"Is it an accident that when Solon's ideals reigned, there grew democracies and civil rights, and ideals we now consider fundamental to modern Western society, yet when the ideals of Moses replaced them, we had a thousand years of oppression, darkness, and tyranny?"
That is a total and utter myth.
The 'glory of Athens' lasted only long enough for Athens to get consumed in a series of hellish wars. Wars in whcih towns were slaughtered, slaves taken, etc., then Sparta defeated Athens, then came Alexander the Great. Democracy and Athens barely lasted a century of glory.
The dark ages were not that 'dark'. It was the enlightening rather of the whole of Europe to Christianity. eg the heathen Vikings were Christianized in this period.
Everything that the Greeks like Solon gave us came through monastic Christian scribes who faithfully recorded them, considered them, and built upon them. Our modern age owes much, for example, to Thomas Aquinas, who used Aristotle and the rediscovery of his philosophy, to guide us futher on the past of just lives and just societies. from 1200 on, Europe grew to advance beyond the other civilizations.
In truth our heritage is *both* Greece and Rome - Christian Rome, derived from Christian and Jewish faith. Greek philosophy and Christian faith are the two causal ideals behind the rise of Western civilization.
posted on 08/23/2003 12:22:11 AM PDT
Is it an accident that when Solon's ideals reigned, there grew democracies and civil rights, and ideals we now consider fundamental to modern Western society, yet when the ideals of Moses replaced them, we had a thousand years of oppression, darkness, and tyranny?"
Yes, Greek society was so tolerant and mindful of "civil rights" that they sentenced Socrates, their greatest thinker, to death for daring to tell the youth of Athens to question established conventional wisdom. In other words, a death sentence for freedom of speech.
I also agree with others that there is next to nothing in Solon's "suggestions" which could be used as a basis for law. It seems to me rather that Rousseau and Socialism/Marxism have more in common with Solon than do the Founding Fathers, who were clearly more influenced by biblical precedent.
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