Theory of forms
The theory of Forms or theory of Ideas is a philosophical theory, concept, or world-view, attributed to Plato, that the physical world is not as real or true as timeless, unchangeable ideas. According to this theory, ideas in this sense capitalized and translated as "Ideas" or "Forms", are the non-physical essences of all things, of which objects and matter in the physical world are imitations. Plato speaks of these entities only through the characters of his dialogues who sometimes suggest that these Forms are the only objects of study that can provide knowledge; the theory itself is contested from within Plato's dialogues, it is a general point of controversy in philosophy. Whether the theory represents Plato's own views is held in doubt by modern scholarship. However, the theory is considered a classical solution to the problem of universals; the early Greek concept of form precedes attested philosophical usage and is represented by a number of words having to do with vision and appearance.
Plato uses these aspects of sight and appearance from the early Greek concept of the form in his dialogues to explain the Forms and the Good. The meaning of the term εἶδος, "visible form", related terms μορφή, "shape", φαινόμενα, "appearances", from φαίνω, "shine", Indo-European *bʰeh₂- or *bhā- remained stable over the centuries until the beginning of philosophy, when they became equivocal, acquiring additional specialized philosophic meanings; the pre-Socratic philosophers, starting with Thales, noted that appearances change, began to ask what the thing that changes "really" is. The answer was substance, which stands under the changes and is the existing thing being seen; the status of appearances now came into question. What is the form and how is that related to substance? The Forms are expounded upon in Plato's dialogues and general speech, in that every object or quality in reality has a form: dogs, human beings, colors, courage and goodness. Form answers the question, "What is that?" Plato was asking what Form itself is.
He supposed that the object was or "really" the Form and that the phenomena were mere shadows mimicking the Form. The problem of universals – how can one thing in general be many things in particular – was solved by presuming that Form was a distinct singular thing but caused plural representations of itself in particular objects. For example, in the dialogue Parmenides, Socrates states: "Nor, again, if a person were to show that all is one by partaking of one, at the same time many by partaking of many, would that be astonishing, but if he were to show me that the absolute one was many, or the absolute many one, I should be amazed." Matter is considered particular in itself. For Plato, such as beauty, are more real than any objects that imitate them. Though the forms are timeless and unchanging, physical things are in a constant change of existence. Where forms are unqualified perfection, physical things are qualified and conditioned; these Forms are the essences of various objects: they are that without which a thing would not be the kind of thing it is.
For example, there are countless tables in the world but the Form of tableness is at the core. Plato's Socrates held that the world of Forms is transcendent to our own world and is the essential basis of reality. Super-ordinate to matter, Forms are the most pure of all things. Furthermore, he believed that true knowledge/intelligence is the ability to grasp the world of Forms with one's mind. A Form is atemporal. Atemporal means that it does not exist within any time period, rather it provides the formal basis for time, it therefore formally grounds beginning and ending. It is neither eternal in the sense of existing forever, nor mortal, of limited duration, it exists transcendent to time altogether. Forms are aspatial in that they have no spatial dimensions, thus no orientation in space, nor do they have a location, they are non-physical. Forms are extra-mental. A Form is an objective "blueprint" of perfection; the Forms are unchanging representations of objects and qualities. For example the Form of beauty or the Form of a triangle.
For the form of a triangle say. A triangle is a polygon with 3 sides; the triangle as it is on the blackboard is far from perfect. However, it is only the intelligibility of the Form "triangle" that allows us to know the drawing on the chalkboard is a triangle, the Form "triangle" is perfect and unchanging, it is the same whenever anyone chooses to consider it. It follows that the same attributes would exist for all Forms; the words, εἶδος and ἰδέα come from the Indo-European root *weyd- or *weid- "see". Eidos is attested in texts of the Homeric era, the earliest Greek literature; this transliteration and the translation tradition of German and Latin lead to the expression "theory of Ideas." The word is however not the English "idea,", a mental concept only. The theory of matter and form started with Plato and germinal in some of the presocratic writings; the forms were considered as being "in" something else. The latter seemed as carved "wood", ὕλη in Greek, corresponding to m
Athenaeus of Naucratis was a Greek rhetorician and grammarian, flourishing about the end of the 2nd and beginning of the 3rd century AD. The Suda says only that he lived in the times of Marcus Aurelius, but the contempt with which he speaks of Commodus, who died in 192, shows that he survived that emperor, he was a contemporary of Adrantus. Several of his publications are lost, but the fifteen-volume Deipnosophistae survives. Athenaeus himself states that he was the author of a treatise on the thratta, a kind of fish mentioned by Archippus and other comic poets, of a history of the Syrian kings. Both works are lost; the Deipnosophistae, which means "dinner-table philosophers," survives in fifteen books. The first two books, parts of the third and fifteenth, are extant only in epitome, but otherwise the work seems to be entire, it is an immense store-house of information, chiefly on matters connected with dining, but containing remarks on music, dances, games and luxury. Nearly 800 writers and 2500 separate works are referred to by Athenaeus.
