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Greek Philosophers




Socrates
Son of sculptor and midwife. Loved wine and conversation. Was short and stout and didn’t like grooming his hair. His student, Plato, told him that he was the wisest, justest and best man of all. He didn’t like how sophists taught logic to use to self-centered ways. To Socrates, he loved the path of wisdom or philosophy as it was called and was not a thing to be taken lightly and was holy to him. He said that he was a servant, not a teacher, like his mother. He said that a thing is good if it helps, not if the Gods say that it’s good. He liked to engage in endless conversations with his students. His wife’s name was Xanthippe. Socrates was not liked by everyone. In return for teaching them, his students give him his needs, which he claimed to be few, so he took little. His wife did not like this.

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Zeno of Citium was a philosopher from Cyprus, founder of the philosophical school that is known as Stoicism or the Stoa.
After the conquests of Alexander the great the world was bigger than ever, and the city-state had ceased to be an important political unit. Like Diogenes of Sinope and Epicurus, Zeno of Citium ignored traditional values like prestige and honor, and focused on man's inner peace.
This was reached when a person agreed life as it, knew that the world was rationally organized by the logos. A man's mind should take control of his emotions and body, so that one could live according to the rational rules of this world. This philosophy, called Stoicism, became very influential under Roman officials.

Zeno of Citium was born in 344 BC. He came to Athens to learn Philosophy. Zeno died around 262 BC. Laërtiu reported about his death and said, as he left the school, he tripped, fell and broke a toe, hitting the ground with his hand, he cited words of Niboe I am coming, why do you call me thus? Since the Stoic sage was expected to always do what was appropriate and Zeno was very old at the time, he felt it appropriate to die and consequently strangled himself.
During his lifetime, Zeno received appreciation for his philosophical and teachings. Zeno was honored with the golden crown, and a tomb was built in honor of his moral influence on the youth of his era.


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Heraclitus` lived in Ephesus in 500 B.C.fifth centuries B.C. He was one of the great philosophers until Plato. There is not many the writing of Heraclites. They said that Heraclites was the most influential and creative philosophers until Socrates. Heraclites attack the authority of poets. His survey contend 100 epigrammatic sentences

Heraclitus` stood primarily radial thesis that every thing is a flux. Heraclites said. He took the thesis to be true. His universal flux is too simple phrase to identify his with philosophy. He focuses shift two perspspectivs the objective and everlasting process of nature on the one hand and ordinary human beliefs and values on the other.

Heraclites` test people to come to terms theoretically and practically with face that they were living in the world. He said that no god or human was made .Heraclites described a world as ever-living fire kindling in measure and giving measure.

Heraclites` died in 475 BC.
In 475 BCE. Heraclitus' days as a philosopher were ruined by dropsy. The physicians he talked to were not able to find a cure. He took care of himself with a liniment of cow manure and baking in the sun, hoping that this method would remove the fluid. After a day of treatment he died and was interred in the agora.


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Posidonius
Posidonius of Apamea in Syria, historian, scientist, and philosopher, who spent most of his life at Rhodes and became head of the school of philosophy, known as a Stoic. He was a polymath who was a perfect example of the learning of the Hellenistic age and gave some part of it to the Roman world. For several years he studied philosophy under Panaetius at Athens. The fifty-two books he wrote were about the continuation of the history of Polybius which was from 146 BC to the dictatorship of Sulla (81 BC).
Posidonius was nicknamed "the Athlete.” Posidonius completed his higher education in Athens and he was a student of Panaetius.
Philosophy was the most important master art and all the other sciences were not equal to philosophy. Philosophy was the only thing that could explain the cosmos. All his works, from scientific to historical, were based on philosophy.
He accepted the Stoic categorization of philosophy into physics that included natural philosophy, metaphysics, theology, logic and ethics. These categories for him were in Stoic form meaning that they were inseparable and interdependent parts of an organic, natural whole. Posidonius ‘idea of philosophy was that it was a living being with the physics being the meat and blood, the logic being the bones and tendons which held the organism together, and ethics, which was the most important part, being the soul. His philosophical idea was that the universe itself was similarly interconnected, as if an organism, through cosmic "sympathy", which showed the development of the physical world to the history of humanity.
Besides philosophy, Posidonius was also known for his work as Physics, Astronomy, Geography, ethnology and geology, Meteorology, Mathematics and History and tactics.
He was known as the greatest polymath of his age. None of his of work can be read in its entirety today, as it exists only in fragments. Posidonius probably died in Rome or Rhodes.


