(I want to dedicate these series of texts to those of my former Greek students, male or female, who in the end , chose “mediocrity” and “virtual reality”, for the sake of their own society, their own families and their own “survival”)
This part of our Epilogues(b4), is a synopsis of the first three texts of this series of articles(epilogues b1,b2,b3), where I described the “historical conspiracy” between the Byzantine political authorities, the Greek Orthodox Church and the International Jewish Establishment to undermine, weaken and isolate the social, cultural and political values , as well as the historical institutions of Ancient Greek Civilization within the wider geographical Mediterranean region and the Middle East.
We shall begin this text by comparing one more time, the critical historical, cultural , ideological and existential differences between Ancient Greek Civilization and the Traditional Jewish Civilization of 2,500 years.
The most important cultural and ideological differences between these two civilizations originate from the historical fact that Ancient Greek Civilization was not founded, constructed and developed by “metaphysical” or “divine” intervention, but through the “free initiatives” and the “free creativity” of mortals, responding to the social demands and the aesthetic criteria of their time and their own geopolitical space. These therefore were the basic societal incentives for the “extraordinary” and “accelerated” cultural and historical development of the Greek Race and the Greek Nation.
In contrast, within the Traditional Jewish Civilization of 2,500 years, its philosophic constructs and ideological values had already been defined since its foundation, through “divine interventions” and “divine guidelines”, which meant they were revealed as “absolute”, “perfect” and “untouchable”!!! All this entailed, historically, socially and culturally, the “total submission” of all Jews to this “divine scheme”, with no possibility of a historical evolution, since Human Beings are the sole creative social entities which can produce and promote historical events and historical developments, reacting to the specific societal needs and expectations of their time!!! Concluding, one could say that Traditional Jewish Civilization remained ”static” , since within their own society , the philosophic principles of the “dialectic mental process” and the “freedom of choice” could not function!!!
Philo the Jew(20B.C. -45A.D.), who lived in Alexandria, Egypt, during the time of Jesus Christ, came from a rich and aristocratic Jewish family of Egypt, had studied in Greek schools(gymnasiums) , had his own personal Greek tutors, while he only spoke Greek!!! In the previous part of our narrative(Epilogue b3), we examined in detail the biography of Philo, because he represents an important historical figure who defined not only the theology of the Jews, but the theology of Christians and later on of Moslems. He is considered the first theologian of the Christian Religion by the Fathers of the Greek Orthodox Church, because all of his theological analysis was based on the Old Testament as was Christianity, with the critical exception of the “Universal Spiritual Teachings” of Jesus Christ, even though he had been educated to become a Jewish Rabbi!!!
Philo was a historian, a philosopher, a theologian and a politician. His philosophic and ideological principles were based on the Old Testament and the Jewish Prophets, all under the guidance and the guidelines of the High Jewish Priesthood of Judea and the Jewish Religious Establishment of Egypt. The purpose of his teachings was the “distortion” and the “subversion” of the historical and cultural identity of the Ancient Greek Civilization and the human factors and creations which had composed it. Philo in his teachings and writings supported absolutely the thesis that the philosophic and political concepts, the scientific discoveries and inventions, as well as the literature of Ancient Greek Scholars, were founded on the divine revelations, principles and stipulations of the Old Testament!!! Nevertheless, all of these hyperbolic cultural and ideological positions of Philo were easily accepted and adopted by his wider public audience and readers, since they had accepted him as the most important theologian of Christianity and Judaism, and later on of Islam!!!
As a consequence, in order to better comprehend the Traditional Jewish Civilization, we will have to address ourselves exclusively to the texts of the Old Testament, discovering and clarifying the basic ideological, philosophic and existential priorities of the Jews and their Civilization!!!
I believe that the most critical philosophic and ideological principles of the Jewish Religious Tradition are found in the Book of Genesis, first in the Second Chapter, where the God of the Jews is seen in the Garden of Eden giving instructions to Adam, the first human being God created, briefly telling him what his conduct should be towards Him. This God demanded from Adam “absolute obedience” to all of His commands, dismissing Adam’s right to “personal judgement” and “self-knowledge”!!! Therefore, God metaphorically and symbolically announced to him the following, ’You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat it ,you shall die’!!!(The Old Testament, Book of Genesis, Second Chapter, verses 16-17).
