One of the many intellectuals, who suffered the wrath of power, was Demetrius of Corinth (ca.7 / 10 AD -ca.90), Greek prestigious intellectual and cynic philosopher, who lived a long life of 80 years in Roman imperial era, full of disappointments. There are many ideas from him, cited by many authors, and he had a significant influence on many Roman authors, like Seneca.
When the Greeks, applying reason, they began to wonder what is there ?, why they are?, to what do serve the real things, they gave beginning to Philosophy.
Not today, but two thousand years ago certainly all roads led to Rome, which was the capital of a vast empire. More than 380 major roads or highways with more than 80,000 kms., allowed its legions, its officials, its citizens to go out and go easily to the capital, Rome. It is curious to note how the direction of all the roads marked to Rome as final destination, like rays or spokes of a huge circle. They range from the Pillars of Hercules in Hispania or from the “Hadrian’s Wall” in Scotland to the Euphrates in Mesopotamia, from northern Germany to the North African desert.
The most famous story of the first meeting of Diogenes with Alexander served later Dio Chrysostom to recreate the meeting, to satirize the power and the powerful and to present his ideas about the divine origin of power and legitimacy of its exercise.
Why are we excited by the places where lived the great men, great artists?
Respect for animals and nature in general is a very modern concern. There are numerous ancient texts that involve explicit reflection on the need to respect the “environment”, among other reasons because the ability to destroy or modify was much lower and this probably makes unnecessary that reflection.
One day in 399 B.C. at dusk after sunset, Socrates, the wisest and best of men, hurried the glass of hemlock (a well common plant in our geographical area) that will produce death, in the presence of his close friends who desolate attend the moral fortitude with which he faces the judgment. Socrates was 70 or 71 years old. An unjust sentence, following the infamous complaints of three opportunist, envious and resentful citizens with their teacher, made in a favorable overall environment for it, killed the teacher and gave him everlasting fame that in no way could suspect his contemporaries.
The question has often been raised. Plato in his “Apology” or “Defense of Socrates” and in some dialogues and Xenophon in his “Defence of Socrates,” give us enough information about how the negative environment was generated to condemn the most wise and just man by the the apparently inconsistent reporting of three mediocre and envious fellow.
And it is precisely this failure and injustice that keeps alive the interest in understanding the contradiction that the first democracy in history condemned unjustly the most wise and just man who courageously accept the death penalty.
Now, as a general rule it can not be interpreted past with social values of the moment.
Samuel Noah Kramer (1897-1990) published his work “The story begins in Sumer”, worldwide famous, in 1956. Certainly, many things started before, but the first written records are found in Sumer and so that’s where we first talk about “History”.
Babylon, even phonetics of the name, has a great capacity for suggestions, even now, the area stricken by war and ongoing violence. So it must also occur in antiquity.