While the Jews were struggling with the idea of religious belief and the introduction of Monotheism, the early Greeks were starting to delve into the basics of Philosophy and Thought. After the battle of Plataea in 749 BCE ended badly for the Persians, life had become relatively more peaceful in Greece. As a result, many were more free to explore the world of ideas.
Periclean Athens Edit
Sometimes referred to as The Golden Age of Athens, it began in 445 BCE with the election of Pericles to the position of Strategos. It was a post that he held until his death in 429 BCE.
During this time, much of Athens was rebuilt, giving rise to new architecture. This included the rebuilding of the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Temple of Apollo in Delphi and the Acropolis of Athens.
It was also during the period that Greek theatre reached a new peak with such writers as Aeschylus, Sophocles and Aristophanes. But most of all, the period was known for its schools, which gave rise to such minds as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.
His chief contribution seems to be that of the Socratic Method. It was of negative inquiry for eliminating potentially false hypothesis. As such, it tended to question the validity of accepted knowledge in the hopes of improving on it, and did so with dialogue. It is particularly effective in exploring issues of morality and ethics.
Born in 437 BCE, Plato had just missed the period of Periclean rule. Instead he grew up in and was influenced by the decline and disarray that followed. He was also a student of Socrates, who taught him to take nothing for granted. After some time spent traveling after Socrates death, he returned to Athens and founded an Academy at which he taught.
Extremely concerned with the ordering of Public Affairs and Human Relationships, Plato wrote extensively on how he thought life should be organized. He is known for two works in particular, the Republic and the Laws. Both utopian in nature, they have undergone generations of in-depth study.
Born in 384 BCE, Aristotle was a student of Plato and later a teacher of Alexander the Great. In 335 BCE, he founded the Lyceum and taught there until 322 BCE.
While Plato had been concerned with ;issues of Social Order, Aristotle was more concerned with knowledge of the natural world. As such his studies went beyond just philosophy, but extended into the study of observable phenomena. In time his methodologies would lead to development of the Scientific Method.
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