Download E-books A Cabinet of Greek Curiosities: Strange Tales and Surprising Facts from the Cradle of Western Civilization PDF

By J. C. McKeown

The traditional Greeks have been a superb humans. They gave us democracy, drama, and philosophy, and plenty of different types of paintings and branches of technological know-how will be impossible with out their effect. And but, they have been in a position to the main outlandish habit, preposterous ideals, and ludicrous reviews.

Like its spouse quantity, A cupboard of Roman Curiosities, this is often an uproarious miscellany of strange tales and evidence, culled from a life of instructing old Greek civilization. In many ways, the booklet demonstrates how a lot the Greeks have been like us. Politicians have been considered as shallow and self-serving; obese humans resorted to incredible diets; Socrates and the king of Sparta used to entertain their young children through using round on a stick pretending it was once a horse. in fact, their variations from us are abundantly documented too and the e-book might depart readers with a number of incredulous questions. To chase away evil, have been scapegoats thrown down from cliffs, notwithstanding equipped out with feathers and stay birds to offer them a wearing probability of survival? Did a werewolf rather win the boxing occasion on the Olympic video games? have been prisoners published on bail so they may take pleasure in dramatic gala's? Did a person particularly think that Pythagoras flew approximately on a magic arrow? different such mysteries abound during this quirky and richly illustrated trip into the "glory that was once Greece."

"The most endearing factor at the black earth."
Sappho of Lesbos

"Well worthy getting a copy."
Pisistratus of Athens

"Meticulously written, a needs to for each library."
Ptolemy of Alexandria

"Unputdownable."
Atlas the Titan

"Fantastic! Incredible!"
Cassandra, priestess of Apollo

"The excellent gift."
Laocoon of Troy

"Not too long."
Callimachus of Cyrene

"I locate whatever new whenever I dip in."
Archimedes of Syracuse

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60). • Athens is defined as “the Greece of Greece” (Ἑλλάδος Ἑλλάς, Hellados Hellas) in Greek Anthology 7. forty five, an epitaph for Euripides attributed to the historian Thucydides. • Heraclides Criticus, within the third century B. C. , says that “when it involves the pleasures and refinements of lifestyles, Athens excels all different towns through up to all different towns are varied from farms” (Description of Greece 1. 4). He then provides the caution: “You need to beware of the prostitutes in Athens; differently, if you are having fun with your self, you'll be ruined with no figuring out it. ” • even if he used to be a student in Alexandria, which would declare highbrow preeminence within the Greek international, Philo of Alexandria admits: “I regard the Athenians as having a sharper mind than the other Greeks—what the scholar is to the attention or cause is to the soul, that's what Athens is to Greece” (Every reliable guy Is loose 140). • it sort of feels good stated of Athens that it produces stable males who're outstandingly first-class and undesirable males who're supremely depraved, simply because it produces the sweetest honey and the deadliest hemlock (Plutarch lifetime of Dion 58). Athens is the single nation that has flourished as a democracy. The Athenians accomplished greatness with that type of govt, for they outdid all different Greeks in local intelligence and confirmed the top regard for proven legislation (Pausanias advisor to Greece four. 35). on the top of its prosperity the Athenian democracy was once financed by means of the cruel exploitation of untold millions of slaves within the silver mines at Laurium and by means of the subjection of the tribute-paying allies. the total citizen inhabitants of Mytilene used to be condemned to demise or slavery for attempting to secede in 427 B. C. , merely to be spared on the final second; there has been no such reprieve for the folk of Melos in 416. Our current procedure of presidency is equal to it almost always has been long ago. a few humans name it a democracy, while other folks name it no matter what they prefer. it's really an aristocracy authorized of via the hundreds (Plato Menexenus 238c). Socrates is related to be reporting a funeral speech in honor of the Athenian warfare useless, purportedly written by way of Aspasia, Pericles’s mistress. In thought, Athens was once a democracy, yet in perform it used to be governed through simply the only top guy (Thucydides historical past 2. sixty five, relating the dominant effect of Pericles within the heyday of the Athenian empire). Thucydides the historian isn't to be pressured together with his namesake, the chief of the oligarchic competition to Pericles. while requested via King Archidamus of Sparta no matter if he or Pericles was once the higher wrestler, Thucydides [the flesh presser] complained, “Whenever I throw him, Pericles argues that he hasn’t fallen, and he profits the victory by means of convincing those that have truly obvious him falling” (Plutarch lifetime of Pericles 8). to make sure attendance on the meeting, outlets have been closed, streets now not resulting in the assembly position have been blocked off, a rope soaked in vivid purple paint was once used to herd voters to the meeting, and people who didn't arrive in time to prevent the rope have been fined.

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