The muse Calliope surrounded by Socrates and the Seven Sages - Solon, Thales, Bias of Priene, Cleobulos, Periander, Pittacos of Mytilene and Chilon. (anticlockwise). Mosaic from the late 3rd century AD.
A history, actually not happened, is described in a book about ancient Greek Philosophers. (I will provide later the author and the book which at the moment I do not have available)
The greatest philosophers of Greece compete in Delphi in order to find who is the best. The Seven Sages “Those who know” of Greece, the superstars of wisdom
Solon of Athens (Σόλων Εξηκεστίδου ο Αθηναίος )
Thales of Miletus (Θαλής ο Μιλήσιος)
Bias of Priene (Βίας Τευτάμου ο Πριηνεύς)
Cleobulus of Lindos (Κλεόβουλος Ευαγόρου ο Λίνδιος)
Periander of Corinth (Περίανδρος Κυψέλου ο Κορίνθιος)
Pittacus of Mitylene (Πιττακός ο Μυτιληναίος)
Chilon of Sparta (Χίλων Δαμαγήτου ο Λακεδαιμόνιος)
Some other lists are slightly different for example Myson of Chen is included instead of Periander of Corith.
Of these (the Seven Sages) were Thales of Miletus, Pittacus of Mytilene, Bias of Priene, our own Solon, Cleobulus of Lindus, and Myson of Chen, and the seventh of their company was a Spartan, Chilon.... Moreover they met together and dedicated the first fruits of their wisdom to Apollo in his temple at Delphi, inscribing those words which are on everyone's lips, "Know Thyself" and "Nothing Too Much."
Every philosopher must provide some short statement, such as “The only thing I know is that I don't know anything”, or “Know Thyself” etc. Only one philosopher Bias from Priene refuses to speak. The other philosophers ask him: “O Bias, son of Teuthamos You are so wise tell us your truth”. “You will not like what I want to say” he replies. Then after some time he finally says: Most of the men are evil!
Bias of Priene: Epipleistoi Anthropoi kakoi, Most of the men are evil
This was also Pythagoras believe:
Which is the wisest thing? The number, and secondly that which gave a name to things. Which is the most beautiful thing? Harmony. The most powerful thing? Intelligence. The best thing? Happiness. What is said with most truth? That men are evil.
Hyamblicus, De vita pythagorica 82
So most philosophers and religions believe the good in us and here comes a philosopher and says that most of us, the majority, are evil!. He describes how ordinary Roman people (Cives Romanus), families, visit the games where men are killed in bloody fights. And the gladiator who looses the fight is not afraid that the emperor will show his thumb down but rather that the people want his death and the emperor only has to satisfy the desire of the people. Is it better today? Or is it tue that according to Thomas Hobbes still homo homini lupus est ¾ camouflaged in economically developed societies by the atmosphere of social aid and philanthropy?
I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls.
As Carl Sagan says we have a prehistoric part of brain (that of the dragons) and a newer part. These two may represent Apollo the god of dreams of logic, of internal coherence, of perfect equilibrium and Dionysus the god of drunkenness and ecstasy when men liberate their cultural chains nullify in the group their individual personality. But as Nietzsche says “Apollo couldn’t live without Dionysus”. The tension between these two spirits only makes probably life interesting.
Medieval Greece / Byzantine Empire
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