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Emergence Of Diverse Methods Of Political Thinking In Ancient Societies

1443 words - 6 pages

Believing the Gods to be forces that arbitrarily amused themselves by toying with their pawns, humankind, the Greeks found a great deal of detachment. They resigned themselves to their fate and thus concern was replaced by the pursuit of knowledge. The Ionic natural philosophers of the 6th and 7th centuries B.C., along with their descendants, were convinced that a world plan existed that was driven by conception. The pursuit to recognize this plan by great thinkers such as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle thus initiated the origin of Sciences. The self-confidence and awareness of these men as observers and creators of their world therefore saw the evolution of fields such as philosophy, physics, mechanics, medicine and biology. These in turn led to the emergence of new and sometimes diverse methods of political thinking. Ethics and theories of the state were written as the guiding principles for human action. Social conflicts and the existence of the individuals were dealt with in Homer’s epic and the Greek tragedies. The emphasis on individualism soon became a hallmark of the occidental spirit and once again resurged during the period of Renaissance and Enlightenment, which took references and influences from Greek philosophy. Politically however, it led to a state of permanent rivalry and lack of peace between the individual polities. A political unification was accomplished successfully only by the Macedonians under the leadership of Philip II and Alexander the Great, who in turn spread Hellenism to Asia and the Orient with his conquests. The subsequent Hellenistic cultures and Diadochoi empires adhered to the ideal of the “cosmopolitan” or the world citizen, which combined the thinking and way of life of the Orient with the West.
Greek history and culture started with the transition from Mythos to Logos; from traditional representation to independent thought in Europe occurred in Greece. Philosophers incessantly strove to develop a transcendent system to provide an explanation for the world around us; from ethics to natural sciences to observing nature. Greek historians went beyond the mere factual account and recording of events, and undertook the first systematic interpretation of history. Their literary achievements, such as the Great Tragedy, exploded and questioned the fate of man as well as man’s relationship to the Gods. These accomplishments were significant breakthrough, which would help propel theater and the fine arts throughout the western world.
The Roman Empire rose to that of a gigantic world empire through numerous wars and conquest campaigns. The contributions of the Romans to the modern day were more practical than intellectual, manifesting themselves especially in the political, legal, architectural and technical areas. Rome, with its colossal structures, was the first metropolitan capital of Europe and center of all administrative activities of the empire, which extended from the British Isles to...

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