Tag ancient Greece

The State of Democracy

Thomas N. Mitchell— Democracy is at a particularly critical and fascinating point in its history. The collapse of communism in 1989 brought a wave of euphoria among proponents of democracy, and extravagant references to the end of history and of mankind’s journey towards a universally acceptable political order. To many,

Continue reading…

Political Obligation: An Ancient Illustration

Judith N. Shklar— Obligation may lead to conflict. It implies, on one hand, the duty to obey the law, to keep promises, to follow social rules generally, because society depends upon our doing so and because it is inherently right and the condition of justice. On the other hand, the

Continue reading…

Sparta and Athens: From Peace to War

Paul A. Rahe— In his now neglected masterpiece Marlborough: His Life and Times, Winston Churchill once hazarded the following observation: Battles are the principal milestones in secular history. Modern opinion resents this uninspiring truth, and historians often treat the decisions in the field as incidents in the dramas of politics

Continue reading…

The Shadow of the Present

Tony Spawforth— As I write about the remote past, I never feel that history has repeated itself. Even so, there are times when the Greek and Roman worlds seem to offer an eerie prefiguring of the present. Democracy In 415 BC the adult males who made up the politically empowered

Continue reading…

Ep. 50 – The Art of Libation in Classical Athens

Explore the prevalence and the significance of images of liquids being poured from vessels in the fascinating and beautiful artworks of 5th century Athens. Yale associate professor Milette Gaifman, with a joint appointment in the Departments of Classics and History of Art, is perfectly situated to discuss what it is the

Continue reading…

The Limits of Tolerance

Emily Katz Anhalt— The ancient Greeks were open-minded without being tolerant. They didn’t devise the world’s first-ever democracy by tolerating everything. Their unprecedented transition from tribalism to civil society derived from their eagerness to ask questions and their determination to judge others and themselves critically. Open-mindedness and the desire to

Continue reading…

Immortal Oracle: the Berlin Painter Speaks: An Interview with J. Michael Padgett by David Ebony

David Ebony — In dark times of social turmoil, political upset, and the seemingly perpetual war and violence that define our present era, it helps to consider the art of the far distant past for some solace, and a bit of elucidation, perhaps. Today, democracy seems as fragile as it

Continue reading…

Was There a Spartan Mirage?

Paul A. Rahe— It has always been hard for outsiders to get their minds around classical Lacedaemon, or Sparta as it is more commonly called today. Even in antiquity—as a glance at Xenophon’s Regime of the Lacedaemonians, at Plato’s Republic and Laws, and at Aristotle’s Politics will make clear—the Spartans

Continue reading…

The Olympians of Ancient Greece

Neil Faulkner— In the early days, the Olympics seem to have been an informal local festival with only aristocratic contestants. Athletes competed not so much as representatives of their cities – many of which were little more than villages, or at best hilltop strongholds – but on their own accounts,

Continue reading…

The Persian Wars: Why We Must Attend to Sparta

Paul A. Rahe— The study of ancient Greek history in modern times has always been Athenocentric. It could hardly have been otherwise. Much of what was written about Hellas in antiquity was composed by Athenians, and much of the rest was composed principally with the Athenian audience in mind. In

Continue reading…

  • 1 2