Athena or Athene given the epithet Pallas, is an ancient Greek goddess associated with wisdom and warfare, syncretized with the Roman goddess Minerva. Athena was regarded as the patron and protectress of various cities across Greece the city of Athens, from which she most received her name, she is shown in art wearing a helmet and holding a spear. Her major symbols include owls, olive trees and the Gorgoneion. From her origin as an Aegean palace goddess, Athena was associated with the city, she was known as Polias and Poliouchos, her temples were located atop the fortified Acropolis in the central part of the city. The Parthenon on the Athenian Acropolis is dedicated to her, along with numerous other temples and monuments; as the patron of craft and weaving, Athena was known as Ergane. She was a warrior goddess, was believed to lead soldiers into battle as Athena Promachos, her main festival in Athens was the Panathenaia, celebrated during the month of Hekatombaion in midsummer and was the most important festival on the Athenian calendar.
In Greek mythology, Athena was believed to have been born from the head of her father Zeus. In the founding myth of Athens, Athena bested Poseidon in a competition over patronage of the city by creating the first olive tree, she was known as Athena Parthenos, but, in one archaic Attic myth, the god Hephaestus tried and failed to rape her, resulting in Gaia giving birth to Erichthonius, an important Athenian founding hero. Athena was the patron goddess of heroic endeavor. Along with Aphrodite and Hera, Athena was one of the three goddesses whose feud resulted in the beginning of the Trojan War, she plays an active role in the Iliad, in which she assists the Achaeans and, in the Odyssey, she is the divine counselor to Odysseus. In the writings of the Roman poet Ovid, Athena was said to have competed against the mortal Arachne in a weaving competition, afterwards transforming Arachne into the first spider. Since the Renaissance, Athena has become an international symbol of wisdom, the arts, classical learning.
Western artists and allegorists have used Athena as a symbol of freedom and democracy. Athena is associated with the city of Athens; the name of the city in ancient Greek is Ἀθῆναι, a plural toponym, designating the place where—according to myth—she presided over the Athenai, a sisterhood devoted to her worship. In ancient times, scholars argued whether Athena was named after Athens after Athena. Now scholars agree that the goddess takes her name from the city. Testimonies from different cities in ancient Greece attest that similar city goddesses were worshipped in other cities and, like Athena, took their names from the cities where they were worshipped. For example, in Mycenae there was a goddess called Mykene, whose sisterhood was known as Mykenai, whereas at Thebes an analogous deity was called Thebe, the city was known under the plural form Thebai; the name Athenai is of Pre-Greek origin because it contains the Pre-Greek morpheme *-ān-. In his dialogue Cratylus, the Greek philosopher Plato gives some rather imaginative etymologies of Athena's name, based on the theories of the ancient Athenians and his own etymological speculations: That is a graver matter, there, my friend, the modern interpreters of Homer may, I think, assist in explaining the view of the ancients.
For most of these in their explanations of the poet, assert that he meant by Athena "mind" and "intelligence", the maker of names appears to have had a singular notion about her. However, the name Theonoe may mean "she who knows divine things" better than others. Nor shall we be far wrong in supposing that the author of it wished to identify this Goddess with moral intelligence, therefore gave her the name Etheonoe. Thus, Plato believed that Athena's name was derived from Greek Ἀθεονόα, Atheonóa—which the Greeks rationalised as from the deity's mind; the second-century AD orator Aelius Aristides attempted to derive natural symbols from the etymological roots of Athena's names to be aether, air and moon. Athena was the Aegean goddess of the palace, who presided over household crafts and protected the king. A single Mycenaean Greek inscription a-ta-na po-ti-ni-ja /Athana potnia/ appears at Knossos in the Linear B tablets from the Late Minoan II-era "Room of the Chariot Tablets". Although Athana potnia is translated Mistress Athena, it could mean "the Potnia of Athana", or the Lady of Athens.
