Menander was a Greek dramatist and the best-known representative of Athenian New Comedy. He took the prize at the Lenaia festival eight times, his record at the City Dionysia is unknown but may well have been spectacular. One of the most popular writers of antiquity, his work was lost during the Middle Ages and is known in modernity in fragmentary form, much of, discovered in the 20th century. Only one play, has survived entirely. Menander was the son of well-to-do parents, he derived his taste for comic drama from his uncle Alexis. He was the friend and pupil of Theophrastus, was on intimate terms with the Athenian dictator Demetrius of Phalerum, he enjoyed the patronage of Ptolemy Soter, the son of Lagus, who invited him to his court. But Menander, preferring the independence of his villa in the Piraeus and the company of his mistress Glycera, refused. According to the note of a scholiast on the Ibis of Ovid, he drowned while bathing, his countrymen honored him with a tomb on the road leading to Athens, where it was seen by Pausanias.
Numerous supposed busts of him survive, including a well-known statue in the Vatican thought to represent Gaius Marius. His rival in dramatic art was Philemon. Menander, believed himself to be the better dramatist, according to Aulus Gellius, used to ask Philemon: "Don't you feel ashamed whenever you gain a victory over me?" According to Caecilius of Calacte Menander was accused of plagiarism, as his The Superstitious Man was taken from The Augur of Antiphanes, but reworkings and variations on a theme of this sort were commonplace and so the charge is a complicated one. How long complete copies of his plays survived is unclear, although 23 of them, with commentary by Michael Psellus, were said to still have been available in Constantinople in the 11th century, he is praised by Plutarch and Quintilian, who accepted the tradition that he was the author of the speeches published under the name of the Attic orator Charisius. An admirer and imitator of Euripides, Menander resembles him in his keen observation of practical life, his analysis of the emotions, his fondness for moral maxims, many of which became proverbial: "The property of friends is common," "Whom the gods love die young," "Evil communications corrupt good manners".
These maxims were afterwards collected, with additions from other sources, were edited as Menander's One-Verse Maxims, a kind of moral textbook for the use of schools. The single surviving speech from his early play Drunkenness is an attack on the politician Callimedon, in the manner of Aristophanes, whose bawdy style was adopted in many of his plays. Menander found many Roman imitators. Eunuchus, Heauton Timorumenos and Adelphi of Terence were avowedly taken from Menander, but some of them appear to be adaptations and combinations of more than one play, thus in the Andria were combined Menander's The Woman from Andros and The Woman from Perinthos, in the Eunuchus, The Eunuch and The Flatterer, while the Adelphi was compiled from Menander and from Diphilus. The original of Terence's Hecyra is supposed to be, not by Menander, but Apollodorus of Carystus; the Bacchides and Stichus of Plautus were based upon Menander's The Double Deceiver and Brotherly-Loving Men, but the Poenulus does not seem to be from The Carthaginian, nor the Mostellaria from The Apparition, in spite of the similarity of titles.
Caecilius Statius, Luscius Lanuvinus and Atilius imitated Menander. He was further credited with the authorship of some epigrams of doubtful authenticity. Most of Menander's work did not survive the Middle Ages, except as short fragments. Federico da Montefeltro's library at Urbino reputedly had "tutte le opere", a complete works, but its existence has been questioned and there are no traces after Cesare Borgia's capture of the city and the transfer of the library to the Vatican; until the end of the 19th century, all, known of Menander were fragments quoted by other authors and collected by Augustus Meineke and Theodor Kock, Comicorum Atticorum Fragmenta. These consist of some 1650 verses or parts of verses, in addition to a considerable number of words quoted from Menander by ancient lexicographers; this situation changed abruptly in 1907, with the discovery of the Cairo Codex, which contained large parts of the Samia. A fragment of 115 lines of the Sikyonioi had been found in the papier mache of a mummy case in 1906.
