Socrates, Jesus, Rome, Second Temple, Phusis, Virtue

The shift from the Bronze Age to the post-Classical Christian age marks a significant change in human society’s understanding of power and authority. In the Bronze Age, might and strength were associated with power, and those who could conquer their neighbors were considered the most powerful and successful. This was evident in the Myceneans’ expansion (Bronze Age), as well as the Delian League (Classical Age) overtaking the Aegean.
During the Classical era, Socrates’ acceptance of his trial, and his subsequent execution, showed his commitment to submitting his life in accordance with higher ideals, while also recognizing man’s need’s are dependent on the polis.
The subsequent conflict between Athens and Sparta disrupted Athens position as leader in the Aegean, which thinkers like Plato (who admired Socrates as well as Spartan society) and Aristotle responded to by seeking to reconcile this former focus on might and power (adopted from the Bronze Age), with a more idealized vision of what society could and should be, through the discussion and application of virtue (as this would properly drive a focus on how man could live well together with one another, The Republic, Aristotle’s Wisdom of the Crowds, Athenian Constitution). (Although Aristotle did believe war was imminent between Macedonia and ‘barbarian’ states when advising Alexander).
Eventually, Greece too was overtaken (not just Athens to Sparta, but now all of Greece), by Rome, which caused a diffusion of Greek culture and ideas beyond just the East (following Alexander), but also further into the West.
During this time, Jesus emerged (sic. Decopolis) as the quintessential figure of Christianity (sic. Chrestos). His contribution is a shift in focus from the former intrinsic value of physical might (as a response to Roman rule) to an agrarian way of life submitted to virtues such as truth, humility, and self-sacrifice as the blueprint for how mankind should efficiently operate.
By willingly submitting himself to the authorities and accepting his own crucifixion, Jesus showed that, while still respecting the power of man (sic. ‘give unto Caesar, what is Caesar’s’, yet acknowledging, ‘those who live by the sword die by the sword’), he recognized that true authority of man lay not in the power and authority of the state (sic. might, phusis, political entities, Rome), but in submission to virtuous principles such as humility, and self-sacrifice, God’s set of ideals, and that served sociologically as man’s blueprint for how to live properly. This effectively respecting–yet resting away–man’s authority from the State and unto divine virtues, which in turn set the tone for a more productive (i.e. such as a market based economy) and agrarian way of life.
The sacrifices of Socrates and Jesus demonstrate that true power and authority come not from the might of men (power of the state), but from virtuous principles guiding one’s life, to include accepting the consequences that may come from living in accordance with those principles (sic. Cynic). Christianity is a Greek (sic. Koin) response to Rome (latin), the Second Temple’s destruction, and Rome’s eventual fall, and the idea of living a life in accordance with virtuous civic ideals such as those posited by Plato and Aristotle (which itself was a response to Socrates and Athen’s fall from grace (power).
The shift from the Bronze Age to the post-Classical Christian age saw a transformation in humanity’s understanding of power and authority. From the bloody conquests of earlier civilizations, there emerged a new focus on moral and ethical living, on humility and submission to a higher power, and on the pursuit of truth and wisdom. The sacrifices of Jesus and Socrates stand as powerful examples of this new understanding, demonstrating that the right path lies not in conquering one’s neighbor, but in submitting to virtuous ideals and dedicating oneself to the higher values of morality, compassion, and wisdom.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.