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