The Helping Hand An Essay In Philosophy Religion For The Unhappy - Vision specialist

the familyAncient beams of Lebanese cedar, preserved by the desert, shoring up a chamber in the Bent Pyramid Especially when the Egyptians began their great building projects, good lumber was essential. One cannot imagine ton granite obelisks, quarried at Aswan, being floated down the Nile in boats made of bundled reeds.

Evidence of how early the Phoenicians were supplying wood to Egypt can still be seen in the Bent Pyramid of Seneferu c. Another product the Phoenicians eventually traded in was a purple dye produced at Tyre from local marine snails, Murex brandaris and Murex trunculus now gratuitously[? Depending on how it was processed -- it was only discovered in the 's that this could be accomplished merely with exposure to sunlight -- the dye could also be here blue color, which thus is likely the dye specified in the Bible for the blue on Jewish prayer shawls and other applications.

If so, this use would antedate the familiarity of the Greeks with the purple dye. The most famous statement about "the Purple" is certainly that of the Empress Theodorawho, rather than flee the Nika Revolt ofis supposed to have said, "the Purple makes the noblest shroud.

Unfortunately, like many other famous quotes in history, this is not quite right. Press, p. The traditional misquotation thus deftly combines two actual quotations. Both the Greeks and the Phoenicians, in the course of their trade, founded colonies all over the Mediterranean. The map below illustrates this activity and its implied competition. Greek colonies came to ring the Aegean and Black Seas, the southern coast of Italy, eastern Sicily, Cyrenaica in Libya, and in places on the coast of Gaul modern France and northeastern Spain.

The largest modern cities derived from Greek colonies are probably Marseille in France The Helping Hand An Essay In Philosophy Religion For The UnhappyNaples in Italy Neapolisthe "New City" -- remembered in the name of "Neapolitan" icecreamand Istanbul originally Byzantionlater Constantinopolis -- Constantinople.

Phoenician colonies coexisted with Greek cities in Cyprus and Sicily, but excluded Greeks on Sardinia and Corsica, in the south of Spain, and especially along North Africa.

Phoenician colonial power was particularly concentrated at Carthage -- Qart H. In the south of Spain Cadiz Gades was a Phoenician city. In the course of that expansion, the city later known in Latin as Carthago Nova"New Carthage" Cartagenawas founded.

From Spain, the Phoenicians did something the Greeks did not -- venture out into the Atlantic. They probably went as far as Britain from which tin was obtainedand certainly went well down the coast of Africa -- how far is unclear, since the Phoenicians kept their doings as secret as possible. The best evidence that this was accomplished there is no other is the very idea that it was possible: Phoenician trading posts in Greece itself, reflected even in Greek mythology with stories like the foundation of Thebes by the Phoenician Cadmus, initiated Greek trading in the years after about BC.

But after all this, we may then ask, that if trade is to be associated with the origin of philosophy, why did not philosophy start with the Phoenicians? After a fashion, perhaps it did. The man credited with being the first Greek philosopher, Thales of Miletus c. However, he was living in a Greek city; and even later philosophers who were certainly ethnic Phoenicians, like Zeno of Citiummoved to Greek cities to learn and practice philosophy.

The clue to what happened in the Greek cities more info be found in something else that seems to be a unique characteristic of Greek history: By the time we know much about events, traditional kings in Greeks cities are mostly gone. This had never happened before. When ancient kings were overthrown, which happened often enough, they were simply replaced by other kings. The Phoenician cities all had traditional kings.

But in Greece, the institution of kingship lost its traction.

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It was filled at first by hereditary nobles, then by elected nobles with life tenure, then by elected nobles with ten year tenure starting inthen with elected nobles by annual tenure starting inand then with the office opened by Solon, c. After some conflict and the rule of tyrants especially Pisitratusoverthrown inCleisthenes led Athens into essentially pure democracy [ note ].

Unlike the Phoenician cities, which had been engaged in commerce for centuries, and where the kings were The Helping Hand An Essay In Philosophy Religion For The Unhappy themselves, the creation of wealth by trade in the Greeks cities seems to have undermined traditional authority.

