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Socrates

Pericles' Funeral Oration, Philipp Foltz, 1877.

Are We in Tyrannical Times? Has Plato’s Terrible Prediction Come True?

Okay, so Plato once predicted that all democratic governments would inevitably lead to chaos and anarchy. And sure, he foresaw that elected leaders would try to lie to us, in attempts to placate the...
Detail of a Phoenician grinning mask, 4th century BC, found in a grave at San Sperate, Cagliari, Museo Archeologico Nazionale.

An Ancient Method of Forced Euthanasia: The Disturbing Truth Behind a Sardonic Grin

Creepy and more than a little uncomfortable to behold, one usually thinks of DC Comics' Joker when hearing the phrase "sardonic grin." A "smile" that pulls up the corners of the mouth in a way that...
Phryne on the Poseidon's celebration in Eleusis by Nikolay Pavlenko, 1894

The Ancient Greek Symposium: Just an Excuse for Debauchery?

It’s no secret that the ancient Greeks loved to have parties, dance and drink for every occasion. It could be celebrating a birth, the arrival of a loved person or a marriage. Indeed, in many cases...
Socrates: The Father of Western Philosophy

Socrates: The Father of Western Philosophy

Socrates, the most famous philosopher of all time, had one of the most subtle and complicated minds we have on record. His death was a dark moment in Athenian and human history, but his thinking and...
Solar deity bronze relief, Deriv.

Those Who Once Reigned: Experts Name Famous and Forgotten Ancient Gods

Ancient Origins asked experts to weigh in on the topic of ancient deities. Some ancient gods get all the attention - but which gods are largely forgotten… and why? The following is their views on...
Assembly of twenty gods, predominantly the Twelve Olympians, as they receive Psyche (Loggia di Psiche, 1518–19, by Raphael and his school, at the Villa Farnesina).

Disbelieve it or Not, Ancient History Suggests That Atheism is as Natural to Humans as Religion

People in the ancient world did not always believe in the gods, a new study suggests – casting doubt on the idea that religious belief is a “default setting” for humans. “Early societies were far...
A vase depicting a scene from Aristophanes’ play ‘The Birds.

The Controversial Plays of Aristophanes: How the Ancient Greek Father of Comedy Created a Legacy

In the theater of Ancient Greece, one of the three main dramatic forms was comedy (the other two being tragedy and satyr plays). Greek comedy has been divided by the Alexandrian grammarians into...
Death of Socrates

Poison: The Good, the Bad and the Deadly

For thousands of years poisons have been both a deadly threat and a protective tool used around the world. Poisons have played a dominant role in our history and legends, persisting both as evil...
Solar Ancient Cities - Greece

Solar-designed cities of Ancient Greece

Most people have heard of Socrates, the classical Greek writer and philosopher (469 – 399 BC), but few are aware that he was also responsible for the first solar-designed city in Greece . Socrates...