he left his nephew Speusippus as his successor to run the Academy and secure the proper education of young minds in his philosophy. He was apparently quite right in doing so; his brightest and most famous student, Aristotle, who later became the private tutor of Alexander the Great, had no intention of continuing Plato's legacy and ultimately undermined him with or without the Academy.
Aristotle was a scientist in the truest sense of his day and when good, scientific information was unavailable, he insisted on strict logic. Relativism, or the belief that the Truth is whatever most people believe it to be, had created a huge market for professional bullshit artists in Athens who instructed their students on how to effectively convince crowds with sneaky and faulty arguments, a practice called Sophistry (now an insult of the first degree).
Aristotle's fascination with the sciences, in contrast to Plato's obsession with mathematics, logically produced a very different worldview, one which directly contradicted Plato's. Aristotle rejected the Forms (the Ideas in the sky) and thereby the belief that "Perfection" exists in some heavenly realm above, separate from the material world we live in. In Aristotle's universe, a thing was perfect when it did what that thing does naturally. Moment to moment, a thing lives out a natural life which is innately part of that thing's DNA, so to speak. The better it lives out that nature, the more perfect it is.
How did Xenophon differ from Plato and Aristotle in the scope of his writing?
Xenophon of Athens, was a Greek historian, soldier, mercenary, and student of Socrates. While not referred to as a philosopher by his contemporaries, his status as such is now a topic of debate. He is known for writing about the history of his own times, the late 5th and early 4th centuries BC, especially for his account of the final years of the Peloponnesian War. His Hellenica, which recounts these times, is considered to be the continuation of Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War. His youthful participation in the failed campaign of Cyrus the Younger to claim the Persian throne inspired him to write his most famous work, Anabasis.
Despite his birth-association with Athens, Xenophon affiliated himself with Sparta for most of his life. His pro-oligarchic views, service under Spartan generals in the Persian campaign and beyond, as well as his friendship with King Agesilaus II endeared Xenophon to the Spartans, and them to him. A number of his writings display his pro-Spartan bias and admiration, especially Agesilaus and Constitution of Sparta. Other than Plato, Xenophon is the foremost authority on Socrates, having learned under the great philosopher while a young man. He greatly admired his teacher, and well after Socrates' death in 399 Xenophon wrote several Socratic dialogues, including an Apology concerning the events of his trial and death. Xenophon's works cover a wide range of genres and are written in very uncomplicated Attic Greek. Xenophon's works are among the first that many students of Ancient Greek translate on account of the straightforward and succinct nature of his prose. This sentiment was apparent even in ancient times, as Diogenes Laertius states in his Lives of Eminent Philosophers (2.6) that Xenophon was sometimes known as the "Attic Muse" for the sweetness of his diction.
Nicomachean Ethics - All human activities aim at some end that we consider good. Most activities are a means to a higher end. The highest human good, then, is that activity that is an end in itself. That good is happiness. When we aim at happiness, we do so for its own sake, not because happiness helps us realize some other end. The goal of the Ethics is to determine how best to achieve happiness. This study is necessarily imprecise, since so much depends on particular circumstances.The Nicomachean Ethics is one of the most important books in the whole history of Ethics and certainly the most influential work of Aristotle. We do not know much about the origin of the Nicomachean Ethics and we do not possess a satisfactory explanation of its current structure. Many traits point to the conclusion that the work is not a unitary treatise written in one piece, but a later collection of different lecture notes made either by Aristotle himself or taken by his students.
It deals with almost all notions and concepts people assume when they talk about virtue and the good life. Aristotle does not limit his discussion to the questions of morality but tackles practical reasoning in its entire political and social setting. Needless to say, this "logic of moral practice" was executed from the historical viewpoint of the social morality that was realized in the city-states of Ancient Greece. Within that specific historical framework Aristotle provides an account of what constitutes the good life and how society should be organized to make such a life possible.
aristotle vs plato
When looking at virtue, both Plato and Aristotle start with the views of what counted as virtues in Greek society. The virtues Aristotle lists in the Nichomachean Ethics are derived from this, as are the virtues that Plato focuses on in many of his dialogues (but most famously, the Republic). Foremost for both were wisdom, courage, moderation, and justice, though Aristotle meant much further in delimiting them.
