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THE GREEKS. 5TH CENTURY BCE. Greeks Value:. Virtue Arete Service to the Polis Courage Honor Glory. Intelligence Reason Balance Harmony Nothing in excess Man is the measure of all things Family and tradition. Justice Pride The individual Retribution Fate Devotion to the gods

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The greeks



Greeks value

Greeks Value:

  • Virtue

  • Arete

  • Service to the Polis

  • Courage

  • Honor

  • Glory

The greeks

  • Intelligence

  • Reason

  • Balance

  • Harmony

  • Nothing in excess

  • Man is the measure of all things

  • Family and tradition

The greeks

  • Justice

  • Pride

  • The individual

  • Retribution

  • Fate

  • Devotion to the gods

  • Control of emotions

The greeks

  • Beauty

  • Wealth

  • Compassion

  • Taking an interest in public affairs

  • Democracy

  • Excellence

  • Drama

Roman empire 30 bce 476 ce



30 BCE – 476 CE



  • Borrowers

  • Realists – Stoics

  • Idealists – Neoplatonists

  • Twelve Tables of Law (450 B.C.E.)



  • Ethical view of life

  • Goal: bring individual will into harmony with nature

  • Impersonal intelligence governed nature—Providence or Divine Reason

  • Rejected emotional attachments

  • Reason over emotions

  • Detachment allowed them to accept the worst of life’s circumstances—true happiness

Consul of rome

Consul of Rome

Bust of julius caesar

Bust of Julius Caesar

Corinthian order

Corinthian order







  • Plotinus = 3rd C (neoplatonist)

    • Union with One: ascent through series of levels of spiritual purification (Dante)

    • Soul is eternal and divine

    • Universe is layered in ascending degrees of perfection

Egyptian and southwest asian influence

Egyptian and Southwest Asian influence

  • Roman emperors were theocratic monarchs

  • 2nd C: imperial cult; living emperor is divine

  • Growing social, political, economic unrest

  • Distrust of reason

  • Growing impulse toward mysticism

The greeks

  • Zoroaster

    • Persian prophet 628-551 BCE

    • Life is cosmic battle between light and darkness (people ae free to choose good or evil

    • Ahura-Mazda is sole god (Wise Lord)

    • Last judgment (good works, good thoughts, good deeds)

      • Evil to darkness

      • Good to pairidaeza (or paradise) (beauty and light)

Mystery cults

Mystery Cults

  • Greece, Egypt, Southwest Asia

  • Less intellectual than neoplatonism

  • More personal than religious philosophy

  • Promise of personal immortality

    • Cult of Isis – Egypt

    • Cybele in Phrygia

    • Dionysus in Greece

    • Mithra in Persia

Isis and horus enthroned

Isis and Horus Enthroned

The greeks

  • Heritage back to Neolithic times

  • Agricultural

  • Birth, death, rebirth of gods and goddesses associated with regeneration of crops

  • Initiates acted out symbolic rituals

    • Spiritual death and rebirth

    • Ritual baptism

    • Communal meal of flesh or blood of deity in spring

    • Cult of Isis: Queen of Heaven and Earth Mother

Cult of mithra persia

Cult of Mithra (Persia)

  • Associated with sun and forces of Light and Goodness

  • Man-god Mithra released forces of cosmic life and energy by slaughtering Bull of Fertility

  • Mithra’s followers

    • Sought regeneration and personal attachment to this hero-god

The greeks

  • Celebrated Mithra’s virgin birth on December 25 (after sun’s rebirth at winter solstice)

  • Mithraism excluded participation of women

  • Strict initiation rites, periods of fasting, ritual baptism, death and resurrection, communal meal of bread and wine, deliverance from evil

  • Favorite religion of Roman soldiers

Roman empire

Roman Empire

  • Octavian tried to restore old Roman values of duty and civic pride

  • Germanic tribes invaded

  • Oppression and poverty

  • Constantine 313 CE

  • Edict of Milan (by end of 4th C. Christianity is official religion).



  • 36 books in Hebrew Bible

  • Sadducees – Jewish aristocrats; cultural and religious solidarity; denied that soul survived

  • Pharisees – more influential Jewish teachers; interpreters of Hebrew law; believed in advent of messianic redeemer (a shepherd); human soul is imperishable; wicked will suffer eternal punishment



  • Monastic communities near Dead Sea

  • Renounced worldly goods

  • Practiced asceticism

  • Believed in immortality of the soul

  • Anticipated coming of teacher of truth

  • Dead Sea Scrolls (Essenes lived near Dead Sea)

  • forecast final apocalyptic age

Jesus 0 33 ce

Jesus 0-33 CE

  • Gospels – 40 years after his death

  • No biography, no writings

  • Jewish rabbi

  • Ethical concerns; moral lessons

  • Pacifistic message

  • Antimaterialistic message

  • Temptations of temporal world distract

Cimabue madonna enthroned

Cimabue Madonna Enthroned

The greeks

  • Evils of material wealth (classical world was materialistic)

  • Faith over ritual

  • Spirit of Hebrew law, not the letter

  • Love of God and neighbor

  • God was stern, but loving

  • Taught cultivation of compassion, righteousness, trust in God

Sermon on the mount

Sermon on the Mount

  • Blessed are the poor, the gentle, the mourners, the seekers of goodness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, the persecuted because of their belief in Jesus.

  • His followers are the light of the world

  • Jesus came to fulfill the laws

  • Believers should follow his commandments

  • Followers should not judge others

  • The golden rule

The greeks

  • Rewards in heaven

  • Moral intention is more important than outward behavior

The greeks


  • Best known of apostles (d. 65)

  • Jewish tentmaker from Tarsus in Asia Minor

  • Greek and Hebrew language

  • Never met Jesus

  • Wrote 10-14 of 27 books of New Testament

  • Universalized Jesus’s message

The greeks

  • Jesus taught Jews; Paul wrote to people of Greece, Asia Minor, Rome

  • Apostle to the Gentiles

  • Laid basis for Jesus as New Adam

Paul s teachings

Paul’s Teachings

  • Salvation by faith

  • Jesus: son of God

  • Jesus, sacrifice for human sin

  • Sin had entered world through Adam and Eve’s defiance of God

  • Jesus’s death was act of atonement

  • Jesus was New Adam

The bible

The Bible

  • Old Testament

    • 39 books in the King James Version)

    • written in Hebrew (with a little Aramaic) from 11th to 2nd century BCE.

  • The New Testament

    • 27 books in the King James Version)

    • written in Greek from 40 AD to as late as 150 AD)

Faith vs reason

Faith vs. Reason

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