Were it not for Athenaeus, much valuable information about the ancient world would be missing, many ancient Greek authors such as Archestratus would be entirely unknown. Book XIII, for example, is an important source for the study of sexuality in classical and Hellenistic Greece, a rare fragment of Theognetus' work survives in 3.63. The Deipnosophistae professes to be an account given by an individual named Athenaeus to his friend Timocrates of a banquet held at the house of Larensius, a wealthy book-collector and patron of the arts, it is thus a dialogue within a dialogue, after the manner of Plato, but the conversation extends to enormous length. The topics for discussion arise from the course of the dinner itself, but extend to literary and historical matters of every description, including abstruse points of grammar; the guests quote from memory. The actual sources of the material preserved in the Deipnosophistae remain obscure, but much of it comes at second-hand from early scholars; the twenty-four named guests include individuals called Galen and Ulpian, but they are all fictitious personages, the majority take no part in the conversation.
If the character Ulpian is identical with the famous jurist, the Deipnosophistae may have been written after his death in 223. The complete version of the text, with the gaps noted above, is preserved in only one manuscript, conventionally referred to as A; the epitomized version of the text is preserved in two manuscripts, conventionally known as C and E. The standard edition of the text is Kaibel's Teubner; the standard numbering is drawn from Casaubon. The encyclopaedist and author Sir Thomas Browne wrote a short essay upon Athenaeus which reflects a revived interest in the Banquet of the Learned amongst scholars during the 17th century following its publication in 1612 by the Classical scholar Isaac Casaubon. One of Athenaeus' friends, wrote about the untimely death of Athenaeus in the Athenaeum, it describes the tale of angry peasants who believed that Athenaeus' writings directly contradicted their personal beliefs of the Mithras cult. One night in 191 A. D. they threatened to kill him if he did not stop writing.
When they discovered that he continued writing the Deipnosophistae, twenty-three men stormed into his home and strangled him to death. It is unclear whether Athenaeus finished his work on his own or Timocrates finished it for him, as most of the Athenaeum is lost. Athenaeus described, he mentions that in the Greek city of Sybaris, there were annual culinary competitions. The victor was given the exclusive right to prepare his dish for one year. Swallow song of Rhodes David Braund and John Wilkins and his world: reading Greek culture in the Roman Empire, Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 2000. ISBN 0-85989-661-7. Christian Jacob, The Web of Athenaeus, Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies at Harvard University, 2013. Digital Athenaeus Project - University of Leipzig Digital Athenaeus - Casaubon-Kaibel reference converter Works by Athenæus at Project Gutenberg Works by or about Athenaeus at Internet Archive Works by Athenaeus at LibriVox The Deipnosophists, translated by C. D. Yonge, at The Literature Collection The Deipnosophists, long excerpts in searchable HTML format, at attalus.org The Deipnosophists, translated up to Book 9 with links to complete Greek original, at LacusCurtius The Deipnosophists, open source XML version by the University of Leipzig, at Open Greek & Latin Project
Western philosophy is the philosophical thought and work of the Western world. The term refers to the philosophical thinking of Western culture, beginning with Greek philosophy of the pre-Socratics such as Thales and Pythagoras, covering a large area of the globe; the word philosophy itself originated from the Ancient Greek: philosophia "the love of wisdom". The scope of philosophy in the ancient understanding, the writings of the ancient philosophers, were all intellectual endeavors; this included the problems of philosophy. In the pre-Socratic period, ancient philosophers first articulated questions about the "arche" of the universe. Western philosophy is said to begin in the Greek cities of western Asia Minor with Thales of Miletus, active c. 585 BC and was responsible for the opaque dictum, "all is water." His most noted students were Anaximander and Anaximenes of Miletus Pythagoras, from the island of Samos off the coast of Ionia lived in Croton in southern Italy. Pythagoreans hold that "all is number," giving formal accounts in contrast to the previous material of the Ionians.
