HISTORY OF IDEAS – Ancient Greece


The modern world is deeply attracted to ancient Greece. Every year around one million people visit the Parthenon and wander around the ruins. Because they’re sure the place and the
culture of which its supreme embodiment has something important to say to them. But it’s often not quite clear what. What can ancient Greece do for us? It’s a big vulgar but central question. There are perhaps five big ideas we can
take away from ancient Greece. Tragedy The Greeks thought it was extremely important for everyone regularly to witness a certain sort of gory tail they called a tragedy. Festivals existed to honor these tragedies and governments close civic buildings businesses and law courts to enable citizens to go and see them. Some festivals such as the festival
of Dionysus in Athens which began in 508 BC would last a week and involve up to
17 plays. Famous plays included Aeschylus’ The Oresteia Sophocles’ Ajax, Oedipus’ The king and Electra and Eurípedes’ Medeia. In these tragedies
people were seen to break a minor law or make a hasty decision or sleep with the
wrong person and the result was ignominy and death. Yet what happened was shown to
be to a large extent in the hands of what the Greeks called fate or the gods. It was the Greeks poetic way of saying
the things often work out in random ways according to dynamics that simply don’t
reflect the merits of the individuals concerned. In the Poetics, the philosopher
Aristotle defined the key ingredients of tragedy: The hero of the tragedy should be a
decent person, better than average often highborn but prone to making small
mistakes as we all do. At the start it may not be obvious that it is an error they are making but by an unfortunate chain of events for which they are not wholly to blame this small mistake leads to a catastrophe. Tragedy is the sympathetic morally complex account of how good people can end up in
disaster situations. It’s the very opposite of today’s
tabloid newspaper or social media sphere with a mob rushes to make judgments on
those who slipped up. Aristotle thought it was extremely
important that people see tragic works on a regular basis to counter their
otherwise strong inclinations to judge and moralize. Tragedy is meant to be a
corrective too easy judgment. Without the idea of tragedy we can make existence for everyone far crueler and far more judgmental than it really need be. We should look back to the Greeks to recover an extremely important idea. Philosophy Athens was the cradle of philosophy. Home of the three greatest philosophers: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. What unites the Greek philosophers is a search for what they termed eudaimonia. Which translates happiness or fulfillment. They saw philosophy as a hugely
practical subject that could help people find their way through the dilemmas of
life. The approach was already contained in
the word philosophy itself: in Greek, Philo means love or devotion and Sophia
means wisdom. Philosophers were people devoted to wisdom. That would be abstract the concept of wisdom isn’t mysterious. Being wise means attempting
to live and die well, leading as good a life as possible within the troubled conditions of existence. What we call the history of Greek
philosophy is made up of repeated attempts over the centuries to address
ways in which we are unwise. So for example Socrates paid special
attention to the problem of how people get confused in their minds. He was struck that people didn’t quite
know what they meant by key ideas like courage or justice or success even though these were the main ideas they used when talking about their own lives. Socrates developed a method which still
bears his name by which you can learn to get clearer about what you mean by
playing devil’s advocate with any idea. The aim isn’t necessarily to change
your mind it’s to test whether the ideas guiding
your life are sound. A few decades later, the philosopher Aristotle tried to make us more confident around big questions. He thought the best questions with those that ask what something is for. He did this a lot and over many books asking what is government for? What is the economy for? What’s money for? What’s art for? Today he might be encouraging us
to ask questions like: What’s the news media for? What is marriage for? What is pornography for? Also active in ancient Greece was the stoic philosophers who were interested in panic. The Stoics noticed the really central
feature of panic: We panic not just when something bad occurs but when it does so
unexpectedly, when we are assuming that everything was going to go rather well. So they suggested that we should arm
ourselves against panic by getting used to the idea that danger, trouble and
difficulty are very likely to occur at every turn. The overall task of studying Greek philosophy is to absorb these and many other lessons and put
them to work in the world today. The point isn’t just to know what this
all that philosopher happened to say but to aim to exercise wisdom at an
individual and societal level starting now. Democracy Athens is known as the home of democracy. Democracy was developed in the fifth century BC first under Solon then
Cleisthenes and Ephialtes. However, democracy came under threat in the later stages of the fifth century BC, When Athene was in the midst of fighting a lengthy war with its nemesis Sparta, the Peloponnesian War. So to remind Athenians of their importance within a democracy, the great general Pericles delivered a rousing speech at the annual Funeral Oration to mark the
