Search Results for Solon
Solon (7th to 6th century BCE)
One of the so-called “seven wise men” of ancient Greece.
While serving as Archon, Solon more or less replaced Draco’s harsh legal code by introducing several humanitarian reforms.
Spearheading the trend toward the Athenian democracy, he’s remembered for notable achievements such as abolishing slavery for unpaid debts and granting citizenship to foreign craftsmen working in Athens.
Plato‘s great grandfather, Dropides, heard about the destruction of Atlantis through Solon, himself learning of the legend through Egyptian scribes.
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Atlantis is an ancient and possibly legendary civilization whose military capabilities apparently posed a threat to Europe and Africa before it finally disappeared into the sea.
The Greek statesman Solon learned from an Egyptian priest at Sykes about ancient temple records telling of Atlantis. Dating back over 9,000 years, the records said a massive destruction periodically befalls the earth forcing mankind “to begin again like children with no memory of what went before.”
The destruction of Atlantis is variously attributed to an earthquake, volcano or high-tech weapons.
The grandfather of the Greek philosopher Plato heard the story of Atlantis from Solon. Plato duly writes about Atlantis as a kind of utopia in his dialogues Timeus and Critias.
Subsequent variations of the story say the Atlantians possessed high-tech death-rays, hot and cold running water and miraculous cures.
But some archaeological paintings allegedly depicting Atlantis include boats propelled by men with primitive poles, which doesn’t quite add up: Why so primitive a means of propulsion if Atlantis boasted incredibly high tech resources?
Recent scientific and archaeological expeditions are trying to uncover hard evidence for Atlantis. Some researchers hope that orbiting electronic instruments will discover Atlantis’ true location. Others are using Google Earth to try to discern the location.
Said to be a paradise before its destruction, Atlantis apparently had a temple of Poseidon at its center. And after its destruction, some survivors are said to have been scattered across the globe by sea.
Some believe this accounts for the seemingly paranormal feats of architecture found around the world–from Stonehenge to the massive sandstone etchings in Peru, and the similarly styled pyramids of Egypt and Aztec Central America.
Parallel tales about a lost civilization destroyed by catastrophe have been simultaneously recorded by an Egyptian scribe and a Mayan stone cutter.
True or false?
Apparently the Greek government prohibited exploration of an underwater area researchers believe would definitively prove the existence of Atlantis.
Aristotle seemed to believe that Plato was mythologizing about Atlantis in an attempt to symbolically warn against “overweening ambition,” as Shakespeare would much later caution through his character Macbeth.
Paula Byerly Croxon adds that Plato’s myth about Atlantis was “underscored by the visions of Madame Blavatsky and Edgar Cayce” (The Piatkus Dictionary of Mind, Body & Spirit, London: Piatkus, 2003 p. 24).
While it is easy to be skeptical about the historicity of Atlantis, it should be kept in mind that the ancient city of Troy was widely thought to be mythical until an uncovered archaeological site proved its existence in the 1870′s.
Whatever the truth may be, the myth goes on with an American-Canadian science fiction TV program called Stargate Atlantis that appeared in 2006, a spin-off from the very popular Stargate SG-1 series.
Plato‘s enduring work in which the philosopher-king is depicted as the best kind of ruler.
Not too many people realize that Plato in his Republic disapproved of democracy (Greek: strength of the people), maintaining that the masses were ill-suited to the task of selecting an adequate ruler.
According to this argument, just as a doctor is specially trained to heal citizens, an enlightened ruler is uniquely endowed to govern subjects.
The Republic groups society into four classes of gold, silver, bronze and iron. Individuals ideally fulfill the duties that nature has allotted to their particular social class.
Plato’s popular ‘cave analogy’ also appears in The Republic. It illustrates his views about the connection between change and eternity. The cave analogy goes as follows:
Prisoners are bound to a chair in a cave that they’ve been imprisoned in since childhood. They face a wall with a fire burning some distance behind them. Their captors come and go, always walking between the fire and the prisoners’ backs. Consequently the captors are always seen by the prisoners as shadows projected on the wall of the cave. The prisoners know of nothing else and assume that the shadows are reality. If a prisoner were to escape up the steep slope leading to the cave entrance, his or her eyes would temporarily be blinded by the bright sunlight. Once their eyes adjusted, however, the free prisoner would realize that a far greater reality exists than the world of shadows. If the prisoner were to reenter the cave, they again would be temporarily blinded, this time by a lack of light. When their eyes readjusted, the shadows would reappear. But the prisoner now knows that they’re just shadows and not reality.
In this analogy, the shadows represent the ever-changing world of daily life. The world above the cave entrance represents an eternal, unchanging reality that Plato calls the realm of the Forms.
For Plato, only the Forms are truly real because the mundane world is in a state of becoming–i.e. subject to change and lacking permanence.
The Republic is regarded as a landmark in literature, education, philosophy and political thought. Its influence spread through Europe in the Middles Ages and continues to be felt today.
» Archetype, Archetypal Image, Aristotle, Atlantis, Aurobindo (Sri), Blessed Isles, Boethius, Church Fathers, Dionysius the Areopagite, Gorgias, Meno, Neoplatonism, Plotinus, Proclus, Socrates, Skepticism, Solon, Sophists, Timeus, Universalism
While John Keats and Percy Shelley remain perhaps more popular and are usually regarded in the U.K. and North America as somewhat deeper, Byron is remembered for his effortless, effective rhyme.
In his verse he often creates a particular type of melancholic hero, one lamenting some past personal sin or travesty yet remaining steadfast and defiant towards the future.
But Byron had his grandiose and archetypal moments, as evident in Prometheus (1816):
Thy Godlike crime was to be kind,
To render with thy precepts less
The sum of human wretchedness,
And strengthen Man with his own mind;
Short, stout and limping with a club foot, he was nonetheless a ladies man. Married, permanently separated and involved in numerous romantic liaisons, after the destruction of his marriage he spoke of his honeymoon as a “treaclemoon.”
Following the death of his friend Shelley – he had lived with the Shelleys in 1815 at Lake Geneva – Byron lived in Venice for two years, after which time he joined the Greek army in 1823 to fight for Greek independence and died of fever in Missolonghi in 1824. His body was shipped back to Newstead Abbey, England after he had received full military honors in Greece.
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