They believe in metempsychosis, the transmigration of souls, or reincarnation. A key figure in Greek philosophy is Socrates. Socrates studied under several Sophists but transformed Greek philosophy into a branch of philosophy, still pursued today, it is said that following a visit to the Oracle of Delphi he spent much of his life questioning anyone in Athens who would engage him, in order to disprove the oracular prophecy that there would be no man wiser than Socrates. Socrates used a critical approach called the "elenchus" or Socratic method to examine people's views, he aimed to study human things: the good life, justice and virtue. Although Socrates wrote nothing himself, some of his many disciples wrote down his conversations, he was tried for corrupting the impiety by the Greek democracy. He was sentenced to death. Although his friends offered to help him escape from prison, he chose to remain in Athens and abide by his principles, his execution consisted of drinking the poison hemlock and he died in 399 BC.
Plato was a student of Socrates. Plato founded the Academy of Athens and wrote a number of dialogues, which applied the Socratic method of inquiry to examine philosophical problems; some central ideas of Plato's dialogues are the immortality of the soul, the benefits of being just, that evil is ignorance, the Theory of Forms. Forms are universal properties that constitute true reality and contrast with the changeable material things he called "becoming". Aristotle was a pupil of Plato. Aristotle was the first systematic philosopher and scientist, he wrote about physics, zoology, aesthetics, theater, rhetoric and logic. Aristotelian logic was the first type of logic to attempt to categorize every valid syllogism. Aristotle tutored Alexander the Great, who in turn conquered much of the ancient world at a rapid pace. Hellenization and Aristotelian philosophy exercised considerable influence on all subsequent Western and Middle Eastern philosophers, including Hellenistic, Byzantine, Western medieval and Islamic thinkers.
Medieval philosophy is the philosophy of Western Europe and the Middle East during the Middle Ages extending from the Christianization of the Roman Empire until the Renaissance. Medieval philosophy is defined by the rediscovery and further development of classical Greek and Hellenistic philosophy, by the need to address theological problems and to integrate the widespread sacred doctrines of Abrahamic religion with secular learning. Early medieval philosophy was influenced by the likes of Stoicism, but, above all, the philosophy of Plato himself; some problems discussed throughout this period are the relation of faith to reason, the existence and unity of God, the object of theology and metaphysics, the problems of knowledge, of universals, of individuation. The prominent figure of this period was Augustine of Hippo who adopted Plato's thought and Christianized it in the 4th century and whose influence dominated medieval philosophy up to end of the era but was checked with the arrival of Aristotle's texts.
Augustinianism was the preferred starting point for most philosophers up until the 13th century. The Carolingian Renaissance of the 8th/9th century was fed by Church missionaries travelling from Ireland, most notably John Scotus Eriugena, a Neoplatonic philosopher; the modern university system has roots in the European medieval university, created in Italy and evolved from Catholic Cathedral schools for the clergy during the High Middle Ages. Thomas Aquinas, an academic philosopher and the father of Thomism, was immensely influential in Catholic Europe. Philosophers from the Middle Ages include the Christian philosophers Augustine of Hippo, Anselm, Gilbert de la Porrée, Peter Abelard, Roger Bacon, Thomas Aq
Justice, in its broadest context, includes both the attainment of that, just and the philosophical discussion of that, just. The concept of justice is based on numerous fields, many differing viewpoints and perspectives including the concepts of moral correctness based on ethics, law, religion and fairness; the general discussion of justice is divided into the realm of social justice as found in philosophy and religion, procedural justice as found in the study and application of the law. The concept of justice differs in every culture. Early theories of justice were set out by the Ancient Greek philosophers Plato in his work The Republic, Aristotle in his Nicomachean Ethics. Throughout history various theories have been established. Advocates of divine command theory argue that justice issues from God. In the 1600s, theorists like John Locke argued for the theory of natural law. Thinkers in the social contract tradition argued that justice is derived from the mutual agreement of everyone concerned.