Whoever jumped into click here game first would become, perhaps for the first time in history, a nouveau riches class that chaffed at hereditary privilege and had the means, by bribery and hire, to marshal forces against it. Since wealth by trade could be made away from home, it would be entirely outside the control of a hometown ruler. Returning home with a new sense of power and independence [ note ], a merchant could well have lost much of his awe and respect for authority by birth.

Seeing Greece of the Dark Ages c.

The Helping Hand An Essay In Philosophy Religion For The Unhappy great romantic

Also, we can say that for the first time in history these transformations could have been accomplished by money: Money, meaning coined precious metals, was invented soon after in the Kingdom of Lydia.

The Lydians were not Greeks, but the Lydian kings, after the Phoenician manner, were businessmen; and they worked closely with the adjacent Greek cities of Ionia. Money thus facilitated the rise of a city like Thales's Miletus; and since coinage enhances the manner in which wealth can be concentrated and transferred, we can also imagine that it enhanced the process of social mobility and political conflict.

What happened in Greek cities politically and socially was extraordinary enough, but it is also our clue about the origin of philosophy. Although we can only imagine the nature of the causal connection, the correlation between philosophy and the cities of The Helping Hand An Essay In Philosophy Religion For The Unhappy wealth and political transformation is obvious. Greek philosophy began inIonia today on the west coast of Turkeyin the wealthiest and most active cities of their time in Greece.

Then philosophy migrated from every direction to Athens itself, at the center, the wealthiest commercial power and the most famous democracy of the time [ note ]. Socratesalthough uninterested in wealth himself, nevertheless was a creature of the marketplace, where there were always people to meet and where he could, in effect, bargain over definitions rather than over prices.

Similarly, although Socrates avoided participation in democratic politics, it is hard to imagine his idiosyncratic individualism, and the uncompromising self-assertion of his defense speech, without either wealth or birth to justify his privileges, occurring in any other political context.

If a commercial democracy like Athens provided the social and intellectual context that fostered the development of philosophy, we might expect that Sports Marketing Plan Essay would not occur in the kind of Greek city that was neither commercial nor democratic.

As it happens, the great rival of Athens, Spartawas just such a city. Sparta had a peculiar, oligarchic constitution, with two kings and a small number of enfranchised citizens.

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Most of the subjects of the Spartan state had little or no political power, and many of them were helotswho were essentially held as slaves and could be killed by a Spartan citizen at any time for any reason -- annual war was formally declared on the helots for just that purpose.

The whole more info of the Spartan citizenry was war. Unlike Athens, Sparta had no nearby seaport. It was not engaged in or interested in commerce. It had no resident alien population like Athens -- there was no reason for foreigners of any sort to come to Sparta.

Spartan citizens were allowed to possess little money, and Spartan men were expected, officially, to eat all their meals at a common mess, where the food was legendarily bad -- all to toughen them up. Spartans had The Helping Hand An Essay In Philosophy Religion For The Unhappy little The Helping Hand An Essay In Philosophy Religion For The Unhappy say that the term "Laconic," from Laconiathe environs of Sparta, is still used to mean "of few words" -- as "Spartan" itself is still used to mean simple and ascetic.

While this gave Sparta the best army in Greece, regarded by all as next to invincible, and helped Sparta defeat Athens in the Peloponnesian Warwe do not find at Sparta any of the accoutrements otherwise normally associated with Classical Greek civilization: Socrates would have found few takers for his conversation at Sparta -- and it is hard to imagine the city tolerating his questions for anything like the thirty or more years that Athens did.

Next to nothing remains at the site of Sparta to attract tourists the nearby Mediaeval complex at Mistra is of much greater interestwhile Athens is one of the major tourist destinations of the world. Indeed, we basically wouldn't even know about Sparta were it not for the historians e. Thucydides and philosophers e.

Plato and Aristotle at Athens who write about her. In the end, philosophy made the fortune of Athens, which essentially became the University Town of the Roman Empire only Alexandria came close as a center of learning ; but even Sparta's army eventually failed her, as Spartan hegemony was destroyed at the battle of Leuctra in by the brilliant Theban general Epaminondas, who killed a Spartan king, Cleombrotus, for the first time since King Leonidas was killed by the Persians at Thermopylae in A story about Thales throws a curious light on the polarization between commercial culture and its opposition.