In 1959, the Bodmer papyrus was published containing Dyskolos, more of the Samia, half of the Aspis. In the late 1960s, more of the Sikyonioi was found as filling for two more mummy cases. Other papyrus fragments continue to be published. In 2003, a palimpsest manuscript, in Syriac writing of the 9th century, was found where the reused parchment comes from a expensive 4th-century Greek manuscript of work
Alexandria is the second-largest city in Egypt and a major economic centre, extending about 32 km along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country. Its low elevation on the Nile delta makes it vulnerable to rising sea levels. Alexandria is an important industrial center because of its natural oil pipelines from Suez. Alexandria is a popular tourist destination. Alexandria was founded around a small, ancient Egyptian town c. 332 BC by Alexander the Great, king of Macedon and leader of the Greek League of Corinth, during his conquest of the Achaemenid Empire. Alexandria became an important center of Hellenistic civilization and remained the capital of Ptolemaic Egypt and Roman and Byzantine Egypt for 1,000 years, until the Muslim conquest of Egypt in AD 641, when a new capital was founded at Fustat. Hellenistic Alexandria was best known for the Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Alexandria was at one time the second most powerful city of the ancient Mediterranean region, after Rome.
Ongoing maritime archaeology in the harbor of Alexandria, which began in 1994, is revealing details of Alexandria both before the arrival of Alexander, when a city named Rhacotis existed there, during the Ptolemaic dynasty. From the late 18th century, Alexandria became a major center of the international shipping industry and one of the most important trading centers in the world, both because it profited from the easy overland connection between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, the lucrative trade in Egyptian cotton. Alexandria is believed to have been founded by Alexander the Great in April 331 BC as Ἀλεξάνδρεια. Alexander's chief architect for the project was Dinocrates. Alexandria was intended to supersede Naucratis as a Hellenistic center in Egypt, to be the link between Greece and the rich Nile valley. Although it has long been believed only a small village there, recent radiocarbon dating of seashell fragments and lead contamination show significant human activity at the location for two millennia preceding Alexandria's founding.
Alexandria was the cultural center of the ancient world for some time. The city and its museum attracted many of the greatest scholars, including Greeks and Syrians; the city was plundered and lost its significance. In the early Christian Church, the city was the center of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, one of the major centers of early Christianity in the Eastern Roman Empire. In the modern world, the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria both lay claim to this ancient heritage. Just east of Alexandria, there was in ancient times marshland and several islands; as early as the 7th century BC, there existed important port cities of Heracleion. The latter was rediscovered under water. An Egyptian city, Rhakotis existed on the shore and gave its name to Alexandria in the Egyptian language, it continued to exist as the Egyptian quarter of the city. A few months after the foundation, Alexander never returned to his city. After Alexander's departure, his viceroy, continued the expansion.
Following a struggle with the other successors of Alexander, his general Ptolemy Lagides succeeded in bringing Alexander's body to Alexandria, though it was lost after being separated from its burial site there. Although Cleomenes was in charge of overseeing Alexandria's continuous development, the Heptastadion and the mainland quarters seem to have been Ptolemaic work. Inheriting the trade of ruined Tyre and becoming the center of the new commerce between Europe and the Arabian and Indian East, the city grew in less than a generation to be larger than Carthage. In a century, Alexandria had become the largest city in the world and, for some centuries more, was second only to Rome, it became Egypt's main Greek city, with Greek people from diverse backgrounds. Alexandria was not only a center of Hellenism, but was home to the largest urban Jewish community in the world; the Septuagint, a Greek version of the Tanakh, was produced there. The early Ptolemies kept it in order and fostered the development of its museum into the leading Hellenistic center of learning, but were careful to maintain the distinction of its population's three largest ethnicities: Greek and Egyptian.