However, any connection to the city of Athens in the Knossos inscription is uncertain. A sign series a-ta-no-dju-wa-ja appears in the still undeciphered corpus of Linear A tablets, written in the unclassified Minoan language; this could be connected with the Linear B Mycenaean expressions a-ta-na po-ti-ni-ja and di-u-ja or di-wi-ja (Diwia, "of Zeus" or, possibly
Lucian of Samosata was a Syrian satirist and rhetorician, best known for his characteristic tongue-in-cheek style, with which he ridiculed superstition, religious practices, belief in the paranormal. Although his native language was Syriac, all of his extant works are written in Ancient Greek. Everything, known about Lucian's life comes from his own writings, which are difficult to interpret because of his extensive use of sarcasm. According to his oration The Dream, he was the son of a lower middle class family from the village of Samosata along the banks of the Euphrates in the remote Roman province of Syria; as a young man, he was apprenticed to his uncle to become a sculptor, after a failed attempt at sculpting, he ran away to pursue an education in Ionia. He visited universities throughout the Roman Empire. After acquiring fame and wealth through his teaching, Lucian settled down in Athens for a decade, during which he wrote most of his extant works. In his old age, he may have been appointed as a highly-paid government official in Egypt, after which point he disappears from the historical record.
Lucian's works were wildly popular in antiquity, more than eighty writings attributed to him have survived to the present day, a higher quantity than for most other classical writers. His most famous work is A True Story, a tongue-in-cheek satire against authors who tell incredible tales, regarded by some as the earliest known work of science fiction. Lucian invented the genre of a parody of the traditional Platonic dialogue, his dialogue The Lover of Lies makes fun of people who believe in the supernatural and contains the oldest known version of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice". Lucian wrote numerous satires making fun of traditional stories about the gods including The Dialogues of the Gods, Zeus Rants, Zeus Catechized, The Parliament of the Gods, his Dialogues of the Dead focuses on the Cynic philosophers Diogenes and Menippus. Philosophies for Sale and The Banquet or Lapiths make fun of various philosophical schools, The Fisherman or the Dead Come to Life is a defense of this mockery. Lucian ridicules public figures, such as the Cynic philosopher Peregrinus Proteus in his letter The Passing of Peregrinus and the fraudulent oracle Alexander of Abonoteichus in his treatise Alexander the False Prophet.
Lucian's treatise On the Syrian Goddess satirizes cultural distinctions between Greeks and Syrians and is the main source of information about the cult of Atargatis. Lucian had an wide-ranging impact on Western literature. Works inspired by his writings include Sir Thomas More's Utopia, the works of François Rabelais, William Shakespeare's Timon of Athens and Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels. Lucian is not mentioned in any contemporary texts or inscriptions written by others and he is not included in Philostratus's Lives of the Sophists; as a result of this, everything, known about Lucian comes from his own writings. A variety of characters with names similar to Lucian, including "Lukinos," "Lukianos," "Lucius," and "The Syrian" appear throughout Lucian's writings; these have been interpreted by scholars and biographers as "masks", "alter-egos", or "mouthpieces" of the author. Daniel S. Richter criticizes the frequent tendency to interpret such "Lucian-like figures" as self-inserts by the author and argues that they are, in fact fictional characters Lucian uses to "think with" when satirizing conventional distinctions between Greeks and Syrians.
He suggests that they are a literary trope used by Lucian to deflect accusations that he as the Syrian author "has somehow outraged the purity of Greek idiom or genre" through his invention of the comic dialogue. British classicist Donald Russell states, "A good deal of what Lucian says about himself is no more to be trusted than the voyage to the moon that he recounts so persuasively in the first person in True Stories" and warns that "it is foolish to treat as autobiography." Lucian was born in the town of Samosata, located on the banks of the Euphrates river on the far eastern outskirts of the Roman Empire. Samosata had been the capital of Commagene until 72 AD when it was annexed by Vespasian and became part of the Roman province of Syria; the population of the town was Syrian and Lucian's native tongue was Syriac, a form of Aramaic. During the time when Lucian lived, traditional Greco-Roman religion was in decline and its role in society had become ceremonial; as a substitute for traditional religion, many people in the Hellenistic world joined Mystery Cults, such as the Mysteries of Isis, the cult of Cybele, the Eleusinian Mysteries.
