“They saw their injured country's woe;
The flaming town, the wasted field;
Then rushed to meet the insulting foe;
They took the spear, - but left the shield.”
This is fabulous stuff, FJ. Sure beats watching reruns of Gunsmoke and Bonanza! §;-DTell me, has anyone produced a book exploring the origins of Athenian Civilization? It couldn't have just sprung up fully developed form the ground one day the way Athena is said to have sprung, armed, clothed and fully grown from the head of Zeus, could it?Considering the pervasive darkness and savagery of the human experience the more one thinks about "The Greeks" the more miraculous their emergence seems. Too bad the brute savagery of Barbarism is always waiting in the wings to march in and tear to pieces those who try to tread a more enlightened path, isn't it? BUT we are still animals after all. I see in my three cats the selfishness, lack of charity, and incipient brutality in their exercise of the territorial imperative every day. I love them dearly, and thoroughly enjoy the sometimes-extravagant affection they show me, BUT I am always kept uncomfortably aware of their feral nature, which can' be eliminated even with the most affectionate, indulgent pampering imaginable.I guess we mammals are "hardwired" to engage in competitive conflict, even when there is obvious evidence of plenty for everyone.
This was my original source, although I much prefer primary sources, such as Plato himself and/or the Greek tragedians. Whether their origins be Cretan or Mycenaen, Doric or Ionian is difficult to determine. Aeschylus' "Suppliant women" combined with archeological evidence might even lead one to believe that it was an emulation of the "Egyptian."
But regardless, I suspect that "democracy" grew from the "piracy" and "merchant" characteristics of Greek boat crews. There were many oarsman, and each had to "pull his weight".from Hesiod's "Works and Days"....For the gods keep hidden from men the means of life. Else you would easily do work enough in a day to supply you for a full year even without working; soon would you put away your rudder over the smoke, and the fields worked by ox and sturdy mule would run to waste.... A time for planting.... and a time for putting to sea.
W&D (ll. 641-645) But you, Perses, remember all works in their season but sailing especially. Admire a small ship, but put your freight in a large one; for the greater the lading, the greater will be your piled gain, if only the winds will keep back their harmful gales.(ll. 646-662) If ever you turn your misguided heart to trading and with to escape from debt and joyless hunger, I will show you the measures of the loud-roaring sea, though I have no skill in sea-faring nor in ships; for never yet have I sailed by ship over the wide sea, but only to Euboea from Aulis where the Achaeans once stayed through much storm when they had gathered a great host from divine Hellas for Troy, the land of fair women. Then I crossed over to Chalcis, to the games of wise Amphidamas where the sons of the great-hearted hero proclaimed and appointed prizes. And there I boast that I gained the victory with a song and carried off an handled tripod which I dedicated to the Muses of Helicon, in the place where they first set me in the way of clear song. Such is all my experience of many-pegged ships; nevertheless I will tell you the will of Zeus who holds the aegis; for the Muses have taught me to sing in marvellous song.(ll. 663-677) Fifty days after the solstice (34), when the season of wearisome heat is come to an end, is the right time for me to go sailing. Then you will not wreck your ship, nor will the sea destroy the sailors, unless Poseidon the Earth-Shaker be set upon it, or Zeus, the king of the deathless gods, wish to slay them; for the issues of good and evil alike are with them. At that time the winds are steady, and the sea is harmless. Then trust in the winds without care, and haul your swift ship down to the sea and put all the freight no board; but make all haste you can to return home again and do not wait till the time of the new wine and autumn rain and oncoming storms with the fierce gales of Notus who accompanies the heavy autumn rain of Zeus and stirs up the sea and makes the deep dangerous.(ll. 678-694) Another time for men to go sailing is in spring when a man first sees leaves on the topmost shoot of a fig-tree as large as the foot-print that a cow makes; then the sea is passable, and this is the spring sailing time. For my part I do not praise it, for my heart does not like it. Such a sailing is snatched, and you will hardly avoid mischief. Yet in their ignorance men do even this, for wealth means life to poor mortals; but it is fearful to die among the waves. But I bid you consider all these things in your heart as I say. Do not put all your goods in hallow ships; leave the greater part behind, and put the lesser part on board; for it is a bad business to meet with disaster among the waves of the sea, as it is bad if you put too great a load on your waggon and break the axle, and your goods are spoiled. Observe due measure: and proportion is best in all things. ...When Athena won the competition for city of Athens with her olive, and Poseidon lost it.
hey FJ:) have a super Labor Day weekend my friend!!
Thank you, Angel. You, too!
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