dead of the war in 430 BC. What makes Pericles’s famous speech so striking is that he isn’t defending democracy just as a way of running the state. He’s defending what we might call the
democratic spirit, a spirit of equality, community and comradeship that can develop in societies where members more or less feel themselves to be equal to one another. The voting system is a root to something
much deeper that we might term “fellow feeling”. An emotion the Greeks
discovered for Humanity. Pericles declared: the administration of Athens favors the many instead of the few; this is why it’s called a democracy. If
we look to the laws, they afford equal justice to all in their private
differences; if there is no social standing, advancement in public life
falls to reputation for capacity, class considerations not being allowed to
interfere with merit nor again does poverty bar the way if a man is able to
serve the state, he has never hindered by the obscurity
of his condition. Against the brutality of the Spartans, Pericles celebrates the
generosity, erudition, openness, public spiritedness and dignity of Athenian democratic life. These values Pericles says enables
Athens to provide a shining beacon of freedom and decency to the Greek world and now to our own times too. Architecture The Greeks were architects par
excellence. They were involved in the construction of five of the seven
wonders of the ancient world: The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, The Statue of Zeus at Olympia, The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, The Colossus of Rhodes, and the Lighthouse of
Alexandria. But the most common and inspiring buildings were their ordinary temples. Magnificent structures typically made of limestone and scattered all across
Greece and its islands. Aside from the temples on the Acropolis,
other great structures include the Temple of Apollo at Corinth, the Temple of Zeus at Olympia, and the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion. The architectural language of these temples has spread around the world even when their specific religious uses
are fallen by the wayside. Because they suggest values which humanity will
always find impressive: harmony, dignity, calm, reason. The Greeks taught the West
how to build in such a way that would externalize some of the noblest ideals
of human beings. Sport Where earlier civilizations such as the
Egyptians, Persians, Assyrians found nakedness shameful, The Greeks celebrated the naked body of both gods and citizens. Works such as Zeus or Poseidon of Artemision shows the statue, power and physical prowess of a nude Greek god. Discobolus shows the action of a naked discus throw mid motion again the sculpture celebrates
the poise and physical beauty of an athlete. His muscles perfectly toned. The Greeks loved physical exercise. There was at least one major national
athletic competition every year. The most famous sporting event was the Olympic Games held every four years from 776 BC. But what’s distinctive in the Greek
approach is that they didn’t want athletes merely to be athletes. The idea was that everyone should train both mind and body. It’s a telling that Milo of Croton, a
celebrated wrestler of the sixth century BC was also an associate of a great
mathematician Pythagoras. One of the important Greek ? was that a healthy mind could only dwell in a healthy body. The Greeks thought exercise condition
discipline in people which would enable them to be diligent and virtuous
democratic citizens in Athens or devoted and controlled warriors in Sparta. Ancient Greek gyms were nothing like the mindless body pumping places of our own times. They were both public centers for physical training and intellectual hubs. Gymnasia and schools were simply the same thing. A great number of Socrates’s dialogues about ideas around justice and truth unfold tellingly at the gym. We owe to the Greeks the remarkable now often forgotten idea that our bodies should be looked after just as our minds are and that for someone to be merely an
intellectual or merely a body builder is obscene. True virtue means a balance between the physical and the mental. There is a sad morality tale about the end of ancient Greek civilization. They had much nicer ideas than their enemies, but they weren’t as well organized . So they got defeated and the ideas got lost for centuries. The Greek city-states fought among themselves endlessly over the course of the fifth and fourth centuries BC, and were eventually stripped of their
independence under Alexander the Great. The Greeks failed to add political
stability to their virtues. The ideas of Greece no longer survive in the country in which they first originated but it should be a tribute to ancient Greece
that the best of these ideas remain of complete relevance to our own times. With the help of the Greaks we need to remember the role of tragedy, emphasize the practice of philosophy, honor the spirit of democracy, build with harmony and dignity, and exercise both mind and body in equal measure. For all this we can be grateful to the now absent Greeks as we wander among the rubble of the Parthenon. If you like our films, take
a look at our shop: the school of life.com/shop You’ll find lots of thoughtful books, games, stationery and more.

