Discipline, Toil & Risk…

“That Greek philosophers of the time never, or hardly ever, experienced war did not stop them pontificating on the subject. The philosophers, however, did come across soldiers. Their attitudes to the members of the army who protected them were marked by alienation, contempt, and fear. They considered that the life of a soldier was one… Read More

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When Do I Get Paid?

“One type of expense incurred in modern wars was not always present in the ancient world: paying the troops. As we have seen, in the classical city state citizenship was bound up with military service. For a long time city states thus had no need to pay their citizen-soldiers. In the Greek world the only… Read More

Anger vs Deliberation…

“In my opinion, however, disasters such as these teach men this lesson with regard to anger: one ought not to punish even a slave in anger; for masters who have lost their tempers often do more harm to themselves than they inflict; but in dealing with enemies it is utterly and entirely wrong to launch… Read More

Loyalty: Well vs Misfortune…

“There is nothing remarkable about being loyal when things are going well; what is remembered and remembered for ever is when people stand by their friends in their times of misfortune.” (Xenophon, 1978, p.230). Xenophon was a Greek historian and philosopher whose numerous surviving works are valuable for their depiction of late Classical Greece. His… Read More

Being Loyal…

“There is nothing remarkable about being loyal when things are going well; what is remembered and remembered for ever is when people stand by their friends in their times of misfortune.” (Xenophon, 1978, p.230). Xenophon was a Greek historian and philosopher whose numerous surviving works are valuable for their depiction of late Classical Greece. His… Read More

Avoid & Master…

“Beware lest in your anxiety to avoid war you obtain a master.” Demosthenes (384 BC to 322) An Athenian statesman, recognised as the greatest of ancient Greek orators, who roused Athens to oppose Philip of Macedon and, later, his son Alexander the Great. His speeches provide valuable information on the political, social, and economic life… Read More

The Wisdom of Crowds: A Plataean & Spartan Perspective

“THE Plataeans were besieged: walled in by their enemies, the Spartans. They could make ladders to climb out, but how tall should they be? Citizens were asked to guess the wall’s height by counting its bricks, with the most popular estimate taken as correct. It worked: 212 duly escaped. This episode from 428 BC is the first known use of the wisdom… Read More