For both Plato and Aristotle, and indeed for most Greeks, virtue was essential for happiness (eudaimonia, which means "happiness" or "good character," more broadly self-fulfillment or the good life).
A key difference arises when it comes to how we acquire those virtues. 1) Plato seems to have held what we'd call a Socratic conception of virtue (acquired from his teacher, Socrates) that knowledge is virtue. In other words, to know the good is to do the good. 2) This means that all the virtues boil down to wisdom. If I'm really wise, all the other virtues will follow. Plato, in other words, believed in the unity of the virtues. Socrates was the best example of this for Plato, as his dialogues illustrate. 3) Finally, Plato believed that virtue was sufficient for happiness --- there is no such thing as moral luck.
Aristotle differed on each of these points. 1) Knowing the good wasn't enough for Aristotle. Although Aristotle doesn't necessarily have a concept of a free will (this is a later, largely Christian idea), he does believe that I need to practice virtue --- that I need to habituate myself to virtue in order to truly be virtuous. 2) For this reason, although wisdom is the highest form of virtue, it is by no means the key to possessing all virtues. In other words, Aristotle denies the unity of the virtues. 3) Finally, Aristotle thinks that although virtue is necessary to the good life, it isn't sufficient. That is to say, I can be virtuous but still unhappy (think of Oedipus). In particular, if I need good fellow citizens to truly achieve happiness.
Interestingly, Aristotle's views on all these points represented the more mainstream views of Greek society, whereas Plato's were more radical.
#1 The founding of the Roman Republic was both a cherished myth and a series of events. What factors contributed to this unique system of government?
Site-situation of Rome - Geography plays a critical role in shaping civilizations, and this is particularly true of ancient Greece.
The Greek peninsula has two distinctive geographic features that influenced the development of Greek society. First, Greece has easy access to water. The land contains countless scattered islands, deep harbors, and a network of small rivers. This easy access to water meant that the Greek people might naturally become explorers and traders.
Second, Greece's mountainous terrain led to the development of the polis (city-state), beginning about 750 B.C.E. The high mountains made it very difficult for people to travel or communicate. Therefore, each polis developed independently and, often, very differently from one another. Eventually, the polis became the structure by which people organized themselves. Athens and Sparta are two good examples of city-states that contrasted greatly with each other.
Seven kings of Rome - According to legend, the first king of Rome was Romulus, who founded the city in 753 BC upon the Palatine Hill. Seven legendary kings are said to have ruled Rome until 509 BC, when the last king was overthrown. These kings ruled for an average of 35 years.
Romulus - Romulus was the eponymous first king of Rome. How he got there is story like many others, involving a rags-to-riches rise in fortune, a miraculous birth (like Jesus), and the exposure of an unwanted infant (see Paris of Troy and Oedipus) in a river (see Moses and Sargon).
Tarquin - Lucius Tarquinius Superbus was the legendary seventh and final king of Rome, reigning from 535 BC until the popular uprising in 509 that led to the establishment of the Roman Republic.
Res Publica - Res publica is a Latin phrase, loosely meaning 'public affair'. It is the root of the word 'republic', and the word 'commonwealth' has traditionally been used as a synonym for it; however translations vary widely according to the context.
Structure of Roman Government -
collegiality - In the Roman Republic, collegiality was the practice of having at least two people, and always an even number, in each magistrate position of the Roman Senate. Reasons were to divide power and responsibilities among several people, both to prevent the rise of another king and to ensure more productive magistrates. Examples of Roman collegiality include the two consuls and censors; six praetors; eight quaestors; four aediles; ten tribunes and decemviri, etc.
There were several notable exceptions: the prestigious, but largely ceremonial (and lacking imperium) positions of pontifex maximus and princeps senatus held one person each; the extraordinary magistrates of Dictator and Magister Equitum were also one person each; and there were three triumviri.
Rise of Roman State - Location
Starting with location, central Italy was ideal for the Republic's rise. With the Alps as a natural protective wall to the north, and surrounded by seas in all other directions, the area lent itself to natural defense. Controlling almost all of the Italian Peninsula by around 290 BCE, the protected land mass became home base for the Republic's expanding conquests. It also allowed the Republic, after some intense skirmishes with the Carthaginians of north Africa, to dominate the Mediterranean Sea. This brought trade and wealth to its lands. Before Rome became an empire in 27 BCE, the Republic included places like the Iberian Peninsula, North Africa, Greece, and even modern day France.
