Blogging the Bookshelf

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Pericles – “A History of Western Philosophy” – Bertrand Russell.

December 16th, 2010 · No Comments · Culture, Democracy, History, Politics

Athens became rich, and prospered under the wise leadership of Pericles, who governed, by the free choice of the citizens, for about thirty years, until his fall in 430 B.C. The age of Pericles was the happiest and most glorious time in the history of Athens. Aeschylus, who had fought in the Persian wars, inaugurated Greek tragedy; one of his tragedies, the Persae, departing from the custom of choosing Homeric subjects, deals with the defeat of Darius. He was quickly followed by Sophocles, and Sophocles by Euripides, who, however, extends into the dark days of -58-the Peloponnesian War that followed the fall and death of Pericles, and reflects in his plays the scepticism of the later period. His contemporary Aristophanes, the comic poet, makes fun of all isms from the standpoint of robust and limited common sense; more particularly, he holds up Socrates to obloquy as one who denies the existence of Zeus and dabbles in unholy pseudoscientific mysteries.

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