Maurice Vega

100 Responses

  1. Hahahahha! Those ideas "got lost"… yeah, the West found them carved in stones. The modern Greeks had prepared them for their coming. They were tons and tons… and for a long time, very few Greeks could live in Greece due to no available space to stand on. OR… the 75% (at least) of the Ancient Texts (the Homeric Epics, ALL THE TRAGEDIES THAT WE HAVE, Plato and Aristotle etc) survived because Orthodox Monks copied them through the Middle Ages till the 15th C. and the fall of Constantinople, AND THAT'S WHY WE HAVE THEM. You moron.

  2. More than 6.000 Greek words are used in the English language.

    academy, air, airplane,atmosphere, biology, church, comedy, cinema, cube, diplomat, ecology, economy
    electric, energy, euro, Europe, fantasy, galaxy, geography, hero, history, hour, idol, logic, microphone, microscope,museum
    music, mystery, myth, Olympic, orchestra, organism, oxygen, panther, pepper, period,philosophy, photography
    physic, planet …….. and many more!

  3. Greatest and by comparsion the most peaceful period and place of all time.. Not in Byzantine Empire or today's Greece, I wish I was living back then & there.. Away from all Medieval shit, Independence pains and World Wars..

  4. woah you did made a mistake there pal alexander the great did defeat the rest of the greek city states but he wanted a united greece as he was a greek too and when he conquered Asia and Persia he spread greek culture that's why even after him everyone spoke greek and to further prove he was a greek the ancient macedonians were allowed to participate in the Olympics if they weren't greek they wouldn't been able to compete

  5. Ελληνισμός και Ορθοδοξία είναι ακριβώς το αντίθετο. Δεν υπήρξε η παχυσαρκία στον ελληνικό κόσμο ποτέ! Σήμερα δεν υπάρχει ούτε ελληνισμός, ούτε ελληνικά και ούτε ελληνες.
    Όσο πιο ισχυρή η θρησκεία, τόσο πιο πολύ παχαίνει ο κόσμος! Κρήτη και Χανιά πρώτη στον κόσμο..

  6. +The School of Life " The ideas of Greece, no longer survive in a country in which they first originated, but it tribute tributes to ancient Greece that the best of these ideas remain of complete relevance to our own times "… Hey mr Smart guy, why dont you refer on how was the Greek heritage looted by your ancestors from medieval times to world wars and present? Cant imagine how many thieves copyrighted during the "Renaissance" and how the hypocrites in the Vatican got all the scripts-documents in their library. Not to mention every piece of art that was cut down from monuments or the destruction of ancient tombs and ruins… But I guess these "details" are annoying…

  7. It is sadly the misunderstanding of the modern world what democracy really is. Pericles said that democracy was for the many, not the few which is the opposite of what we have today; Today we have capitalism, not democracy. Sadly. At least the Greeks have filotimo which I have not seen anywhere else. That is important. And if you don't understand real democracy or filotimo then go back to your capitalism! Happy days!

  8. ok school of life. where ancient rome. so much to be said about the greatest empire this planet has ever hosted.

  9. People think that modern Greece has nothing to do with ancient Greece and that's stupid. There are 17 million Greeks all over the world and they are all kids of ancient greeks. English, French and every other language in the world is mostly coming from ancient greeks… the list of the most important people who ever lived has 7 greeks in it. Greece has created sports, music, theatre, science etc… Greece is the centre of the world!

  10. The fact that ancient Greek gyms were schools and gyms is apparent in modern language. The English word for where one works out is called a Gymnasium. The German word for advanced high school is Gymnasium.

  11. A sound mind in a sound body is from the Roman satirist Juvenal But then who will edit the editors of these talks … Who will guard the guardians of the content…

  12. 7:34 what is that painted in th temple … i know it's some sortf of "golden ratio" but can anyone explain me how and what it's used for ? it's origins

  13. Nice, but the Ancient Greeks never disappeared, it just evolved. The point about the Greeks not being able to stop fighting each other is true for the Romans too, and the Byzantine Empire was founded by a Roman Greek (Constantine) and it lasted for 1123 years. Western European scholars ignore Eastern European intellectual contributions, thus the focus on the Italian Renaissance rather than similar developments that happened on several previous occasions in Constantinople.