With this list of conquered lands, we hit reason number two for the Republic's rise and success, its military strategy. Although the Roman military was definitely a force to be reckoned with, it was not just brute force that caused its rise to power. It was its strategy of appeasement, or in other words, the Republic's ability to keep its conquered lands happy.
Unlike many invading forces, when the Republic conquered a land, it respected and upheld the traditions and cultures of the conquered people. In doing this, they saw fewer costly revolts and less strain on their military.
This brings us to the last reason for its rise, its well-formed political structure.
Sabine - The Sabines (/ˈseɪbaɪn/; Latin: Sabini; Ancient Greek: Σαβῖνοι) were an Italic tribe that lived in the central Apennines of ancient Italy, also inhabiting Latium north of the Anio before the founding of Rome. The above names, English, Latin and Greek, are all exonyms.
The Sabines divided into two populations just after the founding of Rome, which is described by Roman legend. The division, however it came about, is not legendary. The population closer to Rome transplanted itself to the new city and united with the pre-existing citizenry, beginning a new heritage that descended from the Sabine but was also Latinized. The second population remained a mountain tribal state, coming finally to war against Rome for their independence along with all the other Italic tribes. After losing, it was assimilated into the Roman Republic.
Sanmites, latins, etc, -
How well did the imperial writers Livy and Virgil represent the true origins of Rome?
The Roman historian Livy compiled his history of Rome in that last half of the 1st century BCE and most of what survives of his writings involves the history of Rome. The events he describes are of little authenticity/truth in historical terms but help illustrate the values of the Romans.
To what extent had the Etruscans influenced the city-state of Rome?
Although there is evidence in Roman myth and archaeology of various shepherd villages on Rome's seven hills, the city's history really started with the Etruscans. The origins of this mysterious people are obscure. Some ancient sources liked to trace them back to Asia Minor because of their religious practices such as augury (reading flights of birds to tell the future), style of dress (in particular their pointed shoes which resembled those of the Hittites), their use of the arch in architecture, and their obscure language. However, even to this day, the origins of the Etruscans remain a mystery.
The Etruscans were organized into a loose confederation of city-states to the north of Rome. Around 650 B.C.E., they took control of the site of Rome, with its defensible hills and location on a ford of the Tiber River. They did a number of things to transform this crude collection of shepherds' huts into a true city. The Etruscans introduced rectangular urban planning. They drained the surrounding marshes and built underground sewers. They built public works using the arch and vault, and laid out roads and bridges. They promoted trade, the development of metallurgy, and better agriculture in and around Rome. The Etruscans, being heavily influenced by the Greeks, also introduced the Greek alphabet, thus introducing Greek influence into Roman culture. In fact, Roman nobles during this period would send their sons to be educated in Etruscan schools much as they would later send their sons to Greece for an education. The dark and gloomy Etruscan religion, in particular the custom of gladiators fighting to the death at the funeral of a king or noble, also had a significant impact on Rome. This is seen much later in Christian images of demons that seem to be modeled after Etruscan demons. Overall, the Romans owed a great deal to the Etruscans. The genius they would show for urban planning, road and bridge building, and civil engineering projects such as public aqueducts and baths, was a direct result of the legacy left by the Etruscans.
By 500 B.C.E., the Etruscans had also made Rome most important city in the central Italian region of Latium. This enabled it to dominate its close neighbors, the Latins and finally encouraged it to rebel against its masters. Two other factors aided the Romans in their struggle. First of all, Rome's hills and fortifications helped defend it against attack. Second, the Etruscans' loose organization into a confederacy of independent city-states made them vulnerable to attack by the Greeks in South Italy who were their rivals for trade and sea power.The Greeks won a decisive victory, which allowed Rome to successfully shake off Etruscan rule around 500 B.C.E. or later. However, Etruscan aggression remained a serious threat for the better part of a century. Therefore, it was not until around 400 B.C.E. that Rome was secure enough to embark upon its own path of conquest.
To what extent had Rome always been "cosmopolitan?"
Rome was a cosmopolitan city with Greeks, Syrians, Jews, North Africans, Spaniards, Gauls, and Britons, and like any society, the average Roman citizen awoke each morning, labored, relaxed, and ate, and while his or her daily life could often be hectic, he or she would always survive.
