Why in Ancient Greece the greatest civilization has been developed
By Demosthenes Kyriazis
It is a general and lasting recognition that the philosophical, political, social, artistic, scientific and other achievements of the ancient Greeks are top ones and at least so far unsurpassed. Understandably therefore the query:
Why only in Greece and why only then in Greece such a culture has been developed?
What are the causes of this unprecedented civilization in this place and time?
To this reasonable question various answers have been given and several theories have been developed.
The word theory is Greek and means " attestation, view, looking of conscious truth and beauty” [i]». Therefore the term theory doesn’t mean the presentation of the objective truth, but the presentation of the examiner’s subjective truth. The objective truth is evidenced only by practice and experiment.
After this clarification let us mention briefly the best known theories that exist on this subject.
1. Theory of preexisting civilization.
According to this theory the Greek civilization is a continuation of another ancient civilization that is buried in the bottom of the Aegean. The civilization of classical Greece is a phase of the development of this culture through time and space.
This view was reinforced from the significant archaeological finds at Akrotiri of Thira Island.
These findings suggest that the characteristics of the Greek civilization of the historical period exist also in the findings of Akrotiri, which belong to an older era of historical times. This discovery is obviously a continuity presumption between the two civilizations.
A documented effort this view was given by the French engineer Pierre Lhermitte, who proved that the shipbuilding technology of Greece in historical times is the same with that illustrated in the findings of Akrotiri.
Strengthening this theory is also the view of Professor of Seismology at the University of Athens, Angelos Galanopoulos, according to which the mythical Atlantis was in the Aegean and has been disappeared from the great eruption of Thιra. Newest opinions put Atlantis in the South - Eastern Mediterranean and therefore the Aegean region may then be considered a peripheral area of Atlantis.
In this theory - which is both logical and consistent with historical data and archaeological findings - obviously the origins causing this civilization aren’t identified, but merely this identification is postponed for another time and place.
2. Theory of optimal climatic conditions
The climate of Greece evaluated on the basis of meteorological characteristics of sunshine, temperature, humidity and circulation of air and seawater, is one of the world’s best.
A climate with such characteristics is a factor of mental wellness, mental clarity and activity. It facilitates the easy aggregation of many people in open natural spaces and therefore is a factor of peoples’ communication in perfect physical conditions
Some experts argue that the most important difference between the ancient Greek and the European civilization is that the first one was developed in open spaces of nature and of sunlight, while the second in manmade confined spaces. They argue that the simplicity, the purity and sphericity of the ancient Greek spirit are due: to the plenty of sunlight, to the pleasant fresh air and generaly to the natural characteristics of the Greek space.
And this theory is a reasonable answer to this question, but the power is undermined from the fact that countries with the same - or almost the same - climatic conditions, exist in many other parts of the world; however civilizations like the Greek one have not been developed.
3. Theory of extraterrestrial presence
According to this theory, the ancient Greek civilization has been created by extraterrestrial beings, which once came and lived in the area of Greece. This view attempts to document both the very high characteristics of this culture and the elements of Greek mythology.
More specifically is alleged that: The creation of such a large civilization can easily be explained if attributed to beings with greater intelligence and higher culture from the intelligence and culture of ordinary people, that is if attributed to extraterrestrial beings . This view seeks to be further strengthened from many and various elements of the Greek mythology, which is consider as being the blurred memory of the extraterrestrial presence and not the creature of the imagination of the ancient Greeks.
Such elements are for example: The house of the Gods in Mount Olympus (a hint that the Olympus peak was a basis of alien beings), the lightning of Zeus (use of advanced weapons technology eg laser ), the exploits of Hercules ( execution of large projects with the use of advanced technology's machines) and many others.
Related are also the following verses of Homer ( Iliad , S , Lyrics . 416-420 ):
«δύ δε χιτών, έλε δε σκήπτρον παχύ, βή δε θύραζε χωλεύων·
υπό δ’ αμφίπολοι ρώοντο άνακτι χρύσειαι, ζωήσι νεήνισεν ειοικυίαι.