  14. aristotele was not an athenian.most of the greek philosophers were not athenians.the athenocentric way of viewing ancient greece is a mistake that every non greek" philogreek" does.all the presocratic philosophers,the pioneers of greek logic way of thinking were from greek cities of nowadays west turkey,or from islands.athens was tyrranic to the other greek cities.there was a variety of goverment systems in the cities,democracy,tyrany,monarchy or mixed.a greek philosopher was expresing his thoughts on everything,politics,law,religion,physics,has nothing to do with modern philosophers.

  15. The disappointing condition of Greece proves that the ancient values of freedom, tragedy etc are still alive in the country. The huge diversity in Greece is evident in every aspect (political opinions, media, variety of geographical and weather characteristics, wildlife, many islands each with its special characteristics, cuisine, music just to mention a few). This makes the country difficult to cooperate such as was the case in the city-states of ancient era. :p The latin – catholic characteristic of institutions is not that strong in the country making difficult for it to follow neoliberal capitalistic euro economy.

  16. The peak of humanity: Ancient Greece. It's mind blowing to know that there was such a developed society o long ago and now not even with all the technology we can't be better people. I will work hard to nurture mind and body to honour Ancient Greece.

  17. Okay< I normally like this channel, but depicting Anita being judged for "small mistakes" is ridiculous. She is liar, a thief, a con artist, and a promoter of tyranny. All the slings and arrows aimed at her are her fault and hers alone.

  18. Why there is no script for history of ideas in book of life site…..i have already asked for this….pls do upload,i need for education purpose

  19. The 'fellow feeling' didn't include women and slaves or so I was told in school. Should that be just ignored when praising Ancient Greece?

  20. Can you make a video about the importance of movies like '12 angry men' in our society? I think that movies like this serve the purpose of the tragedies of ancient greece.

  21. I laughed out loud when video Idolized the Athenians. The Spartans were brutes? Gee I wonder what the residence of Milos think of that…oh wait they were all massacred, by the Barbaric Athenians for not joining the league.

  22. I have been in many gyms in different country and I think what he meant to say is that to many people thinking only about the appearance, pumping muscles only to look cool at any cost, sometimes with terrible/ridiculous consequences.. honestly I think a similar reasoning can be done with nerds..

  23. you should have put an NSFW warning at the start, my teacher is showing this at school! in grade 8!

  24. Nice overview of Ancient Southern Greece, in the Classical period and glory of some of its City States. One thing that I always wondered however is why there is a tendency to separate Alexander the Great and Macedonians from Greece. Macedonians were Greek, Aristotle was Greek too, and he was Macedonian. Macedonians were just Greeks of the north, like, Thesally or Epirus, they are not often talked about in the classical period because they had not formed city states of note or organized in to the Knigdoms they were in the 3rd century BC onward. But they were Greek. Phillip II and his son Alexander united Greece. It was done through battle yes, but it was not a foreign invasion of southern Greece, it was just another Greek faction that rose and was victorious. It could have been Sparta, they did not seek to unite all of Greece and the city states. Macedonians did and they succeeded. And then launched their campaign towards non Greek Lands and Civilisations, spreading Hellénisme all the way to India. They did not spread Macedonian Culture, they spread Greek Culture. Macedonians were as Greek as any other. And I wish that we would understand this and stop this confusion with FYROM, whose people come in much later in to the region occupying the ancient lands of Phillip and Alexander but in reality having nothing to do with Macedonia proper.

  25. Awful generalisations of Modern Greece and Greeks. I have enjoyed watching your previous videos, but it appears that the educative and impartial approach is lost in this video, muffled by silent and unreasonable criticisms fueled by misconceptions and possibly, bigotry.

    Yes, modern Greece does have its issues, but its better at representing the ideals of democracy, architecture, and philosophy then they have ever been, they are especially better at doing it then their ancient ancestors, who, most of the time, disagreed with the following of many of the ideas of democracy and philosophy. Overall, the issue with your final statement about Modern Greece is that you assume that the Ancients were perfect at enforcing their new ideals, however, it is the other way round.

    Do have some respect for the closest descendants of those who invented these concepts, they've been through a lot in the past 2000 years, yet still, they preserve many of their traditions far more then most countries.

