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Archive for the 'World Civ-Ancient Greece' Category

In Our Time: Epicureanism

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

Angie Hobbs, David Sedley and James Warren join Melvyn Bragg to discuss Epicureanism, the system of philosophy based on the teachings of Epicurus and founded in Athens in the fourth century BC. Epicurus outlined a comprehensive philosophical system based on the idea that everything in the Universe is constructed from two phenomena: atoms and void. At the centre of his philosophy is the idea that the goal of human life is pleasure, by which he meant not luxury but the avoidance of pain. His followers were suspicious of marriage and politics but placed great emphasis on friendship. Epicureanism became influential in the Roman world, particularly through Lucretius’s great poem De Rerum Natura, which was rediscovered and widely admired in the Renaissance.

Video: Athens The Truth About Democracy

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

Check out this two-part documentary about democracy in Athens. Pretty well done.

‘An Army of Lovers’ – The Sacred Band of Thebes

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

Louis Crompton argues that male love and military prowess went hand in hand in classical Greece. (History Today)

Women and Politics in Democratic Athens

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

Susan Cole looks at how, though formally excluded from the political process, Athena’s sisters nevertheless made their mark. (History Today)

The City and the Democratic Ideal

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

‘City’, the word, comes to us from the Latin (civitas), but the city as an entity was an ancient Greek invention under the name of polis. Almost all our political vocabulary, from ‘political’ on, is rooted therefore in the ancient Greek city, and it was within that very special cultural context that democracy, another Greek political invention, was born.

Historically the polis as a new and original political state-form emerged within the Greek world in the course of the eighth century BC. Several factors made its development and spread possible, including a demographic revolution, an extension of settled agriculture, and an increase in the number of landed proprietors. polis designated a politically independent community, possessing a properly political territory, within the confines of which peasant proprietors for the first time ever – and indeed for the last time before the modern era – gained recognition as full citizens.

François Hartog on how urban living has coincided with the advocacy of popular rule from Plato through to Machiavelli, Rousseau and 20th-century sociologists. (History Today)

Classicism and the American Revolution

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

The symbols, slogans, ideas and architecture of the Founding Fathers were Classicism and the American Revolution. (History Today)

Women and Politics in Democratic Athens

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

Susan Cole looks at how, though formally excluded from the political process, Athena’s sisters nevertheless made their mark. (History Today)

The City and the Democratic Ideal

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

François Hartog on how urban living has coincided with the advocacy of popular rulefrom Plato through to Machiavelli, Rousseau and 20th-century sociologists. (History Today)

‘An Army of Lovers’ – The Sacred Band of Thebes

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

Louis Crompton argues that male love and military prowess went hand in hand in classical Greece.

Will Durant: The Life of Greece

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

William James Durant (November 5, 1885 – November 7, 1981) was a prolific American writer, historian, and philosopher. He is best known for The Story of Civilization, 11 volumes written in collaboration with his wife Ariel Durant and published between 1935 and 1975.

Here is volume two, The Life of Greece. It is arguably the best general survey of the era.

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