It was said that Thales was not a practical person, sometimes didn't watch where he was walking, fell into a well according to Platowas laughed at, and in general was reproached for not taking money seriously like everyone else.

Finally, he was sufficiently irked by the derision and criticisms that he decided to teach everyone a lesson. By studying the stars according to Aristotlehe determined that there was to be an exceptionally large olive harvest that year.

Borrowing some money, he secured all the olive presses used to get the oil, of course in Miletus, and link the harvest came in, he took advantage of his monopoly to charge everyone dearly.

After making this big financial killing, Thales announced that he could do this anytime and so, if he otherwise didn't do so and seemed impractical, it was because he simply did not value the money in the first place.

This story curiously contains internal evidence of its own falsehood.

One cannot determine the nature of the harvest by studying the stars; otherwise astrologers would make their fortunes on the commodities markets, not by selling their analyses to the public [ note ]. So if Thales did not monopolize the olive presses with the help of astrology, and is unlikely to have done what this story relates, we might ask if he was the kind of impractical person portrayed in the story in the first place.

It would not seem so from all the other accounts we have about him. The tendency of this evidence goes in two directions: First, Thales seems to engage in activities that would be consistent with any other Milesian engaged in business. The story about him going to Egypt, although later assimilated to fabulous stories about Greeks learning the mysteries of the Egyptians who don't seem to have had any such mysteries, and would not have been teaching them to Greeks anywayis perfectly conformable to what many Greeks actually were doing in Egypt, i.

Indeed, the Greeks had another basic export besides olive oil and wine, and that was warriors. Since the Greek cities fought among themselves all the time, the occasional peace left many of them seeking to continue the wars by other means. Indeed, the kings relied so heavily on Greek mercenaries, and there were so many Greek traders swarming over Here, that considerable tensions arose. The Egyptians basically didn't like foreigners, and the Greeks, although awed by Egypt, also found the Egyptians more than a little strange and ridiculous.

Their references to things Egyptian were sometimes mocking: As a colony, Naucratis was a little unusual, existing under the sovereignty of Egypt, and also because several Greek cities joined in the founding. As it happened, Miletus was one of the founders of Naucratis. The degree of involvement with Miletus in Egypt thus makes it more than probable that Thales, engaged in the ordinary business of his fellow citizens, would have found himself there, probably more than once.

This is then consistent with the story of Thales discovering how to measure the height of the pyramids [ note ] -- and also with the story of Thales learning navigational techniques from the Phoenicians. Since the Phoenicians were secretive about their affairs, especially to rivals, this reinforces the report, mentioned already, that Thales was of Phoenician derivation. The second insight into Thales's activities comes The Helping Hand An Essay In Philosophy Religion For The Unhappy the account of his work for King Alyattes of Lydia.

A dreamer who goes around falling into wells does not sound like someone to hire for military engineering projects; but that is the account from Herodotus that we have of Thales, who is supposed to have actually diverted a river around behind the Lydian army so that it could avoid too deep a ford.

The war between the Medes and the Lydians, during which Thales accompanied the Lydian king, also provides us with the one solid date that we have for Thales's life. That is because the climactic battle between the Medes and Lydians, at which Thales would have been present, was stopped by a total eclipse of the sun. The date of the eclipse can now be calculated precisely: The path of the eclipse can even be inspected using computer software on home computers. The eclipse, indeed, was later said to have been predicted by Thales.

That is clearly impossible.

Present, Explain, and Evaluate - Writing a Short Philosophy Paper

To predict an eclipse, one must know what an eclipse is -- the moon getting in the way of the sun -- and no Greek knew that for some time to come; and one must have records of eclipses for some centuries to understand the relationship of the moon's orbit to the ecliptic the apparent path of the sun in the sky -- the Greeks had no such records perhaps until the Pythagoreans. Although Thales could not have predicted the eclipse, it could have been predicted at the time -- by the Babylonians.

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