By the time of Augustus, the city walls encompassed an area of 5.34 km2, the total population in Roman times was around 500-600,000. According to Philo of Alexandria, in the year 38 of the Common era, disturbances erupted between Jews and Greek citizens of Alexandria during a visit paid by the Jewish king Agrippa I to Alexandria, principally over the respect paid by the Jewish nation to the Roman emperor, which escalated to open affronts and violence between the two ethnic groups and the desecration of Alexandrian synagogues; the violence was quelled after Caligula intervened and had the Roman governor, removed from the city. In AD 115, large parts of Alexandria were destroyed during the Kitos War, which gave Hadrian and his architect, Decriannus, an opportunity to rebuild it. In 215, the emperor Caracalla visited the city and, because of some insulting satires that the inhabitants had directed at him, abruptly commanded his troops to put to death all youths capable of bearing arms. On 21 July
Greco-Buddhism, or Graeco-Buddhism, is the cultural syncretism between Hellenistic culture and Buddhism, which developed between the 4th century BC and the 5th century AD in Bactria and the Indian subcontinent. It was a cultural consequence of a long chain of interactions begun by Greek forays into India from the time of Alexander the Great; the Macedonian satraps were conquered by the Mauryan Empire, under the reign of Chandragupta Maurya. The Mauryan Emperor Ashoka would convert to Buddhism and spread the religious philosophy throughout his domain, as recorded in the Edicts of Ashoka. Following the collapse of the Mauryan Empire, Greco-Buddhism continued to flourish under the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom, Indo-Greek Kingdoms, Kushan Empire. Buddhism was adopted in Central and Northeastern Asia from the 1st century AD spreading to China, Japan and Vietnam; the introduction of Hellenistic Greece started when Alexander the Great conquered the Achaemenid Empire and further regions of Central Asia in 334 BC.
Alexander would venture into Punjab, conquered by Darius the Great before him. Alexander crossed the Indus and Jhelum River when defeating Porus and appointing him as a satrap following the Battle of the Hydaspes. Alexander's army would mutiny and retreat along the Beas River when confronted by the Nanda Empire, thus wouldn't conquer Punjab entirely. Alexander founded several cities in his new territories in the areas of the Amu Darya and Bactria, Greek settlements further extended to the Khyber Pass and the Punjab. Following Alexander's death on June 10, 323 BC, the Diadochi or "successors" founded their own kingdoms. General Seleucus set up the Seleucid Empire in Anatolia and Central Asia and extended as far as India; the Mauryan Empire, founded by Chandragupta Maurya, would first conquer the Nanda Empire. Chandragupta would defeat the Seleucid Empire during the Seleucid-Mauryan War; this resulted in the transfer of the Macedonian satraps in the Indus Valley and Gandhara to the Mauryan Empire.
Furthermore, a marriage alliance was enacted which granted Seleucus's daughter as Chandragupta's wife for diplomatic relations. The conflict additionally led to the transfer of 500 war elephants to the Seleucid Empire from the Mauryan Empire as expenses of lives lost and damages sustained; the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka established the largest Indian empire. Following the destructive Kalinga War, Ashoka converted to Buddhism. Abandoning an expansionist agenda, Ashoka would adopt humanitarian reformation in place; as ascribed in the Edicts of Ashoka, the Emperor spread Dharma as Buddhism throughout his empire. Ashoka claims to have converted many, including the Greek populations within his realm to Buddhism: Here in the king's domain among the Greeks, the Kambojas, the Nabhakas, the Nabhapamkits, the Bhojas, the Pitinikas, the Andhras and the Palidas, everywhere people are following Beloved-of-the-Gods' instructions in Dharma; the decline and overthrow of the Mauryans by the Shunga Empire, of the revolt of Bactria in the Seleucid Empire led to the formation of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom.
The Greco-Bactrians were followed by the Indo-Greek Kingdom. Though the region was conquered by the Indo-Scythians and the Kushan Empire, Buddhism continued to thrive. Buddhism in India was a major religion for centuries until a major Hindu revival from around the 5th century, with remaining strongholds such as Bengal ended during the Islamic invasions of India; the length of the Greek presence in Central Asia and northern India provided opportunities for interaction, not only on the artistic, but on the religious plane. When Alexander invaded Bactria and Gandhara, these areas may have been under Sramanic influence Buddhist and Jain. According to a legend preserved in the Pali Canon, two merchant brothers from Kamsabhoga in Bactria and Bhallika, visited Gautama Buddha and became his disciples; the legend states that they returned home and spread the Buddha's teaching. In 326 BC, Alexander conquered the Northern region of India. King Ambhi of Taxila, known as Taxiles, surrendered his city, a notable Buddhist center, to Alexander.