Superstition had always been common throughout ancient society, but it was prevalent during the second century. Most educated people of Lucian's time adhered to one of the various Hellenistic philosophies, of which the major ones were Stoicism, Platonism and Epicureanism; every major town had its own university and these universities employed professional travelling lecturers, who were paid high sums of money to lecture about various philosophical teachings. The most prestigious center of learning was the city of Athens in Greece, which had a long intellectual history. According to Lucian's oration The Dream, which classical scholar Lionel Casson states he delivered as an address upon returning to Samosata at the age of thirty-five or forty after establishing his reputation as a great orator, Lucian's parents were lower middle cla
Wisdom, sapience, or sagacity is the ability to think and act using knowledge, understanding, common sense and insight. Wisdom is associated with attributes such as unbiased judgment, experiential self-knowledge, self-transcendence and non-attachment, virtues such as ethics and benevolence. Wisdom has been defined in many different ways, including several distinct approaches to assess the characteristics attributed to wisdom; the Oxford English Dictionary defines wisdom as "Capacity of judging rightly in matters relating to life and conduct. Charles Haddon Spurgeon defined wisdom as "the right use of knowledge". Robert I. Sutton and Andrew Hargadon defined the "attitude of wisdom" as "acting with knowledge while doubting what one knows". In social and psychological sciences, several distinct approaches to wisdom exist, with major advances made in the last two decades with respect to operationalization and measurement of wisdom as a psychological construct; the ancient Greeks considered wisdom to be an important virtue, personified as the goddesses Metis and Athena.
Athena, said to have sprung from the head of Zeus, was portrayed as strong, fair and chaste. To Socrates and Plato, philosophy was the love of Wisdom; this permeates Plato's dialogues The Republic, in which the leaders of his proposed utopia are to be philosopher kings, rulers who understand the Form of the Good and possess the courage to act accordingly. Aristotle, in his Metaphysics, defined wisdom as the understanding of causes, i.e. knowing why things are a certain way, deeper than knowing that things are a certain way. In fact, it was Aristotle who first made a distinction between phronesis and sophia aspects of wisdom; the ancient Romans valued wisdom, personified in Minerva, or Pallas. She represents skillful knowledge and the virtues chastity, her symbol was the owl, still a popular representation of wisdom, because it can see in darkness. She was said to be born from Jupiter's forehead. Wisdom is important within Christianity. Jesus emphasized it. Paul the Apostle, in his first epistle to the Corinthians, argued that there is both secular and divine wisdom, urging Christians to pursue the latter.
Prudence, intimately related to wisdom, became one of the four cardinal virtues of Catholicism. The Christian philosopher Thomas Aquinas considered wisdom to be the "father" of all virtues. In Buddhist traditions, developing wisdom plays a central role where comprehensive guidance on how to develop wisdom is provided. In the Inuit tradition, developing wisdom was one of the aims of teaching. An Inuit Elder said that a person became wise when they could see what needed to be done and did it without being told what to do. In many cultures, the name for third molars, which are the last teeth to grow, is etymologically linked with wisdom, e.g. as in the English wisdom tooth. Public schools in the US have an approach to character education. Eighteenth century thinkers such as Benjamin Franklin, referred to this as training wisdom and virtue. Traditionally, schools share the responsibility to build character and wisdom along with parents and the community. Nicholas Maxwell, a contemporary philosopher in the United Kingdom, advocates that academia ought to alter its focus from the acquisition of knowledge to seeking and promoting wisdom.
This he defines as the capacity to realize what is for oneself and others. He teaches that technological know-how increase our power to act. Without wisdom though, Maxwell claims. Wisdom is the application of knowledge to attain a positive goal by receiving instruction in governing oneself. Psychologists have begun to gather data on held beliefs or folk theories about wisdom. Initial analyses indicate that although "there is an overlap of the implicit theory of wisdom with intelligence, perceptiveness and shrewdness, it is evident that wisdom is an expertise in dealing with difficult questions of life and adaptation to the complex requirements."Such implicit theories stand in contrast to the explicit theories and empirical research on resulting psychological processes underlying wisdom. Opinions on the exact psychological definitions of wisdom vary, but there is some consensus that critical to wisdom are certain meta-cognitive processes affording life reflection and judgment about critical life matters.
