e1 - Page 1 of 11 Jorge Arias EUH 2000 EXAM 1 July 8 2008...

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Page 1 of 10 Jorge Arias EUH 2000 EXAM 1 July 8, 2008 Classical Greek civilization emerges as an almost unique development in the Mediterranean World. In particular, the Athenian approach to government, culture, and philosophy distinguish it from the other civilization of Ancient World. Compare the political, cultural, and intellectual developments in Greece with that of other Mediterranean and Mesopotamian civilizations. In what ways were the political and intellectual outlooks of Greece advancement over the others? In what ways were they a continuation or extension of traditions established elsewhere? To start, let me just mention that some believe that the word philosophy was first used in Greece to appoint an activity of knowledge that was directed to the comprehension of the world and the human life. Early civilizations defined philosophy as the action of men of comprehend, interpret and transform the world and their own life. In philosophy, the main difference between the Greek and others was that the Greek applied their criticism, spirit and reflective abilities. Believing in the supernatural was of great inspiration for poets and more logical interpretations for many things. The Greek philosophers tried really hard to find explanations based on reason, different from the others who based most things on religion and myths. Greeks began the investigations about earth, the universe and human existence. Because of their intrepid minds and discoveries, they would be the perfect illustration for the meaning of the word philosophy, “love or desire to know.” In the politics, the Greek, with Dracon’s laws, were too harsh on people. These laws encouraged death sentence for very small misdemeanors. Solon tried to give a new set of laws in Athens, but his system didn’t last too long. Nevertheless, the poor kept fighting for equality among citizens. They would not accept a penal government. Clistenes, one of the governors of Athens was the one who supported Solon’s ideals and
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Page 2 of 10 Jorge Arias EUH 2000 EXAM 1 July 8, 2008 created the first democratic government with total equality among citizens. With this, everyone’s rights and obligations could be claimed. In my view, the Greek were so successful in democracy because the people of Athens just didn’t sit back and waited for a change to happen. They fought for a change, they stood up, they spoke up, they asked for democracy and they got democracy. Similarly, Greek philosophers were not satisfied with believing in myths; therefore, they were driven by the love and desire to know. Following is a tale that can help illustrate the passion that philosophers had back in Ancient Greek. "Thales was reproached for his poverty, which was supposed to show that philosophy is of no use. According to the story, he knew by his skills in the stars while it was yet winter that there would be a great harvest of olives in the coming year; so, having a little money, he gave deposits for the use of all olive-presses in Chios and
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e1 - Page 1 of 11 Jorge Arias EUH 2000 EXAM 1 July 8 2008...

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