  26. " It is certain that Athens had the largest slave population, with as many as 80,000 in the 6th and 5th centuries BC, with average of three or four slaves per household, except in poor families." (…)
    "Most activities were open to slaves except politics, which was reserved for citizens."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_ancient_Greece

  27. I am really starting to get very annoyed by the amount of youtube videos that are conveniently narrated by a Englishmen in order to convey some kind of propgadandistic message at the end. You´re accent is oh soooo…… oh your `magnificent´ accent, it's so sophisticated! That's kind of the feeling you are trying to invoke with people, isn't it?

    Must that be the reason that the rest of the people, whose mothertongue is not english, should believe you?
    I think what you are doing is very stupid! You are trying to sell this message of Europe's glory, gone now..
    And you are using your accent to sell this!

    You've probably discovered that the English accent is quite appreciated on the internet, partly because the British have (always) had quite a good reputation in the fields of History, Anthropology etcetera etcetera…., expertise in general.

    It is however very low of you! You are trying to use this reputation to sell such subtle crap wrapped in a nice package, namely nice Editing and Visual work (this is probably the main reason that you have a lot of views…think about that)

    Most of all I wonder whether these type of videos are really part of some bigger kind of propaganda chain. Since Western Europe has taken such a very perverted and self-hating turn. And the people who partake in the development of this noxious behaviour (like you) seem to want to sabotize and cut us of from the rest of Europe's beautiful and amazing History, Heritage and Culture.

    So the real questions are not about Greece but about you!
    -Are you being paid by a third party for this specific type of video?
    – Are you just going along with the trend so you the biggest amount of money?
    – Or are you just brainwashed to behave this way?
    Or perhaps just any combination of the above!?

    Finally I wish to say this to the rest of the healthy and strong peoples of Europe! Sooner or later this digusting behaviour shall be cleansed and so too shall it's disgusting facilitator, the European Union be broken, for which at least the major part of the well thinking and healthy people of the English nation have voted.

    In the end you won't care about comments like this. Since you get views anyway and your channel keeps growing… so why would you care (you are getting money anyways). but I salute the rest of the people out there, who are still sane and do not pray for the demise and downfall of once mighty Europe.

    So to the corner with you ´The School of Life´ and think about what you have done!

  28. So many "degenerates and halfwits" in the comments, knowing exactly what is wrong with Greece, yet failing to critisize their own countries. WOW! Just because you dropped in to see the Parthenon, doesn't mean you know us, idiots! Just because you read the Bible, doesn't mean you know Jews either, you f*ing Racists!

  29. Alexander the great was a greek
    Just like you said the lighthouse of Alexandria was a greek made wonder of the world
    Alexander builded it.
    Maybe what you wanted to say is that Alexander didn't have these ideas that the Athenians had and thus these ideas were lost.

  30. for more information, on " … WHY THE GREEKS?” please visit following web page

    https://sites.google.com/site/flagenglish/-why-the-greeks-1

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    … WHY THE GREEKS? – The BEST COLLECTION of PODCASTS and YOUTUBE VIDEOS for

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    ===

    Whenever we speak of ancient Greece and the achievements of their civilization, we inevitably find ourselves asking the question “Why the Greeks?” What was it that led this numerically small people of the Mediterranean to emerge first from the Archaic stage, in which all other ancient peoples were at a standstill, and strive towards the accomplishments of the Classical period?

    To explain the singularity of ancient Greek civilization, we identify something that no other people had at the time as the baseline value of the ancient Greeks: the capacity to question. That is to say, while the predominant values of other peoples could be summed up in the view that “we must hand down to our children the world we inherited from our forefathers,” the ancient Greeks were the first to challenge this perception, by submitting to judgment those ideologies and convictions that had been passed on to them. This is the common starting point for philosophy and democracy.

    But such questioning at the time, unlike today, was far from the norm; it could not have appeared on its own, as it presupposes an inner tendency of people to wish to surpass certain limits. And this disposition for transcendence goes hand-in-hand with the element of competition: the desire to be tested, to confront, change, overturn and improve. In such a context, extrapolating our thoughts, one could say that a key concept for understanding and explaining ancient Greek civilization isthe idea of agon (struggle, contest, competition).
    Thus, questioning and agon were part of a single viewpoint, an overall life stance, which pervaded all manifestations of ancient Greek life, permeated all activities and was the driving force behind all expression of culture. In ancient Greek society, the concept of agon underlay the view that anything can be achieved as the result of effort, healthy rivalry and noble competition.
    Often called the "birthplace of civilisation", Ancient Greece heralded numerous advances in philosophy, science, engineering and mathematics which have shaped our understanding of the modern world.