These processes include recognizing the limits of one’s own knowledge, acknowledging uncertainty and change, attention to context and the bigger picture, integrating different perspectives of a situation. Cognitive scientists suggest that wisdom requires coordinating such reasoning processes, as they may provide insightful solutions for managing one’s life. Notably, such reasoning is both empirically distinct from general intelligence. Robert Sternberg has suggested. In line with this idea, researchers have shown empirically that wise reasoning is distinct from IQ. Several more nuanced characterizations of wisdom are listed below. Baltes and colleagues in Wisdom: its structure and function in regulating lifespan successful development defined wisdom as "the ability to deal with the contradictions of a specific situation and to assess the consequences of an action for themselves and for others, it is achieved when in a concrete situation, a balance b
Secundus the Silent
Secundus the Silent was a Cynic or Neopythagorean philosopher who lived in Athens in the early 2nd century, who had taken a vow of silence. An anonymous text entitled Life of Secundus purports to give details of his life as well as answers to philosophical questions posed to him by the emperor Hadrian; the work enjoyed great popularity in the Middle Ages. Secundus is known only from an anonymous Life of Secundus. We are told; when he was an adult he decided to test the proposition. So he returned home dressed as a Cynic philosopher with long hair and a beard, unrecognisable to his own mother, he persuaded her to agree to sleep with him for fifty gold pieces. After he had spent the night with her, doing nothing more than sleeping chastely in her bed, he told her who he was. Shamed, his mother hanged herself, Secundus, blaming his own tongue for the trouble he caused, committed himself to a lifelong vow of silence, for which reason he is described as a Pythagorean philosopher. Having heard about this silent philosopher, Hadrian summoned him and threatened to execute him if he did not speak.
Secundus refused to speak, Hadrian, impressed by this resolve, relented. Secundus did, agree to answer twenty questions by writing the answers on a tablet; these questions and answers are given in the anonymous text. A typical response is the answer to question 17: What is Poverty? A good thing, hated, the mother of health, a hindrance to pleasures, a way of life free of worry, a possession hard to cast off, the teacher of inventions, the finder of wisdom, a business that nobody envies, property unassessed, merchandise not subject to tariff, profit not to be reckoned in terms of cash, a possession not interfered with by informers, non-evident good fortune, good fortune free of care. How much of the story of Secundus' life is accurate is impossible to say; the questions and answers are just one example of several such compositions which survive, including a similar question and answer conversation between Hadrian and Epictetus. There was a Rhetorician of the same period called Secundus of Athens, mentioned by Philostratus.
Whether he could be the same person as this Secundus is unknown. The oldest evidence for the existence of the Greek biography is a papyrus fragment from the 3rd Century; the complete text is only found in a single manuscript from the 11th Century, the other Greek manuscripts contain only the questions and answers. Willelmus Medicus a monk at the Abbey of Saint-Denis, brought the complete manuscript from Constantinople to France in 1167, he made a Latin translation. An abridged version of this translation was placed by Vincent of Beauvais into his popular encyclopedia Speculum Historiale in the 13th century. In the early 14th Century, the Liber de Vita et Moribus Philosophorum, a popular biographical presentation of ancient non-Christian spiritual life, dedicated a chapter to Secundus, he was so well known that his bust with a quote was carved in the Gothic choir stalls of Ulm Minster. The popularity of the material in the Middle Ages was connected, among other things, with the fact that Secundus' readiness to die reminded readers at that time of the attitude of Christian martyrs.
Late medieval translations of the Latin text of the biography include: two German, two Spanish, six French, an Icelandic, four Italian versions. Some translations are free, as partial elements of larger works; the popularity of the work in the Middle Ages, is testified by translations in other languages: Syriac, Armenian and Ethiopic. Ben Edwin Perry, The Silent Philosopher: The Greek Life of Secundus, critically edited and restored so far as possible, together with translations of the Greek and Oriental versions, the Latin and Oriental texts, a study of the tradition. American Philological Association Philological Monographs. ISBN 0-8295-0038-3 Ben Edwin Perry, Secundus: The Silent Philosopher, in William Hansen, Anthology of Ancient Greek Popular Literature. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-21157-3 S. P. Brock, "Secundus the Silent Philosopher: Some Notes on the Syriac Tradition," Rheinishes Museum für Philologie, Neue Folge, 121. Bd. H. 1, 94–100. Overwien, Oliver. "Secundus the Silent Philosopher in the Ancient and Eastern Tradition."
