One of the fun parts of studying the ancient world, even for an amateur, is that you see that the problems of the human condition are immutable. The issues we face today have new characteristics, but they are not new to man. The Ancients had the same sorts of problems because they had the same sorts of people. Then as now, there were people who lived to create trouble. There have always been people nibbling at the support cables of society, hoping for disaster.
Of course, the Ancients could not afford to indulge their fantasies about themselves or the world, so their solutions were to the point. An office holder who betrayed his duty to the office was forced to commit suicide. People who committed crimes, even small crimes, faced rough judgment. Much of what ails the modern age is the unwillingness to deal with the problems of society. As a result, they have metastasized to the point where they seem intractable.
Even so, it is settling to read about how the Ancients worked through the problems of society as it is a reminder that this is a constant. It is also comforting to see that even the most brilliant people of the age got things wrong. Just as troublemakers and subversives are a fixture of human society, wrongness is a universal constant, even among the most brilliant of the age. It is a good reminder that appeals to authority are often an excuse for not questioning authority.
For the show this week I plucked out a handful of not so famous Greek thinkers and did a short segment on who they were and what we can learn from them. As I said in the opening, the show is a bit of self-indulgence on my part. I like reading about this period in Western history, so I like talking about it too. I usually like to keep the show somewhat related to the issues of the day, but every once in a while, it is good to do one for the sole purpose of making the host happy.
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This Week’s Show
- 00:00: Opening
- 03:00: Lycurgus
- 13:00: Solon
- 23:00: Draco
- 33:00: Zaleucus
- 43:00: Parmenides
- 53:00: Democritus
Full Show On Spreaker
Full Show On Odysee