    Western civilization has been influenced by many cultures, but his birth took place in ancient Greece. Apart from philosophers such as Aristotle and Socrates, Olympian gods, the beginnings of democracy and conquerors such as Alexander the Great, Greece brought as a contribution to mankind cool ideas that enriched the art of architecture and construction.

    Our hearts have been moved by the tragedies of Aeschylus and Euripides.

    Our minds have been opened by the histories of Herodotus and Thucydides.

    Our understanding of the world and our place in it has been expanded by Socrates and Aristotle.

    Most of all, we’re indebted to Greece for the most precious of gifts — the truth, the understanding that as individuals of free will, we have the right and the capacity to govern ourselves. For it was here, 25 centuries ago, in the rocky hills of this city, that a new idea emerged. Demokratia. Kratos — the power, the right to rule — comes from demos — the people. The notion that we are citizens — not servants, but stewards of our society. The concept of citizenship — that we have both rights and responsibilities. The belief in equality before the law — not just for a few, but for the many; not just for the majority, but also the minority. These are all concepts that grew out of this rocky soil.
    Of course, the earliest forms of democracy here in Athens were far from perfect. The rights of ancient Athens were not extended to women or to slaves. But Pericles explained, “our constitution favors the many instead of the few…this is why it is called a democracy.”
    Athenians also knew that, however noble, ideas alone were not enough. To have meaning, principles must be enshrined in laws and protected by institutions, and advanced through civic participation. And so they gathered in a great assembly to debate and decide affairs of state, each citizen with the right to speak, casting their vote with a show of hands, or choosing a pebble — white for yes, black for no. Laws were etched in stone for all to see and abide by. Courts, with citizen jurors, upheld that rule of law.
    Politicians weren’t always happy because sometimes the stones could be used to ostracize, banish those who did not behave themselves.
    But across the millennia that followed, different views of power and governance have often prevailed. Throughout human history, there have been those who argue that people cannot handle democracy, that they cannot handle self-determination, they need to be told what to do. A ruler has to maintain order through violence or coercion or an iron fist. There’s been a different concept of government that says might makes right, or that unchecked power can be passed through bloodlines. There’s been the belief that some are superior by virtue of race or faith or ethnicity, and those beliefs so often have been used to justify conquest and exploitation and war.
    But through all this history, the flame first lit here in Athens never died. It was ultimately nurtured by a great Enlightenment. It was fanned by America’s founders, who declared that “We, the People” shall rule; that all men are created equal and endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights.
    The basic longing to live with dignity, the fundamental desire to have control of our lives and our future, and to want to be a part of determining the course of our communities and our nations — these yearnings are universal. They burn in every human heart.

  31. it's all Greek to me !….But seriously ,the very things we take for granted with regards freedom and democracy , culture , philosophy we owe much to them for their knowledge and a belief in fighting for it against a Persian theocratic ,totalitarian dictatorship , which is embodied into Islam and sharia of which we in the west are in conflict with today !…nothing has changed in the way of still fighting for freedom of speech and democratic values !.

  32. Probably the reason Alexander the Great managed to conquer the city states was because of popular support for a united central Hellenic authority to end internal struggle, represented by Macedonia.

  33. The greeks invented nothing except how to steal other peoples culture they all went to school in egypt learnt EVERYTHING from Africans went home and pretended they thought it up liars and cheaters look to the egyptians who had been this stuff thousands of year when the GEEKS where living in caves Who is the god of medicine? in the hypocratic oath where did they get columns and and arch s from? The triangle is still in still in africa today a mathematical wonder Who invented the triangle? They dont deserve the credit BLACK AFRICANS DO

  34. This is more ideal than factorial. I find that you are putting way too much of your opinions of what happened in this than just what happened.

    Overall You got a dislike because assumptions and generalizations are not intellectually valid ways of portraying ideals.

