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NIHIL NOVUM SUB SOLE

1001 deeds, sayings, curiosities and anecdotes of the ancient world

Culture

Articles relating to the world of general culture, but that are difficult to specify further.

The Death of Socrates: his last day.

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One day in 399 B.C. at dusk after sunset, Socrates, the wisest and best of men, hurried the glass of hemlock (a well common plant in our geographical area) that will produce death, in the presence of his close friends who desolate attend the moral fortitude with which he faces the judgment. Socrates was 70 or 71 years old. An unjust sentence, following the infamous complaints of three opportunist, envious and resentful citizens with their teacher, made in a favorable overall environment for it, killed the teacher and gave him everlasting fame that in no way could suspect his contemporaries.

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Why Socrates was condemned to death?

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The question has often been raised. Plato in his "Apology" or "Defense of Socrates" and in some dialogues and Xenophon in his "Defence of Socrates," give us enough information about how the negative environment was generated to condemn the most wise and just man by the the apparently inconsistent reporting of three mediocre and envious fellow. And it is precisely this failure and injustice that keeps alive the interest in understanding the contradiction that the first democracy in history condemned unjustly the most wise and just man who courageously accept the death penalty. Now, as a general rule it can not be interpreted past with social values of the moment.

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The thunder is the fart of the clouds

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The comedy The Clouds, of Aristophanes, ridicules to the point the figure of Socrates, helping to create an atmosphere of hostility to the fully honest philosopher that would take him to the death sentence. Comedy does not hesitate to use themes and cartoons which excite popular hilarity such as the emphasis on eschatological and "anal" (referring to the anus or ass) themes, as the explanation of why farts and farting occur according to opinion of the "great Socrates”.

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The debts of the Greeks

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There are many European citizens who are appalled by the claim of the government and the Greek people that it applied them a release or reduction of the huge debt incurred in previous years themselves. There are also other citizens who analyzed the origin of that debt, which is largely considered abusive and they are more comprehensive. The current situation is not at all comparable with the old, but I will offer two series of texts, some referring to Solon, who faced the untenable situation legal situation of many Athenian citizens back in the sixth century BC with legal modifications, they are indebted to the slavery; and other texts that reveal the particular attitude of an individual, also knocked down by particular debt, which is reflected for example by Aristophanes in his comedy the Clouds.

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"Ubi bene, ibi patria". Where it is well with me, there is my country.

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They are numerous classic texts in which the patriotism of citizens is exalted, both in Greece, where they felt very superior to the rest of the world, which they call "barbaric" because they do not speak Greek but babble, as in Rome, where they also knew themselves as the dominators of the world.

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Very cruel pupils

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The Christian poet Prudentius wrote a series of singing hymns in the death of many Christian martyrs. He called his work "Peristephanon" or “Crowns of Martyrdom”. Prudentius, connoisseur of classical Latin literature and rhetoric, attempts to integrate the pagan tradition with Christian ideas.

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The eclipses announce extraordinary events (I)

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Man has taken thousands of years, from his appearing on earth, watching the sky, sometimes impressed by the thousands of bright spots, around 1,500 naked eye, moving or standing still, and other times frightened by the influence which the sky can have on their lives.

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The abduction of Hylas: a very peculiar mosaic of Italica (Spain)

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In Greek mythology there are numerous episodes in which powerful gods fall in love with beautiful mortals and procreate with them heroes, in their half immortal and in other half mortal. Also the goddesses fall in love sometimes with men, who are mortal. For example Venus is the mother of Aeneas, born from the mortal Anchises, from whom the race of Julius (Julius Caesar, Augustus, etc.) descended.

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The gods do not send young kings to people whom want to harm

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Phrases, sentences, proverbs, maxims Apophthegmata , were in antiquity an effective instrument for moral and civic education of citizens. So they are thousands of Latin and Greek sentences to be found in collections or never complete dictionaries. Besides the ancient world offers tons of material to build and permanently create attractive judgments at all times or to paraphrase or adapt the old they self.

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The myth of the ages of man (2)

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It is a topic or commonplace in many cultures that human life on Earth began in a time of happiness and absolute serenity, then interrupted by the amoral behavior of man, which since then has continued to get worse. These creations are not only literary, but they are part of the ideas of general cultural imaginary.

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The myth of the ages or races of man

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The old myth of the ages or races of man, with a first gold age which degenerates to the hard and fierce iron age as the moral behavior of man worsens, exists in many literatures. A thousand times told in antiquity and since antiquity, it was sufficiently known by Cervantes who was influenced significantly by it: after all, the "Knight of the Sorrowful Figure" aims to create a better world, perhaps like that existed in the "golden age", judging by the presence which this illusion has in Don Quixote.

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The Classical Humanism of Cervantes

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World Book and Copyright Day is celebrated on April 23 of every year. Some curious circumstance coincided the day of the death of Cervantes in Spain, of Shakespeare in England, of Garcilaso de la Vega, the Inca, on that day. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) considered it very suitable to celebrate the existence of books and promote reading; so it has been since 1995.

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The man is a political animal (Zoon politikon, ζῷον πoλιτικόν)

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We must to be politically correct. But what does this “hackneyed” phrase meant on these days? There is no doubt it referrs to the obviously hypocritical attitude with which people, especially those who play a "political" function, should act to citizens, expressing just what your listeners want to hear or at least it which

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