Fictional Storytelling in the Medieval Eastern Mediterranean and Beyond. Brill, 2016. 338-364
Monimus of Syracuse, was a Cynic philosopher who endorsed skepticism, denying that there was a criterion of truth. According to Diogenes Laërtius, Monimus was the slave of a Corinthian money-changer who heard tales about Diogenes of Sinope from Xeniades, Diogenes' master. In order that he might become the pupil of Diogenes, Monimus feigned madness by throwing money around until his master discarded him. Monimus became acquainted with Crates of Thebes, he was famous for saying that "everything is vanity". According to Sextus Empiricus, Monimus was like Anaxarchus, because they "compared existing things to a scene-painting and supposed them to resemble the impressions experienced in sleep or madness." He said that "it was better to lack sight than education, because under the first affliction, you fall to the ground, under the latter, deep underground," and he said that "Wealth is the vomiting of Fortune."He wrote two books: On Impulses, an Exhortation to Philosophy, he wrote some jests mixed with serious themes.
In book two of Marcus Aurelius' Meditations, he writes: "There is obvious truth to the Cynic Monimus' statement that'all is opinion'. Alternate translation by George Long revised by Classics Club editors, copyright 1945: "Section II -15. Remember that all is but opinion. For what the Cynic Monimus said is obvious: and obvious too is the use of what he said, if a man accepts what may be got out of it only as far as it is true." Laërtius, Diogenes. "The Cynics: Monimus". Lives of the Eminent Philosophers. 2:6. Translated by Hicks, Robert Drew. Loeb Classical Library. Media related to Monimus at Wikimedia Commons
The Eleusinian Mysteries were initiations held every year for the cult of Demeter and Persephone based at Eleusis in ancient Greece. They are the "most famous of the secret religious rites of ancient Greece", their basis was an old agrarian cult, there is some evidence that they were derived from the religious practices of the Mycenean period. The mysteries represented the myth of the abduction of Persephone from her mother Demeter by the king of the underworld Hades, in a cycle with three phases: the descent, the search, the ascent, with the main theme being the ascent of Persephone and the reunion with her mother, it was a major festival during the Hellenic era, spread to Rome. Similar religious rites appear in Minoan Crete; the rites and beliefs were kept secret and preserved from antiquity. For the initiated, the rebirth of Persephone symbolized the eternity of life which flows from generation to generation, they believed that they would have a reward in the afterlife. There are many pieces of pottery that depict various aspects of the Mysteries.
Since the Mysteries involved visions and conjuring of an afterlife, some scholars believe that the power and longevity of the Eleusinian Mysteries, a consistent set of rites and experiences that spanned two millennia, came from psychedelic drugs. The name of the town, Eleusís, seems to be Pre-Greek and it is a counterpart with Elysium and the goddess Eileithyia. Eleusinian Mysteries was the name of the mysteries of the city Eleusis; the name of the city Eleusis is Pre-Greek, may be related with the name of the goddess Eileithyia. Her name Ἐλυσία in Laconia and Messene relates her with the month Eleusinios and Eleusis, but this is debated; the ancient Greek word "mystery" means "mystery or secret rite" and is related with the verb mueō, which means initiation into the mysteries, the noun mustēs, which means one initiated. The word mustikós means "connected with the mysteries", or "private, secret"; the Mysteries are related to a myth concerning Demeter, the goddess of agriculture and fertility as recounted in one of the Homeric Hymns.
According to the hymn, Demeter's daughter Persephone was assigned the task of painting all the flowers of the earth – before completion, she was seized by Hades, the god of the underworld. He took her to his underworld kingdom. Distraught, Demeter searched low for her daughter; because of her distress, in an effort to coerce Zeus to allow the return of her daughter, she caused a terrible drought in which the people suffered and starved, depriving the gods of sacrifice and worship. As a result, Zeus allowed Persephone to return to her mother. According to the myth, during her search Demeter traveled long distances and had many minor adventures along the way. In one she taught the secrets of agriculture to Triptolemus. By consulting Zeus, Demeter reunites with her daughter and the earth returns to its former verdure and prosperity: the first spring. Zeus, pressed by the cries of the hungry people and by the other deities who heard their anguish, forced Hades to return Persephone. However, it was a rule of the Fates that whoever consumed food or drink in the Underworld was doomed to spend eternity there.
