The Greeks Who Made Us Who We Are

Eighteen Ancient Philosophers, Scientists, Poets and Others


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About the Book

Hellenic contributions to Western Civilization are acknowledged by all, but the details of their endowment are under-appreciated. This volume seeks to disclose two distinctive features of Western culture uniquely attributable to the ancient Greeks: A human-centered worldview that elevated humans to the threshold of divinity and a philosophical temperament which for the first time in history proffered the unbridled operation of the human mind as a kind of cultural imperative. Eighteen seminal thinkers who left lasting impressions in such fields as ethics, medicine, religion, politics, poetry and art are examined in detail. The efforts of these individuals helped establish a unique cultural pedigree unlike any other in world history. They invested the West with that restless, intrepid habit of mind that remains the hallmark of Western civilization to this day.

About the Author(s)

M.A. Soupios is a professor of political philosophy at Long Island University–Post in Brookville, New York.

Bibliographic Details

M.A. Soupios
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 248
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7273-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0163-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Preface 1
1. Homer (Mid to Late 8th Century b.c.): Founder of Western Humanism 5
2. Solon (630–560 b.c.): Poet, Lawgiver, Statesman 11
3. Thales (Early 6th Century): Father of Western Science 22
4. Sappho (612–580 b.c.): Poet on Fire 32
5. Pythagoras (Mid-500s–496 b.c.): Mystic Mathematician 49
6. Parmenides (Born c. 515 b.c.): Father of Metaphysics and Logic 57
7. Themistocles (524–459 b.c.): Savior of the Western World 66
8. Phidias (490–430 b.c.): Lord of Western Aesthetics 70
9. Gorgias (483–376 b.c.): Master of the Word 87
10. Socrates (469–399 b.c.): Iconoclast and Moral Revolutionary 98
11. Thucydides (460–399 b.c.): True Father of History 103
12. Plato (427–347 b.c.): Fountainhead of Western Philosophy 131
13. Aristotle (384–322 b.c.): Polymathic Genius 138
14. Alexander the Great (356–323 b.c.): Disseminator of Greek Culture 147
15. Epicurus (341–270 b.c.): Physicist and Ethician 159
16. Zeno (335–263 b.c.): Stoic Sage 172
17. Galen (a.d. 129–199): Physician, Scientist, Philosopher 192
18. Plotinus (a.d. 205–270): Mystic Philosopher 203
Index 231