Alexander fought an epic battle against King Porus of Pauravas in the Punjab, at the Battle of the Hydaspes in 326 BC. The Indian emperor Chandragupta Maurya, founder of the Maurya Empire, reconquered around 322 BC the northwest Indian territory, lost to Alexander the Great. However, contacts were kept with his Greco-Iranian neighbours in the Seleucid Empire. Emperor Seleucus I Nicator came to a marital agreement as part of a peace treaty, several Greeks, such as the historian Megasthenes, resided at the Mauryan court. Chandragupta's grandson Ashoka embraced the Buddhist faith and became a great proselytizer in the line of the traditional Pali canon of Theravada Buddhism, insisting on non-violence to humans and animals, general precepts regulating the life of lay people. According to the Edicts of Ashoka, set in stone, some of them written in Greek and some in Aramaic, the official language of the Achaemenids, he sent Buddhist emissaries to the Greek lands in Asia and as far as the Mediterranean.
The edicts name each of the rulers of the Hellenistic period: The conquest by Dharma has been won here, on the borders, six hundred yojanas away, where the Greek king Antiochos rules, beyond there where the four kings named Ptolemy, Antigonos and Alexander rule in the south among the Cholas, the Pandyas, as far as Tamraparni. Ashoka claims he converted to Buddhism Greek populations within his realm: Here in the king's domain among the Greeks, the Ka
The Cyropaedia, sometimes spelled Cyropedia, is a fictional biography of Cyrus the Great the founder of Achaemenid Empire, the first Persian Empire. It was written around 370 BC by the Athenian gentleman-soldier, student of Socrates, Xenophon; the Latinized title Cyropaedia derives from Greek Kúrou paideía, meaning "The Education of Cyrus". Aspects of it would become a model for medieval writers of the genre known as mirrors for princes. In turn it was a strong influence upon the most well-known but atypical of these, Machiavelli's The Prince, an important influence in the rejection of medieval political thinking, the development of modern politics. However, unlike most "mirrors of princes", like The Prince, whether or not the Cyropaedia was intended to describe an ideal ruler is a subject of debate. In substance, the Cyropaedia is "a political romance, describing the education of the ideal ruler, trained to rule as a benevolent despot over his admiring and willing subjects."Although it is "generally agreed" that Xenophon "did not intend Cyropaedia as history", it remains unclear whether this work was intended to fit into any other classical genre known before.
Its validity as a source of Achaemenid history has been questioned, numerous descriptions of events or persons have been determined to be in error. However, it is not clear. Despite such doubts, it has been argued that Xenophon's Cyropaedia offers a glimpse of the character of Cyrus the Great of Achaemenid Persia; the source gives "an artist's portrait" of Cyrus as "the Ideal Ruler and the best form of Government", a description that "could not have been painted had there not been a credible memory of such a Cyrus". Xenophon was not a contemporary of Cyrus and it is that at least some of the information about Persia was based on events that occurred at the Achaemenid court. Xenophon had been in Persia himself, as part of the "Ten Thousand" Greek soldiers who fought on the losing side in a Persian civil war, events which he recounted in his Anabasis, it is possible that stories of the great King were recounted by court society and that these are the basis of Xenophon's text. The book opens with the author stating that the work started as a reflection about what it is that makes people willingly obey some rulers and not others.
Everywhere, the author observes, humans fail to obey their rulers. There follows a list of the king's conquests, the author seeks to understand why his subjects obeyed him "willingly"; the work narrates the king's entire life, so only the first of the 8 books concerns the "education of Cyrus" speaking. This first book is devoted to Cyrus' descent and his stay at the court of his maternal grandfather, the Median dynast Astyages, it has been noted by scholars that Xenophon's description of Persian education in their pre-imperial time is strikingly unusual, appears to be based upon the traditions of Sparta, the subject of Xenophon's own work the Constitution of the Lacedemonians. Books 2 through 7 cover Cyrus' life while still an important vassal of the Medes, on his career towards establishing the largest empire the world had known until that date, it is in this main part of the work that the character Cyrus is shown as an example of classical virtue, but is at the same time seen as showing Machiavellian tendencies.