  35. It looks like a lot of viewers underestimate the complexity of a lot of the questions dealt with in this video. There is no perfect way to sum up the centuries of Greek influence in a ten minute video, but at the same time, it's great that there exists this introduction to the topic. Obviously they can't go into any real detail about any of the major questions, but thats not the point of the video. Also, having studied the history of Ancient Greece a bit, I have to agree with most of the statements made, including the nationality (and more importantly culture) of Alexander the Great (I would say he's as Greek as Putin is European/ 60% but not quite). And although a lot of you may think the reference to modern Greece is offensive, there's no denying that the past influence of Greece is immeasurably greater than its present influence. The point is that this is a summary of Ancient Greek Thought and it appears to be the product of a fair amount of work. Well done School of Life, I think most of the criticisms below are unmerited.

  36. The reason the ideas that existed in ancient Greece do no survive today is not due to the people but thanks to other western countries. For years the Austrians forced us Kings that we fought for years to overthrow and after the second world war the British caused a whole civil war because we simply wanted to vote who our prime minister would be. They send troops to support the fascists that collaborated with the nazis because they were simply open to let them establish a king that previously supported a military dictator. The Greeks fought for freedom then and so we did now, the difference is that now we lost.

  37. Interested in learning the Greek language and introduced to the Greek culture? 🙂 check out: yourgreektutor.com

  38. But was athens old Athenianism not just mordern patriotism of america? Do Americans not see themselves as these heros of justice but just dismally less capable lol look at their leaders, clearly don't give a shit about heroism at all.

  39. I really enjoyed how De Botton starts his video talking about the role of tragedy in mitigating our prejudicial and superficial impulses- "Dynamics that simply do not reflect the individual concerned" – 1:32 – but such sweet hypocrisy and failure of personal reflection were shown by Botton at the end. He superficially and with prejudice declares the modern Greek vacuous of any of the Ancient Greek teachings. How quintessentially charlatan but, unfortunately, I guess it is to be expected. The video itself is a tragedy. The hero, the timeless "Ελληνας"". To the Greeks out there who cringed at the end please do not let the ignorance of the narrator lure us into thinking that in the cities, islands, towns, beautiful nature of Greece and the surrounding areas are not vibrant with the ethos, conversations, and heroism that existed in Ancient Greece. It does not take much effort to see that our modern history and current actions are rich with the virtues that the world still glorifies. Think of our Byzantine history, our role in liberating people from the Ottoman empire, our role in WW1, our heroism against the Nazis and Fascists in WW2, our pivotal actions during the Cold War, our role as the most reliable country in Europe for refugees – where activists defend, welcome and protect refugees, our bravery to oppose austerity and the role we have (and will) play in transforming Europe. Yes, there is corruption and dark sides of our history but these pale in comparison to the atrocities of most countries currently in power. Our country has been dealt some pretty demoralizing blows but something about Greece just produces heroes and will continue to do so. Alain De Botton, I respect your work but please never make such racist mistakes again.

  40. Well guys thank Christianity that the greek-roman world is dead, how can we go back to our Tradition when the church has such power and they attack us financially?

  41. Wonderful video. Thank you! It would be great if you could provide a link to the text version of this in your "Book of Life".

  42. Gyms aren’t really mindless places lol. Did you get bullied in school by jocks? Good gyms have people whose wisdom inspires you. Bad ones have judgment free zones for people who lack judgment.

  43. And where did the Greeks get their knowledge from? Was there no civilisation prior to the Greeks that knew / understood philosophy, maths and have any form of wisdom to be able to have democracy?

  44. Fyi, Alexander the Great was Greek. To put it plainly, he basically united northern and southern Greece, before moving to the East. To even hint that he ended the greek civilization is total bs! The age between his passing and the rise of the Holy Roman Empire is called Hellenistic you know. 🙄

    Stop spreading misinformation originating in deliberately poor translations and misinterpretations of the ancient texts for political reasons.

  45. The ancient greeks were much more cultured and civilized than we are today! This is a shame instead of becoming more cultured and civilised we go back more and more!

  46. We live in a modern condition of radical materialistic meaninglessness – nihilism. These types of thought are almost completely missing from our own society – in which we see most of these issues as mere cultural constructs. Most of us got through our entire educational experience without ever having to look at the philosophy's upon which everything else is an offshoot. Our society is driven by self-interest, a quest for fame and never-ending material acquisition.