Before Persephone was released to Hermes, sent to retrieve her, Hades tricked her into eating pomegranate seeds, which forced her to return to the underworld for some months each year. She was obliged to remain with Hades for six or four months and lived above ground with her mother for the rest of the year; this left a long period of time when Demeter was unhappy due to Persephone's absence, neglecting to cultivate the earth. When Persephone returned to the surface, Demeter cared for the earth again. If one supposes that Persephone stayed with Hades for four months and Demeter eight months, corresponding to eight months of growth and abundance to be followed by four months of no productivity, the parallel with the Mediterranean climate of ancient Greece can be seen; the four months during which Persephone is with Hades correspond to the dry Greek summer, a period during which plants are threatened with drought. At the beginning of autumn when the seeds are planted, Persephone returns from the underworld and is reunited with her mother, the cycle of growth begins anew.
This reading of the ritual, does not square with the central foundation document of the mystery, the Homeric Hymn to Demeter line 415, where Persephone is explicitly said to return in the spring of the year, not the fall: "This was the day, at the beginning of bountiful springtime."Her rebirth is symbolic of the rebirth of all plant life and the symbol of eternity of life that flows from the generations that spring from each other. The Eleusinian Mysteries are believed to be of considerable antiquity; some findings in the temple Eleusinion in Attica suggest. Some practices of the mysteries seem to have been influenced by the religious practices of the Mycenaean period and thus predating the Greek Dark Ages. Excavations showed that, a private building existed under the Telesterion in the Mycenean period, it seems that the cult of Demeter was private. In the Homeric Hymn is mentioned the palace of the king Keleos. One line of thought by modern scholars has been that the Mysteries were intended "to elevate man above the human sphere into the divine and to assure his redemption by makin
Menippus of Gadara was a Cynic satirist. His works, all of which are lost, were an important influence on Lucian; the Menippean satire genre is named after him. Little is known about the life of Menippus, he was a native of Gadara in Coele-Syria. The ancient sources agree, he was in the service of a citizen of Pontus, but in some way obtained his freedom and lived at Thebes. Diogenes Laërtius relates a dubious story that he amassed a fortune as a money-lender, lost it, committed suicide through grief. Lucian ranks Menippus with Antisthenes and Crates as among the most notable of the Cynics, his works are all lost. He discussed serious subjects in a spirit of ridicule, delighted in attacking the Epicureans and Stoics. Strabo and Stephanus call him the "earnest-jester", his writings exercised considerable influence upon literature, the Menippean satire genre is named after him. Although the writings of Menippus no longer survive, there are some fragments of Varro's Saturae Menippeae, which were written in imitation of Menippus.
One of the dialogues attributed to Lucian, his avowed imitator, who mentions him, is called Menippus, but since the sub-title resembles that of a work ascribed to Menippus by Diogenes Laërtius, it has been suggested that it is imitated from his Necromancy. Diogenes Laërtius says the following works were written by Menippus: Νέκυια – Necromancy Διαθῆκαι – Wills Ἐπιστολαὶ κεκομψευμέναι ἀπὸ τῶν θεῶν προσώπου – Letters artificially composed as if by the Gods Πρὸς τοὺς φυσικοὺς καὶ μαθηματικοὺς καὶ γραμματικοὺς – Replies to the Natural Philosophers, Mathematicians, Grammarians Γονὰς Ἐπικούρου – The Birth of Epicurus Τὰς θρησκευομένας ὑπ' αὐτῶν εἰκάδας – The School's reverence of the twentieth day In addition, Athenaeus mentions works called Symposium and Arcesilaus, Diogenes Laërtius mentions a Sale of Diogenes written by Menippus which seems to be the main source of the story that Diogenes of Sinope was captured by pirates and sold into slavery. Laërtius, Diogenes. "The Cynics: Menippus". Lives of the Eminent Philosophers.
2:6. Translated by Hicks, Robert Drew. Loeb Classical Library. Lives & Writings on the Cynics, directory of literary references to Ancient Cynics Menippus – Lucian's dialogue in which Menippus visits Hades