In this version of events, Cyrus is a faithful vassal to the Medes, someone who helps them as a general to defend themselves from a much more powerful and assertive Babylonian empire, being ruled by the tyrannical son of a more respected king. He does this by building up alliances with nations such as the Armenians, their neighbours whom he referred to as Chaldeans, Cadusians and Susians; the remaining allies of Babylon included many nations of Asia Minor, as well as a corps of Egyptian infantry. For their final great field battle, Croesus of Lydia was general. Cyrus returns with an international army to Babylon, is able to avoid a long siege by deflecting the course of the river through it, sending soldiers in over the dry bed, during a festival night; that Babylon was conquered on the night of a festival by diverting the Euphrates River from its channel is stated by Herodotus. Book 8 is his views of monarchy; this last section of this book describes the rapid collapse of the empire of Cyrus after he died.
This final section of book eight has been argued to be by another author, or alternatively to be either a sign of Xenophon's theoretical inconsistency concerning his conception of an ideal ruler, or a sign that Xenophon did not mean to describe an ideal ruler in any simple way. Other related characters, of questionable historical truth, appear in the narrative as well. For example, the romance of Abradatas and Pantheia forms a part of the latter half of the narrative. In classical antiquity, the Cyropaedia was considered the masterpiece of a widely respected and studied author. Polybius, Tacitus, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Aulus Gellius and Longinus "ranked him among the best philosophers and historians". Classical authors believed that Xenophon composed it in response to the Republic of Plato, or vice versa, Plato's Laws seems to allude to the Cyropaedia. Amongst classical leaders, Scipio Aemilianus is said to have carried a copy wit
Therapeutae of Asclepius
The term Therapeutae is Latin, from the Greek plural Therapeutai. The term therapeutes means one, attendant to the gods although the term, the related adjective therapeutikos carry in texts the meaning of attending to heal, or treating in a spiritual or medical sense; the Greek feminine plural Therapeutrides is sometimes encountered for their female members. The term therapeutae may occur in relation to followers of Asclepius at Pergamon, therapeutai may occur in relation to worshippers of Sarapis in inscriptions, such as on Delos; the therapeutae of Asclepius were a recognized and designated association in antiquity that included the physicians, their attendants and support staff, in the larger temples of Asclepius. These healing temples were known as Asclepeions. Examples of famous therapeutae of Asclepius between 300 BCE and 300 CE include Hippocrates, Apollonius of Tyana, Aelius Aristides and Galen; the Greek word therapeutai has the primary meaning of'one who serves the gods, or'worshipper'.
Aelius Aristides in the 2nd century writes: "We Asclepius therapeutae must agree with the god that Pergamum is the best of his sanctuaries." - Sacred Tales Galen used his designation of "therapeutae" to secure from the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius exemption from military service. In their book "Voluntary Associations in the Graeco-Roman World" the authors state: "Some therapeutae are known to have rented apartments within the sanctuary in order to be close to the deity. Little is known about the purpose of the therapeutae. Vidman thinks. Cf. therapeutae of Asclepius at Perganon"The following authors make reference to the therapeutae
Asceticism is a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from sensual pleasures for the purpose of pursuing spiritual goals. Ascetics may withdraw from the world for their practices or continue to be part of their society, but adopt a frugal lifestyle, characterised by the renunciation of material possessions and physical pleasures, time spent fasting while concentrating on the practice of religion or reflection upon spiritual matters. Asceticism has been observed in many religious traditions, including Buddhism, Hinduism and Judaism. Contemporary mainstream Islam practices asceticism in the form of fasting during Ramadan by abstaining from all sensual pleasures, including food and water from sunrise until sunset; the observation of fasting during Ramadan is purely done for God and to increase one's spiritual connection with God. Sufi tradition has included strict asceticism throughout history; the practitioners of these religions abandoned sensual pleasures and led an abstinent lifestyle, in the pursuit of redemption, salvation or spirituality.
