GSO/Guilford Pols

October 2014

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  

« BU big time | Main | At least the football is so-so »

Aug 22, 2012

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341cc33e53ef017744485135970d

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Big media Dave:

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

justcorbly

I wonder if this linkage of freedom and democracy with the Greeks is something of an invention (or, perhaps a discovery) of the Enlightenment. I mean, that whole Roman Empire-Domination of the Church thing for most of the intervening time wasn't exactly a victory for freedom a rationality as it was for subservience and unquestioned, and unquestionable, belief.

Democracy was an attribute of Athens for a measurable period of time. Other Greek cities followed their own ways. Slavery was accepted and most women were subject to the overlordship of a man -- father, husband, son.

Then there was Athenian imperialism, Sparta's really weird culture, and the hiring out of Greek mercenaries to the Persians for use, among other things, in attacking Greece.

Phillip's and Alexander's militarism doesn't fit the freedom and democracy mold, either.

I'm not deprecating the contributions of Athens and other Greek cities to democracy, to rationality, to letters. But, except for a few centuries of the Roman Republic, it was pretty hard times for democracy and freedom until the West rediscovered Greece all over again.

Bill Yaner

An amazing book on this subject is Thomas Cahill's "Sailing the Wine Dark Sea, Why the Greeks Matter."

A wonderful historian bringing his craft to this question.

Account Deleted

I would accept corbly's points about the restrictions on the idea of "freedom" as it held meaning in ancient Greece, but I think the concept DW points to of the emergence of the individual man free of government or religious oppression is the core concept at the heart of our notion of liberty.

The expansion of liberty to more and more segments of the population has long been the ultimate concern in more modern democracies.

David Wharton

Justcorbly, Meier's book addresses the issues you raise directly, and I touch on them briefly in the review. You'll have to buy the book, or this week's copy of The Weekly Standard, to get your questions answered.

The comments to this entry are closed.