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Polybius and the rise of Rome – Roman history

By | 2017-09-04T00:49:24+00:00 September 4th, 2017|Literature, Romans|

Snow in Athens (thanks BBC!) Polybius (po-LIB-ee-us) was a rich Greek man, who was born in the Greek city of Athens, about 200 BC. When the Romans conquered his city-state, they demanded some hostages from that city. The Romans took these hostages to Rome, and they said if the city-state tried to get free of Roman rule, or did [...]

Stoics – Greek and Roman philosophy

By | 2017-08-16T15:25:13+00:00 August 16th, 2017|Greeks, Philosophy|

Cicero, a Roman philosopher The Stoics were a group of philosophers who first began teaching their ideas in the Hellenistic period. Stoicism was founded by a man named Zeno, who lived from 335-263 BC. He was friendly with the successors of Alexander who ruled Greece. Zeno lived in Athens, which was a great center of learning. He used to [...]

Jean-Jacques Rousseau – European philosophy

By | 2017-08-07T08:45:23+00:00 August 7th, 2017|Modern Europe, Philosophy|

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a European philosopher Rousseau was born in 1712 AD into a Protestant family living in Geneva, and his mother died of an infection she caught while he was being born. Like the earlier philosopher Astell, Jean-Jacques Rousseau's family was not rich, and like her Rousseau didn't get to go to school much. At 13 his uncle [...]

The Knight’s Tale – Chaucer – Canterbury Tales

By | 2017-08-03T23:58:09+00:00 August 3rd, 2017|Literature, Medieval|

Medieval knights in the Metropolitan Museum of Art Chaucer set his Knight's Tale in ancient Greece, and it's about Theseus, the king of Athens in Greek mythology. (So we can see that these medieval people knew all about Greek mythology!). In the story, Theseus is just coming back to Athens after a war with the Amazons, where he [...]

Indians and Greeks project

By | 2017-07-20T11:28:39+00:00 July 20th, 2017|Art, India|

Greek style Buddha from about 100 AD When Alexander the Great brought his army to India, Greek people learned a lot of new things from the people they met in India. We don't know whether Hellenistic philosophers talked to Buddhists, but their ideas are not so different. Try comparing Buddhism and the Greek philosophical ideas of Stoicism, Epicureanism, and Skepticism. What [...]

Who was Anaximander? Infinity and Greek science

By | 2017-07-18T07:32:45+00:00 July 18th, 2017|Greeks, Science|

Theater of Miletus Anaximander was born about 610 BC in the Greek city of Miletus, in what is now Turkey. So he was able to have the great mathematician Thales of Miletus as his teacher. Thales was probably about 35 when Anaximander was twenty years old. The two mathematicians worked together for most of their lives. Anaximander [...]

Who was Anaxagoras? Greek scientist

By | 2017-07-18T06:58:55+00:00 July 18th, 2017|Greeks, Science|

A map showing Clazomenae Like Thales before him, Anaxagoras was born in what's now Turkey. Anaxagoras was born around 500 BC in a city called Clazomenae, in the Persian Empire. When he was a child, Clazomenae participated in the Ionian Revolt and soon became part of the Athenian Empire. Anaxagoras seems to have been born into a rich family, and he [...]

The sun in Greek astronomy

By | 2017-07-18T06:39:20+00:00 July 18th, 2017|Greeks, Science|

The sun at sunset At first the Greeks imagined that the sun was the god Helios, or Apollo, driving his chariot around and around the earth. In the morning he began driving up in the sky, and then in the evening he drove back down again, and that was the sunset. At night the horses rested under the earth. (Compare to the [...]