Asceticism is seen in the ancient theologies as a journey towards spiritual transformation, where the simple is sufficient, the bliss is within, the frugal is plenty. Inversely, several ancient religious traditions, such as Zoroastrianism, Ancient Egyptian Religion and the Dionysian Mysteries, as well as more modern Left Hand traditions reject ascetic practises and focus on various types of hedonism; the adjective "ascetic" derives from the ancient Greek term askēsis, which means "training" or "exercise". The original usage did not refer to self-denial, but to the physical training required for athletic events, its usage extended to rigorous practices used in many major religious traditions, in varying degrees, to attain redemption and higher spirituality. Dom Cuthbert Butler classified asceticism into natural and unnatural forms: "Natural asceticism" involves a lifestyle which reduces material aspects of life to the utmost simplicity and to a minimum; this may include minimal, simple clothing, sleeping on a floor or in caves, eating a simple minimal amount of food.
Natural asceticism, state Wimbush and Valantasis, does not include maiming the body or harsher austerities that make the body suffer. "Unnatural asceticism", in contrast, covers practices that go further, involves body mortification, punishing one's own flesh, habitual self-infliction of pain, such as by sleeping on a bed of nails. Self-discipline and abstinence in some form and degree are parts of religious practice within many religious and spiritual traditions. Ascetic lifestyle is associated with monks, fakirs in Abrahamic religions, bhikkhus, sannyasis, yogis in Indian religions. Christian authors of late antiquity such as Origen, St. Jerome, St. Ignatius, John Chrysostom, Augustine interpreted meanings of Biblical texts within a asceticized religious environment. Scriptural examples of asceticism could be found in the lives of John the Baptist, the twelve apostles and the Apostle Paul; the Dead Sea Scrolls revealed ascetic practices of the ancient Jewish sect of Essenes who took vows of abstinence to prepare for a holy war.
An emphasis on an ascetic religious life was evident in both early Christian practices. Other Christian practitioners of asceticism include individuals such as Simeon Stylites, Saint David of Wales and Francis of Assisi. According to Richard Finn, much of early Christian asceticism has been traced to Judaism, but not to traditions within Greek asceticism; some of the ascetic thoughts in Christianity Finn states, have roots in Greek moral thought. Virtuous living is not possible when an individual is craving bodily pleasures with desire and passion. Morality is not seen in the ancient theology as a balancing act between right and wrong, but a form of spiritual transformation, where the simple is sufficient, the bliss is within, the frugal is plenty; the deserts of the Middle East were at one time inhabited by thousands of Christian hermits including St. Anthony the Great, St. Mary of Egypt, St. Simeon Stylites. In 963 CE, an association of monasteries called Lavra was formed on Mount Athos, in Eastern Orthodox tradition.
This became the most important center of orthodox Christian ascetic groups in the centuries that followed. In the modern era, Mount Athos and Meteora have remained a significant center. Sexual abstinence such as those of the Encratites sect of Christians was only one aspect of ascetic renunciation, both natural and unnatural asceticism have been part of Christian asceticism; the natural ascetic practices have included simple living, begging and ethical practices such as humility, compassion and prayer. Evidence of extreme unnatural asceticism in Christianity appear in 2nd-century texts and thereafter, in both the Eastern Orthodox Christianity and the Western sister tradition, such as the practice of chaining the body to rocks, eating only grass, praying seated on a pillar in the elements for decades such as by the monk Simeon Stylites, solitary confinement inside a cell, abandoning personal hygiene and adopting lifestyle of a beast, self-inflicted pain and voluntary suffering; such ascetic practices were linked to the Christian concepts of redemption.
Evagrius Ponticus called Evagrius the Solitary was a educated monastic teacher who produced a large theological body of work ascetic, including the Gnostikos known as The Gnostic: To t