In the 1800s, utilitarian thinkers including John Stuart Mill argued that justice is what has the best consequences. Theories of distributive justice concern what is distributed, between whom they are to be distributed, what is the proper distribution. Egalitarians argued. John Rawls used a social contract argument to show that justice, distributive justice, is a form of fairness. Property rights theorists take a consequentialist view of distributive justice and argue that property rights-based justice maximizes the overall wealth of an economic system. Theories of retributive justice are concerned with punishment for wrongdoing. Restorative justice is an approach to justice that focuses on the needs of offenders. In his dialogue Republic, Plato uses Socrates to argue for justice that covers both the just person and the just City State. Justice is a harmonious relationship between the warring parts of the person or city. Hence, Plato's definition of justice is. A just man is a man in just the right place, doing his best and giving the precise equivalent of what he has received.
This applies both at the universal level. A person's soul has three parts – reason and desire. A city has three parts – Socrates uses the parable of the chariot to illustrate his point: a chariot works as a whole because the two horses' power is directed by the charioteer. Lovers of wisdom – philosophers, in one sense of the term – should rule because only they understand what is good. If one is ill, one goes to a medic rather than a farmer, because the medic is expert in the subject of health. One should trust one's city to an expert in the subject of the good, not to a mere politician who tries to gain power by giving people what they want, rather than what's good for them. Socrates uses the parable of the ship to illustrate this point: the unjust city is like a ship in open ocean, crewed by a powerful but drunken captain, a group of untrustworthy advisors who try to manipulate the captain into giving them power over the ship's course, a navigator, the only one who knows how to get the ship to port.
For Socrates, the only way the ship will reach its destination – the good – is if the navigator takes charge. Advocates of divine command theory argue that justice, indeed the whole of morality, is the authoritative command of God. Murder must be punished, for instance, because God says it so; some versions of the theory assert that God must be obeyed because of the nature of his relationship with humanity, others assert that God must be obeyed because he is goodness itself, thus doing what he says would be best for everyone. A meditation on the Divine command theory by Plato can be found in Euthyphro. Called the Euthyphro dilemma, it goes as follows: "Is what is morally good commanded by God because it is morally good, or is it morally good because it is commanded by God?" The implication is that if the latter is true justice is arbitrary. A response, popularized in two contexts by Immanuel Kant and C. S. Lewis, is that it is deductively valid to argue that the existence of an objective morality implies the existence of God and vice versa.
For advocates of the theory that justice is part of natural law, it involves the system of consequences that derives from any action or choice. In this, it is similar to the laws of physics: in the same way as the Third of Newton's laws of Motion requires that for every action there must be an equal and opposite reaction, justice requires according individuals or groups what they deserve, merit, or are entitled to. Justice, on this account, is a universal and absolute concept: laws, religions, etc. are attempts to codify that concept, sometimes with results that contradict the true nature of justice. In Republic by Plato, the character Thrasymachus argues that justice is the interest of the strong – a name for what the powerful or cunning ruler has imposed on the people. Advocates of the social contract agree that justice is derived from the mutual agreement of everyone concerned; this account is considered further below, under'Justice as fairness'. The absence of bias refers to an equal ground for all people
Aulus Gellius was a Latin author and grammarian, born and brought up in Rome. He was educated in Athens, he is famous for his Attic Nights, a commonplace book, or compilation of notes on grammar, history and other subjects, preserving fragments of the works of many authors who might otherwise be unknown today. The only source for the life of Aulus Gellius is the details recorded in his writings. Internal evidence points to Gellius having been born between AD 125 and 128, he was of good family and connections of African origin, but he was born and brought up in Rome. He attended the Pythian Games in the year 147, resided for a considerable period in Athens. Gellius studied rhetoric under Sulpicius Apollinaris, he returned to Rome. He was appointed by the praetor to act as an umpire in civil causes, much of the time which he would gladly have devoted to literary pursuits was occupied by judicial duties, his only known work, the Attic Nights, takes its name from having been begun during the long nights of a winter which he spent in Attica.