Outside the cities, in the towns and on the small farms, people lived a much simpler life - dependent almost entirely on their own labor. The daily life of the average city dweller, however, was a lot different and most often routine. The urban areas of the empire - whether it was Rome, Pompeii, Antioch, or Carthage - were magnets to many people who left smaller towns and farms seeking a better way of life.
To what extent was Rome's geography/topography reason for its liberation from the Etruscans?
Geographic Factors of the Rise of Rome
Link between Europe, Africa and Asia; easy access to trade routes: Italian Peninsula is central in Mediterranean world (halfway between east and west)
Seclusion and protection: rugged mountains separate northern Italy from the rest of Europe which provide good protection
Agricultural Climate: mild climate, fertile land, river beds, volcanic soil, mountain deposits
Rivers: Po and Tiber allowed for transport and created borders from other peoples
The hills of Rome supported Wheat cultivation as well as the cultivation of Olive trees, fruit trees, and vineyards. Apart from the Romulus and Remus legend of the founding of Rome, the River Tiber offered resources for tribes to settle along it. They later joined together, beginning the creation of Rome.
In order to combat the Malaria problems of the nearby swamps, the Romans were forced to drain and pave the wetlands near Rome. From early in Roman history, the Romans learned the importance of engineering, a trait that would later be a cornerstone of their Imperial power.
s the popular saying goes, "All roads lead to Rome" - and of course they did. As Rome's economy grew, it needed better roads over which to transport goods and people,
especially to its central city. The importance of roads to the empire cannot be understated. Roads helped Rome quickly move troops and supplies throughout its territory,
facilitate trade, and interconnect its conquered provinces, bringing them into the broader Roman whole.
At one point in its history, Rome had 50,000 miles of roads. This system allowed Romans to easily access the far reaches of their Empire, from Spain to Greece.
Athens: The Think Tank
Life was not easy for Athenian women. They did not enjoy the same rights or privileges as males, being nearly as low as slaves in the social system.
The city-state of Athens was the birthplace of many significant ideas. Ancient Athenians were a thoughtful people who enjoyed the systematic study of subjects such as science, philosophy, and history, to name a few.
Athenians placed a heavy emphasis on the arts, architecture, and literature. The Athenians built thousands of temples and statues that embodied their understanding of beauty. Today the term "classical" is used to describe their enduring style of art and architecture.
Athenians also enjoyed a democratic form of government in which some of the people shared power.
Sparta: Military Might
Life in Sparta was vastly different from life in Athens. Located in the southern part of Greece on the Peloponnisos peninsula, the city-state of Sparta developed a militaristic society ruled by two kings and an oligarchy, or small group that exercised political control.
Ares, Greek god of war
Ares Borghese, 420 B.C.E. Photo © Maicar Förlag — GML
Ares, the Greek god of war, was a particularly fitting patron for Sparta, which was known to be a rather warlike society. When they weren't fighting another city-state, Spartans were honing their military skills in preparation for the next battle.
Early in their history, a violent and bloody slave revolt caused the Spartans to change their society. A Spartan, Lycurgus, drafted a harsh set of laws that required total dedication to the state from its people. The laws' goal was to train citizens to become hardened soldiers so that they could fight off potential enemies or slave revolts. The result was a rigid lifestyle unlike any seen in Greece at the time. The devotion of Spartans to developing a military state left little time for the arts or literature.
A Spartan baby had to be hardy and healthy. To test a baby's strength, parents would leave their child on a mountain overnight to see if it could survive on its own until the next morning. By age seven, Spartan boys were taken from their families and underwent severe military training. They wore uniforms at all times, ate small meals of bland foods, exercised barefoot to toughen their feet, and were punished severely for disobedient behavior. Boys lived away from their families in barracks until the age of 30, even after they were married. Men were expected to be ready to serve in the army until they were 60 years old.
Women, too, were expected to be loyal and dedicated to the state. Like men, women followed a strict exercise program and contributed actively to Spartan society. Although they were not allowed to vote, Spartan women typically had more rights and independence than women in other Greek city-states.
Winning by Losing
The differences between Athens and Sparta eventually led to war between the two city-states. Known as the Peloponnesian War (431-404 B.C.E.), both Sparta and Athens gathered allies and fought on and off for decades because no single city-state was strong enough to conquer the others.
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