The Wisdom of Ages Past

Last post for tonight. Really. I have to work tomorrow.

So last night I was reading Plato. No really. It’s a book I borrowed from my gorgeous other half, A. It’s called The Final Days of Socrates and is apparently a collection of Plato’s writings about his teacher, Socrates, and his trial for heresy, and corrupting the youth of the day. Socrates was sentenced to death for his crimes, proving that politics, and religion, have changed very little in 2000 years.

I never did philosophy at school, or uni, and this is pretty basic stuff, apparently, but I read through the Euthyphro and was heartened to read that the concept of the Rule of Law was not a new thing in about 400BC. Plato explicitly mentions the idea that there should not be one rule for gods and another for men, nor for one group of men and not for another. It is sad that there are those, who, more than 2000 years later, still don’t seem to be able to grasp this concept. Mr. Bush, so called ‘Leader of the Free World’ I’m looking at you. And don’t think you’re off the hook Mr. Mugabe.

This just further reinforces the idea to me that the humans of 2000 years ago were not so very different from ourselves, and it is nothing but sheer hubris that convinces us otherwise. That, and Archimedes, Euclid, Heron, Socrates, Plato and Pythagoras were amazing geniuses, and it would have been amazing to meet them and chat for a while. After I’d learned ancient Greek, of course.

Writing things down is quite possibly the most amazing thing we mere shaved apes have ever managed to accomplish in our short, brutish existence.

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