He afterwards continued it in Rome. It is compiled out of an Adversaria, or commonplace book, in which he had jotted down everything of unusual interest that he heard in conversation or read in books, it comprises notes on grammar, philosophy and many other subjects. One story is the fable of Androcles, included in compilations of Aesop's fables, but was not from that source. Internal evidence led Leofranc Holford-Strevens to date its publication in or after AD 177; the work, deliberately devoid of sequence or arrangement, is divided into twenty books. All these have come down to us except the eighth; the Attic Nights are valuable for the insight they afford into the nature of the society and pursuits of those times, for its many excerpts from works of lost ancient authors. The Attic Nights found many readers in Antiquity. Writers who used this compilation include Apuleius, Nonius Marcellus, Ammianus Marcellinus, the anonymous author of the Historia Augusta and Augustine; the editio princeps was published at Rome in 1469 by Giovanni Andrea Bussi, bishop-designate of Aleria.
The earliest critical edition was by Ludovicus Carrio in 1585, published by Henricus Stephanus. Better known is the critical edition of Johann Friedrich Gronovius, his son Jakob published most of his comments on Gellius in 1687, brought out a revised text with all of his father's comments and other materials at Leyden in 1706. According to Leofranc Holford-Strevens, the "Gronoviana" remained the standard text of Gellius for over a hundred years, until the edition of Martin Hertz, revised by C. Hosius, 1903, with bibliography. A volume of selections, with notes and vocabulary, was published by Nall. There is an English translation by W. Beloe, a French translation. A more recent English translation is by John Carew Rolfe for the Loeb Classical Library. Gellia This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Wm Ramsay. "A. Gellius". In Smith, William. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. 2. P. 235. George Herbert Nall, ed.. Stories from Aulus Gellius. Elementary classics.
London: Macmillan. John Carew Rolfe, The Attic Nights of Aulus Gellius. Loeb Classical Library. 3 Volumes. ISBN 0674992156, ISBN 0674992202, ISBN 0674992342 Anderson, Graham.. "Aulus Gellius: a Miscellanist and His World," in Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt, vol. II.34.2. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter. Beall, S.. "Translation in Aulus Gellius." The Classical Quarterly, 47, 215-226. Ceaicovschi, K.. "Cato the Elder in Aulus Gellius." Illinois Classical Studies, 25-39. Lakmann, Marie-Luise.. Der Platoniker Tauros in der Darstellung des Aulus Gellius. Leiden, The Netherlands, New York: Brill. Garcea, Alessandro.. "Paradoxes in Aulus Gellius." Argumentation 17:87–98. Gunderson, Eric.. Nox Philologiae: Aulus Gellius and the Fantasy of the Roman Library. Madison: Univ. of Wisconsin Press. Holford-Strevens, Leofranc.. Aulus Gellius: An Antonine Scholar and his Achievement. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press. Holford-Strevens, Leofranc.. "Fact and fiction in Aulus Gellius." Liverpool Classical Monthly 7:65–68.
Holford-Strevens and Amiel Vardi, eds.. The Worlds of Aulus Gellius. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press. Howley, Joseph A.. "Why Read the Jurists?: Aulus Gellius on Reading Across Disciplines." In New Frontiers: Law and Society in the Roman World. Edited by Paul J. du Plessis. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Howley, Joseph A.. Aulus Gellius and Roman Reading Culture. Text and Imperial Knowledge in the Noctes Atticae. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Johnson, William A.. "Aulus Gellius: The Life of the Litteratus" In Readers and Reading Culture in the High Roman Empire
Pythagoreanism originated in the 6th century BC, based on the teachings and beliefs held by Pythagoras and his followers, the Pythagoreans. Pythagoras established the first Pythagorean community in Italy. Early-Pythagorean communities lived throughout Magna Graecia. Espousing a rigorous life of the intellect and strict rules on diet and behavior comprised a cult of following Pythagorean's Code. For example, the Code's diet prohibits the consumption or touching any sort of bean or legume. Pythagoras’ death and disputes about his teachings led to the development of two philosophical traditions within Pythagoreanism; the practitioners of akousmatikoi were superseded in the 4th century BC as a significant mendicant school of philosophy by the Cynics. The Pythagorean mathēmatikoi philosophers were in the 4th century BC absorbed into the Platonic school. Following the political instability in the Magna Graecia, some Pythagorean philosophers fled to mainland Greece while others regrouped in Rhegium. By about 400 BC the majority of Pythagorean philosophers had left Italy.
