Religion politics in ancient greece

RELIGION & POLITICS IN ANCIENT GREECE. RELIGION & POLITICS IN ANCIENT GREECE.  Term Paper ID:24963 Essay Subject: Examines influence of religion on politics from 478 B. 399 B. C. during Peloponnesian War between Athens & Sparta....

8 Pages / 1800 Words 5 sources, 27 Citations, MLA Format 32.00 Paper Abstract: Examines influence of religion on politics from 478 B. 399 B. C. during Peloponnesian War between Athens & Sparta.

Paper Introduction: The purpose of this research is to examine the influence of religion on politics from 478 to 399 B. C., the period of the Peloponnesian War in Greece between Athens and Sparta. The plan of the research will be to set forth the context in which religion intersected with Athenian public policy during that period and then to discuss specific features of such policy that reflect or that seem predicated of religious praxis or belief.

The principal historical point to be derived from the course of the Peloponnesian War is that by the time it ended, the political hegemony and leading cultural status of Athens were by and large in the past, absorbed by the ethos and governmental form of Sparta. But the war depleted both Athens and Sparta and ended the Golden Age of Greece.

It cannot be said that religious belief and worship somehow "caused" the decline of Gr The content of Socrates'svirtue is his statement that "the greatest good of man is daily to converseabout virtue" and that (most famously) "the life which is unexamined is notworth living" (Apology 26). Crito. Pericles's oration to Athens includes areference to the possibility that the Spartans would use money on depositat Olympia or Delphi "to seduce our foreign sailors by the temptation ofhigher pay" (Thucydides 81) to prosecute a mercenary sea war againstAthens.

But concentration of people andgoods in the city made it easy for the Spartans to lay siege to the city. Thucydides's account of the fate of the Athenian naval commandersNicias and Alcibiades illustrates the role that religion played in thelives of individuals concerned in the war. While Alcibiades's elitism isconsistent with an attempt to overthrow Athenian democracy, his protest ofinnocence plus departure for Sicily diffused the controversy. John H. . Aubrey de Selincourt.

The texts of various treaties and truces made throughout the courseof the war provide for safe passage to and from "national temples" atDelphi (e. g., Thucydides 292). Gods were repeatedly invoked throughout the war as afeature of debate, though power repeatedly overtook pleas made in the nameof the gods.

. Meletus has accused him ofatheism on one hand yet of belief in rival deities on the other. Trans. The Histories. . Herodotus's conception of history appears to have been built aroundthe idea of explaining how Greek society in general and Athenian society inparticular caused the Persians to retreat from Greece.

His method of defense is to exposethe slanderous motives of the accusers. However, Thucydides places a secular or rational interpretation oncertain features of religious influence on public policy. Ed.

. The context for the Apology is theanticipation of Socrates's execution owing to accusations that he "corruptsthe youth. . At the time of the Congress of the Spartanconfederation, when the Athenians were just on the point of seeking tomanipulate a variety of city-states into alliances with Athens on thestrength of Athens's reputation in the Persian war, the Athenian delegatesheld forth about Athens's legitimate interest in empire. New York: Walter J.

vii-xvii. Herodotus. if I had been like other men, Ishould not have. He cites thecurse said to have been placed on the Pelasgian portion of the Acropolis inthe event the grounds were used to for residential purposes, a conditionthat obtained when, during the war, the Attic countryside was depopulatedand refugees poured into Athens; only the Acropolis had the space toaccommodate people. Meanwhile Alcibiades, who had never been quite accepted by theSpartans, retreated to the island Chios, under Persian/Medean control.

In other words, he is not a threat but rather "a sort ofgadfly, given to the State by the God. Five Great Dialogues. Alcibiades was implicated bypolitical rivals because he was associated with oligarchic instead ofdemocratic politics.

Finley, Jr. Thoseoccupiers not starved had been executed or banished and cursed through thegenerations for heresy and impiety. In that regard, theCorinthian delegates to the second Lacedaemonian congress refer to warfunds to be raised partly from "the monies at Olympia and Delphi"(Thucydides 67).

Socrates takes the view that only by enacting theconsequences of betrayed justice in the form of absolute piety before thedivinely sanctioned state, thus exposing injustice, can the will of God befulfilled (79). . Crawley.

Trans. In any case, in and around Syracuse, Sicily's major city, Alcibiades proved a fairlyinept military commander but a master of political intrigue, shiftingloyalty to Sparta after being convicted for the vandalism of the Hermae. Nicias did the best he could both on his own and in concert with the naval-reinforcement commander Demosthenes and the Athenian generals besiegingSyracuse. The irony ofSocrates's case is that the divine sanction of country authority has beenbefouled by the trial. By Thucydides.

. . The plan of the research will be to setforth the context in which religion intersected with Athenian public policyduring that period and then to discuss specific features of such policythat reflect or that seem predicated of religious praxis or belief. The role of the Delphic oracle in the policy decisions of both Athensand Sparta appears to have been instrumental as to form. Black, 1942. Specifically--and in an assertion of the aristocracy of mindagainst what could be called the mind of the democratic multitude--herejects the idea that the opinion of the many is relevant to an individualopinion of justice. Thucydides explains that democracy was formally reinstated thereafter.

But in retrospect it can be seen that the damage had been done. The instrumental use of religion to explain public policy can beformulated as a battle cry of the main opponents that the gods--the samegods in the Greek pantheon that Athens and Sparta shared--were on theirside. Thiswas done, and although the newly elected oligarchs, called the FourHundred, piously offered sacrifices to the gods upon their attaining powerthey also proceeded to "rule[] the city by force" (Thucydides 491) and suefor peace with Sparta, using democracy's end as a reason.

Ed. Ed. Five Great Dialogues. Thefragility of Athenian democracy prefigured the eventual victory of Spartain the Peloponnesian War and the victory of an authoritarian ethos inpolitics that can be observed in the fate of Socrates, who died shortlyafter the Peloponnesian War ended. Sparta's specious pretext for warappears to have had the effect of allowing Athens to prosecute itsobjectives in a defensive rather than offensive posture, although thisattitude changed as the war continued (Finley xv).

Athens, in turn, cited the Persian War treacheryof the Spartan general Pausanias, who had enriched himself with the spoilsof war and even schemed with the Persian king Xerxes to share politicalpower--compounding this by erecting a monument to himself at Delphi. Apology. Benjamin Jowett. Socrates isobedient to the laws of Athens per se.

New York: Modern Library, 1951. Nicias, Pericles's protйgй, discouraged an invasion but agreed to command an invasion force; hisattempt to dissuade the Athenians by amplifying the cost of warpreparations backfired when the full amount was provided (Thucydides 352).Alcibiades forcefully advocated invasion all along, but for personalreasons: "to thwart Nicias both as his political opponent. . The purpose of this research is to examine the influence of religionon politics from 478 to 399 B. C.

, the period of the Peloponnesian War inGreece between Athens and Sparta. .thought that his banishment would materially advance their designs onAthens" (Thucydides 71).

The Complete Writings of Thucydides: The Peloponnesian War. does not believe in the gods of the State, and has othernew divinities of his own" (Apology 12).

. Byturning Chios's king (Tissaphernes) toward Athens, Alcibiades talked hisway back into an Athenian command, promising great deeds as well if onlyAthens would reject democracy and favor an oligarchy (Thucydides 479). But Nicias's piety betrayed him: The Athenians were on the pointof attack when an eclipse of the moon took place.

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