  47. Lol, ancient Greece never existed if it was for the black man…. Listen to Henrik Clarke on Europe into their caves…6000 years of Caucasoids and Mongoloids on on earth is not an ancient boo… Your Western education really did u a disgrace by lying, welcome to Aquarius Age of exposing a lie…

  48. Nice Video! However, Alexander of Macedon was Greek and his purpose was exactly what you said, political stability and uniting the Greek world. He used both persuation and force. He wanted to execute the Aristotelian idea of uniting the greek populations and liberated the occupied lands like the ones in Minor Asia. Therefore, I think that your video should have included the hellenistic period and end of the empire with the death of Alexander and the separation of the empire among the successors.

  49. The key question of ideas is, why? Only children wonder, why? Greeks we are eternal children, undisputed. Don't care which civilization is older, which is more just I care and that is the Greek one. Law protects the weak from the will of the strong and that is the main thing that we offered to humanity, the rest of our contribution to the humanity is important but not as important as this. The key of our civilization was the protection of the masses from them selves even. Knowledge, been a supreme weapon by its self, was kept secret by the mass, only philosophical schools, religious fragments and libraries kept the knowledge and only 10% of ancient Greek population could read and write. That is why modern civilization rediscover Greek achievements, after the destruction Greek civilization suffered from Romans, Christians and Turks. Only few of us still keep the knowledge and modern civilization is too immature to receive. Good luck to your journey in knowledge, εν οιδα, ότι ουδέν οιδα, one thing I know, that I know nothing should be your/our motto, thank you for presenting Greek civilization.

  50. Modern Greeks, from at least the time of their War of Independence, have fought for the values of justice and freedom. Democracy is not always a peaceful exercise.

  51. We don’t have democracy

    We have theatre pretending it’s democracy

    We have Zionist j ewish criminals occupying almost every country in the world except North Korea, Iran and Syria

  52. Physical strength of the individual in ancient Greece was directly related to military strength that is why the concept of beauty was highly valued in their society.

  53. Isn't it funny that "philosophy" rises in Greece, nearly 180 years after the arrival Iranians (Achaemenids) to Greek islands, with Plato? It is to be noted that the word "Achaemenid" simply means "The Lovers of Thought"!
    Iranians take over Anatolia in 540 BCE. Then we have Pythagoras, born in Samos, later learning math with the Magi; Hiraclitus born in Pontica, and having lived in Iran, becomes a personal advisor to Darius; then Socrates being executed by Athenians because he "rejected pantheon, talked of different gods, and corrupted Athenian youth!" Then Plato himself was educated by the Magi; then Antisthenes, and Diogenes are the first Cynics of Greece (Greek Sufis, or Dervish).

    Why are we censoring that Greeks were introduced to statements of Zarathustra?!

    According to "Xanthus, Eudoxus, Aristotle, and Hermippus" Zarathustra lived 6000 years before [Xerxes I] invasion of Greece in 480 BCE (i.e. 8,400 y.a.). Diogenes Laërtius too, mentions Hermodorus's (4th century BCE) belief that Zarathustra lived 5000 years before the Trojan War (which was ~1200 BCE).

    It was a line of thought, passed to the Greeks by the Iranians thus the golden age began!
    11,600 y.a. white bearded people descended from skies on flying snakes (elongated flying machines?), after their civilization was annihilated from 12,800-11,600 y.a. Beginning from Younger Drayas (12,800 y.a.) with 4-5 asteroid impacts in northern hemisphere, and beginning an impact winter lasting for 1200 years, up until the beginning of "Melt Water Pulse 1 B" at 11,600 y.a. and rise of 30-60m in sea level. And voila we have Gobekli Tepe built at exactly 11,600 y.a. and the beginning of agriculture!!
    The last of a broken civilization escaped their broken world, and began a project to resuscitate a new civilization! They were white and bearded, and that is why all monsters in Iran are "white" and the Gate of All Nations in Persepolis has carved Bearded flying monsters (aka Lamassu)! "Beard" is a sign of knowledge and wisdom in middle east because we (Iranian hunter gatherers) met them! and they taught us 30 different languages and scripts, while we walked stark naked, or wore leopard skin!

    They taught Zarathustra, perhaps, principles of Quantum Field Theory: definition of matter and antimatter (Ahura Mazda and Ahriman), space-time, whose initial state was singularity (Zurvan), Dark matter and dark matter (Asha and Duruj), but all in simple language!

    Also sprach Zarathustra.

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