Greek and Roman History

Draco, Solon, and Cleisthenes, Democracy and Justice in Ancient Greece

Homer’s Odyssey depict the deep Greek past where might makes right, where brave soldiers fight for justice, where grievances and murders are settled by blood feuds. As Greek emerged from its Dark Ages in the seventh century, the Greeks in Athens sought to establish a more systematic system of justice with laws governing the state. Draco was appointed by the ruling aristocracy to be a lawmaker to codify new laws to replace justice by feuds, now the Senate of the Areopagus would hear cases of homicide. […]

Cynic Philosophers

Diogenes and the Greek Cynic Philosophers

Diogenes Laertius tells us the Cynics were only interested in ethics, and unlike the other philosophical schools, they had no interest in logic and physics, much like the later Roman Stoics.  They had no interest in general education or literature, their only concern was how to live a life of virtue.  The Cynics “lived frugally, eating only for nourishment, wearing only a clock, despising wealth, fame, and royal birth.”  Some ate only vegetables, some drank only water, some lived in tubs in the marketplace, like Diogenes of Sinope.  The Cynics believed that “virtue can be taught, and when acquired cannot be lost.” […]