Pythagorean ideas exercised a marked influence on Plato and through him, on all of Western philosophy. Many of the surviving sources on Pythagoras originate with Aristotle and the philosophers of the Peripatetic school; as a philosophic tradition, Pythagoreanism was revived in the 1st century BC, giving rise to Neopythagoreanism. The worship of Pythagoras continued in Italy and as a religious community Pythagoreans appear to have survived as part of, or influenced, the Bacchic cults and Orphism. Pythagoras was in ancient times well known for the mathematical achievement of the Pythagorean theorem. Pythagoras had discovered that "in a right-angled triangle the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the squares of the other two sides". In ancient times Pythagoras was noted for his discovery that music had mathematical foundations. Antique sources that credit Pythagoras as the philosopher who first discovered music intervals credit him as the inventor of the monochord, a straight rod on which a string and a movable bridge could be used to demonstrate the relationship of musical intervals.
Much of the surviving sources on Pythagoras originate with Aristotle and the philosophers of the Peripatetic school, which founded histographical academic traditions such as biography and the history of science. The surviving 5th century BC sources on Pythagoras and early Pythagoreanism are void of supernatural elements. While surviving 4th century BC sources on Pythagoreas' teachings introduced legend and fable. Philosophers who discussed Pythagoreanism, such as Anaximander, Andron of Ephesus and Neanthes had access to historical written sources as well as the oral tradition about Pythagoreanism, which by the 4th century BC was in decline. Neopythagorean philosophers, who authored many of the surviving sources on Pythagoreanism, continued the tradition of legend and fantasy; the earliest surviving ancient source on Pythagoras and his followers is a satire by Xenophanes, on the Pythagorean beliefs on the transmigration of souls. Xenophanes wrote of Pythagoras that: Once they say that he was passing by when a puppy was being whipped, And he took pity and said: "Stop!
Do not beat it! For it is the soul of a friend That I recognized when I heard it giving tongue." In a surviving fragment from Heraclitus and his followers are described as follows: Pythagoras, the son of Mnesarchus, practised inquiry beyond all other men and selecting of these writings made for himself a wisdom or made a wisdom of his own: a polymathy, an imposture. Two other surviving fragments of ancient sources on Pythagoras are by Ion of Empedocles. Both were born after Pythagoras' death. By that time he was known as a sage and his fame had spread throughout Greece. According to Ion, Pythagoras was:... distinguished for his many virtue and modesty in death has a life, pleasing to his soul, if Pythagoras the wise achieved knowledge and understanding beyond that of all men. Empedocles described Pythagoras as "a man of surpassing knowledge, master of all kinds of wise works, who had acquired the upmost wealth of understanding." In the 4th century BC the Sophist Alcidamas wrote that Pythagoras was honored by Italians.
Today scholars distinguish two periods of Pythagoreanism: early-Pythagoreanism, from the 6th till the 5th century BC, late-Pythagoreanism, from the 4th till the 3rd century BC. The Spartan colony of Taranto in Italy became the home for many practitioners of Pythagoreanism and for Neopythagorean philosophers. Pythagoras had lived in Crotone and Metaponto, both were Achaean colonies. Early-Pythagorean sects lived throughout Magna Graecia, they espoused to a rigorous life of the intellect and strict rules on diet and behavior. Their burial rites were tied to their belief in the immortality of the soul. Early-Pythagorean sects were closed societies and new Pythagoreans were chosen based on merit and discipline. Ancient sources record that early-Pythagoreans underwent a five year initiation period of listening to the teachings in silence. Initiates could through a test become members of the inner circle. However, Pythagoreans could leave the community if they wished. Iamblichus listed 235 Pythagoreans by name, among them 17 women who he described as the "most famous" women practitioners of Pythagoreanism.