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Epicurus
Epicurus was a Greek philosopher and was author of an ethical philosophy of simple pleasure, friendship, and retirement and metaphysics based on atomism. His school in Athens, named the Garden, competed with the Academy of Plato and the Lyceum of Aristotle. His schools admitted women and even one of Epicurus's slaves. It taught the avoidance of political activity and of public life.
Epicurus's writing was very large and lists 40 works, one of them, On Nature, contained 37 books. All that has survived is what seems to be an edited version of Epicurus's philosophy in the form of three letters, a few fragments, and a collection of his more important sayings entitled Major Opinions.
Epicurus wrote all that exists consists of matter, void, and their accidents, or properties. The universe is infinite in time and space and contains an infinite number of eternally moving indestructible elements called "atoms." The number of types of atom is, he says, "inconceivably large," and there is an infinite number of each type. The atoms are not further splittable, though they are logically divisible into "minimal parts," which serve as integral units of measurement in the distinguishing of different sizes of atoms. The atoms are like sense objects in possessing mass, size, and shape.
Epicurus believes that the end of human life should be pleasure - defining it as freedom from physical and mental pain. The positive delights that other men call "pleasure" are merely variations on the true, basic, contentment man needs and can easily achieve; they in no sense increase his happiness. A good life is guided by practical wisdom, a sense of responsibility for our decision making, self-sufficiency, and the careful application of the hedonistic calculus. This necessarily involves freedom from all fear and knowledge of the limits of our desires. Once we see that only "necessary" and nonharmful desires need to be completed, we have removed a major obstacle to the achieving of the fullness of human contentment.
Epicurus was born in Samos and was the son of a schoolteacher who had Athenian citizenship. In his lifetime he studied and was impressed by the atomist philosophy of Democritus, and set up his own philosophical groups at Mytilene and Lampsacus. He settled in Athens in 307 and bought a house with a garden which gave its name, the Garden, to the school of philosophy which he set up in it. At his death he gave this property to his successor Hermarchus.
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Euripides

Euripides was the last great Athenian poet. He didn’t take part in public life. It’s possible he lived as a recluse.

Euripides was a voluminous writer. He wrote very famous plays. Medea was probably his most popular play. In his plays, heroes and heroines face difficult tasks, which are finally solved by the sudden appearance of a god.

Towards the end of his life, Euripides settled in Macedonia. A little later he wrote a play called Bacchae. Hs greatness was not by his character but through his plays.
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Pythagoras


Pythagoras, one of the most popular and controversial ancient Greek philosophers,he lived from ca. 570 to ca. 490 BCE. He spent his younger years on the island of Samos, off the coast of modern Turkey. When he was forty,he emigrated to the city of Croton in southern Italy and most of his philosophical action occurred there. Pythagoras did not wright anything, also there was no detailed accounts written by contemporaries. By the first centuries BCE, also, it became in style to present Pythagoras in a over sized unhistorical fashion as a semi-divine figure, who originated all that was true in the Greek philosophical tradition, with many of Plato's and Aristotle's mature ideas. A number of treatises were forged in the name of Pythagoras and other Pythagoreans in order to assist
The evidence of both Plato and Isocrates shows that Pythagoras was above all popular for having left behind him a way of life, which still had supported in the fourth century over 100 years after his death. Pythagoras' beliefs about the soul and his way of life, which show interesting likeness to a Greek religious movement known as Orphism, but the evidence for Orphism is at least as complicated as that for Pythagoras and complicates rather than clarifies our understand of Pythagoras.

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Xenophon

Xenophon was born in Athens when the Peloponnesian war was going on. He was a student of the great philosopher Socrates.

Xenophon was a historian and a writer. He has written a book on horses and a symposium.

When Xenophon’s life was coming to an end, the Spartan power was fading. His son Gryllus was killed in the battle of Mantinea, and Xenophon was forced to move to Corinth. Xenophon, made later writers enthusiastic with his great ideas.
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Plato
He was born in 427 B.C. his parents were wealthy Athenians. When his father died, his mother married a friend of Pericles which made him connected to oligarchy and democracy in a political way. He became a student of Socrates, like his brothers were.
He was sentenced to death for asking pointed questions, but his friends helped him get out of it. Many of his early work were thought to be an adaptation of Socrates work. All of Plato’s writing dealt with debates concerning the best possible form of government featuring adherents of aristocracy, democracy, monarchy, and many other issues. When Socrates died, Plato built an academy in a grove sacred to a demigod named Academus, which was located in Athens. Plato died about at age 80 in 347 B.C.
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Aristotle
Aristotle was one of the most influential philosophers of Greece. He was born in 384 B.C. When he was young, he had both opportunity and encouragement to expand his mind scientifically. He taught Alexander the Great. At 18 he became a student of Plato. After he left Plato’s school, he made an oratory. He also taught the future ruler of the city-state, Atarneus, named Hermais. Hermais rewarded Aristotle by arranging the marriage of Aristotle and his sister. A year later, he was called by Philip, the king of Macedonia, to educate the young future Alexander the great.