της εν μέν νόος εστί μετά φρεσίν, εν δέ καί αυδή
καί σθένος, αθανάτων δέ θεών από έργα ίσασιν.»
In free translation:
(Hephaestus) “Wore his robe, then lifted his coarse stick
and proceeded to the door limping;
then rushed to help the King two maids
made of gold, similar with live girls ,
inside to which their was mind and thought,
also had a voice and vigor , and had learned from the immortal Gods all jobs”.
It is obvious that the above verses of Homer clearly described the existence and use of machines which we call robots today and for the immortal Gods were able to teach the robot to "do all the work '”, today‘s equivalent is to “programme” them. Let's not forget also that Hephaestus was the God of Technology.
Despite its logical elements this theory is degraded from the fact that the probability of being true, is equal to or less than the probability of extraterrestrial presence on the whole Earth. For this reason, at least with the current data, it is considered to have a small probability to be true.
4. The theory of Democracy
According to this theory, (which is our humble view), the ancient Greek civilization was due to the development and functioning of democratic systems in executing the political power. Important elements of this view were the universally accepted historical conclusions that:
- In Greece there was a democracy since the times of Homer’s poems. This fact indicates that, for a thousand years before the Athenian Democracy, coexisted in Greece Civilization and Democracy, that Democracy which Frederick Engels called, “The spontaneous Democracy of the heroic age of Greece”[ii].
- The climax of ancient Greek civilization (classical civilization) and the climax of democratic regime (Athenian Democracy), occurred in the same area (Attica) and at the same time ( 5th century b.C) . This spatiotemporal coincidence leads to the solid conclusion there is a strong correlation between civilization and democracy.
In this theory, the strong correlation has been indentified between civilization and democracy. This identification in mathematical formalism is expressed, as a cause - effect relationship, with the equation:
Democracy(cause) = Civilization(effect)
This equation is fully compatible with both the etymological, and the logic - philosophical concept of the Greek term Πολιτισμός (civilization). Indeed:
- The word Πολιτισμός (civilization) derived from the coupling of the word Πολίτης (citizen) and the suffix –ισμος, denotes the principles, practices and especially the potential of all citizens. But if people have petty and false political / institutional power, it is very difficult to have potential for principles and practices, it is very difficult to have civilization. Nature is not fooled by fake substitutes of political power, like those citizens have in existing “democracies”.
- In Ancient Greece by civilization was meant all material and spiritual achievements of a society. Therefore as civilization is determined - must be determined – as the equal assessment of both materials and particularly the spiritual-humanistic achievements .
Today with the term civilization most people mean the material achievements and those of the spiritual that have a strong relationship with the material achievements. The other spiritually / humanistic achievements, are neither considered nor called civilization. Usually are called culture. The relationship therefore Democracy=Civilization, applies only for the meaning the two terms had in Ancient Greece. For the meaning of these terms today – a complex meaning, ambiguous and difficult to understand even from experts - the equation is not valid.
The above view with the indisputable historical fact that Democracy was born in Greece, adequately explains why the greatest civilization was developed in Greece.
But this theory does not answer the original question but defers the response to the question: Why Democracy was then born in Greece? Why Greece was the cradle of Democracy?
An answer to the last question in the link http://www.dd-democracy.gr/article.asp?Id=191
Note: This is an excerpt from the book of Demosthenes Kyriazis: " DIGITAL DEMOCRACY, the influence of Modern Physics and of Digital Technology in the Democracy" . Publications: Greek Physicists’ Association, 2009.
[i] PLATO. By Ulrich von Vilamovich. Publications Κάκτος 2005.
[ii] “TΗΕ ORIGIN OF THE STATE”. By Frederick Engels. Publications Μαρή και Κορότζη 1945