It was customary that family members became Pythagoreans, as Pythagoreanism developed into a philosophic traditions that entailed rules for everyday life and Pythagoreans were bound by secrets. The home of a Pythagorean was known as the site of mysteries. Pythagoras had been born on the island of Samos at around 570 BC and left his homeland at around 530 BC in opposition
Syracuse is a historic city on the island of Sicily, the capital of the Italian province of Syracuse. The city is notable for its rich Greek history, amphitheatres, as the birthplace of the preeminent mathematician and engineer Archimedes; this 2,700-year-old city played a key role in ancient times, when it was one of the major powers of the Mediterranean world. Syracuse is located in the southeast corner of the island of Sicily, next to the Gulf of Syracuse beside the Ionian Sea; the city was founded by Ancient Greek Corinthians and Teneans and became a powerful city-state. Syracuse was allied with Sparta and Corinth and exerted influence over the entirety of Magna Graecia, of which it was the most important city. Described by Cicero as "the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of them all", it equaled Athens in size during the fifth century BC, it became part of the Roman Republic and the Byzantine Empire. Under Emperor Constans II, it served as the capital of the Byzantine Empire. After this Palermo overtook it as the capital of the Kingdom of Sicily.
The kingdom would be united with the Kingdom of Naples to form the Two Sicilies until the Italian unification of 1860. In the modern day, the city is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site along with the Necropolis of Pantalica. In the central area, the city itself has a population of around 125,000 people. Syracuse is mentioned in the Bible in the Acts of the Apostles book at 28:12; the patron saint of the city is Saint Lucy. Syracuse and its surrounding area have been inhabited since ancient times, as shown by the findings in the villages of Stentinello, Plemmirio, Cozzo Pantano and Thapsos, which had a relationship with Mycenaean Greece. Syracuse was founded in 734 or 733 BC by Greek settlers from Corinth and Tenea, led by the oecist Archias. There are many attested variants of the name of the city including Συράκουσαι Syrakousai, Συράκοσαι Syrakosai and Συρακώ Syrakō. A possible origin of the city's name was given by Vibius Sequester citing first Stephanus Byzantius in that there was a Syracusian marsh called Syrako and secondly Marcian's Periegesis wherein Archias gave the city the name of a nearby marsh.
The settlement of Syracuse was a planned event, as a strong central leader, Arkhias the aristocrat, laid out how property would be divided up for the settlers, as well as plans for how the streets of the settlement should be arranged, how wide they should be. The nucleus of the ancient city was the small island of Ortygia; the settlers found the land fertile and the native tribes to be reasonably well-disposed to their presence. The city grew and prospered, for some time stood as the most powerful Greek city anywhere in the Mediterranean. Colonies were founded at Akrai, Akrillai and Kamarina; the descendants of the first colonists, called Gamoroi, held power until they were expelled by the Killichiroi, the lower class of the city. The former, returned to power in 485 BC, thanks to the help of Gelo, ruler of Gela. Gelo himself became the despot of the city, moved many inhabitants of Gela and Megara to Syracuse, building the new quarters of Tyche and Neapolis outside the walls, his program of new constructions included a new theatre, designed by Damocopos, which gave the city a flourishing cultural life: this in turn attracted personalities as Aeschylus, Ario of Methymna and Eumelos of Corinth.
The enlarged power of Syracuse made unavoidable the clash against the Carthaginians, who ruled western Sicily. In the Battle of Himera, who had allied with Theron of Agrigento, decisively defeated the African force led by Hamilcar. A temple dedicated to Athena, was erected in the city to commemorate the event. Syracuse grew during this time, its walls encircled 120 hectares in the fifth century, but as early as the 470's BC the inhabitants started building outside the walls. The complete population of its territory numbered 250,000 in 415 BC and the population size of the city itself was similar to Athens. Gelo was succeeded by his brother Hiero, who fought against the Etruscans at Cumae in 474 BC, his rule was eulogized by poets like Simonides of Ceos and Pindar, who visited his court. A democratic regime was introduced by Thrasybulos; the city continued to expand in Sicily, fighting against the rebellious Siculi, on the Tyrrhenian Sea, making expeditions up to Corsica and Elba. In the late 5th century BC, Syracuse found itself at war with Athens, which sought more resources to fight the Peloponnesian War.
The Syracusans enlisted the aid of a general from Sparta, Athens' foe in the war, to defeat the Athenians, destroy their ships, leave them to starve on the island. In 401 BC, Syracuse contributed a force of 300 hoplites and a general to Cyrus the Younger's Army of the Ten Thousand. In the early 4th century BC, the tyrant Dionysius the Elder was again at war against Carthage and, although losing Gela and Camarina, kept that power from capturing the whole of Sicily. After the end of the conflict Dionysius built a massive fortress on Ortygia and 22 km-long walls around all of Syracuse. Another period of expansion saw the destruction of