Later on, God created woman, Eve, so that Adam could have a companion in the Garden of Eden. At some point in time, the Snake sent by Satan, entered the Garden of Eden, approaching Eve and enquiring her about God’s guidelines forbidding her and Adam to taste the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. In Chapter 3, verses 4 and 5, the Snake clarifies to Eve the following, ‘You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God knowing good and evil’!!!
Eve ate from the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge and then gave it to Adam to taste it. God tracked them down, catching them eating the forbidden fruit, and right then and there, in essence cursed them to live “an earthly existence” and “a natural life”!!! A mortal life with all the adversities, the physical hardships, the strenuous survival and the psychological “wear and tear” incurred by their common conflicts and rivalries. Then, God expelled them from the Garden of Eden or Paradise, as is traditionally known!!!
Essentially , in the Traditional Jewish Civilization, the mythological human prehistory begins with a divine curse for a nightmarish human existence, full of obtrusive implications for survival, human mortality, interpersonal conflicts and residing outside of Paradise!!! All this hellish earthly existence as divine punishment for “human disobedience” and “personal initiative”!!!
In the Christian Religion, this sinful act committed by Adam and Eve has been called “the original sin”, with the divine condemnation of Man to roam the Earth and to suffer many hardships all of His Life. Man had very little chance to change His Tragic Destiny, since God was the only Universal Entity which could decide and determine all of the details of Man’s existence “until the end of time”!!!
Under these divine existential limitations, Mankind had no choices in creating and constructing the framework of his own everyday life and his own society. There wasn’t any opportunity or incentives for “free thought” ,meaning the freedom to create a more substantial life, socially, economically, aesthetically and culturally!!! The God of the Jews had brought their civilization “into a standstill” and a “cultural inertness” which is continuing until the present day!!!
In contrast, we observe in Ancient Greek Civilization through the “Theogony”, the work of Hesiod who is an ancient Greek poet, second in importance to Homer and who lived between the 8th and 7th century B.C., that the creation of the Universe did not materialize through the actions of a Central Divinity or of Central Divinities. In the “Theogony” , Hesiod writes that the Universe was created from Chaos, a multidimensional benevolent creative entity. After this cosmic event, Gaea(Earth) , Tartarus and Eros were born, and then, Gaea gave birth to Uranus with whom she begot Oceanos(Ocean) , the Titans , the Cyclops and the Hectochires. Through the coupling of the various divinities, new divinities were born, like Prometheus , a Titan who had stolen the Fire from the Gods of Mount Olympus and then gave it to Humans in order to improve the quality of their everyday lives. Through Hesiod’s descriptions of the gods and the demigods, we witness a metaphysical setting of antagonisms and alliances, similar to what occurs in the everyday life of mortals!!!(p.1-2, https://el.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hsiothos).
In his narrative related to the Greek Pantheon , Hesiod emphasizes the importance of the Universal Role played by goddess Themis in enforcing the “natural order” , the “moral order” and the “interpersonal equanimity” through the established social formalities which touched upon not only mortals but also divinities of whatever status in the hierarchy of the Greek Pantheon!!!
Themis in Greek Mythology was the goddess who enacted justice universally which was “sacred” and “not revealed”, while it was superior to the volition of the gods and goddesses!!! Represented by her daughters , Efnomia(rule of Law), Diki(retribution) and Irini(peace), goddess Themis, imposes a “moral order”, since metaphorically, they symbolize the basic social components of a “harmonious and stable society”. At the same time, her daughters Mires(fates), assign the destiny of every human being on behalf of their father , Zeus , the consort of their mother, goddess Themis, allocating to everyone the benefits that are due to them. Finally, through her daughters the Nymphs, goddess Themis prescribes all prophesies!!!(p.1-2,https://el.wikipedia.org/wiki/Themis).
Previously, we noted that Hesiod was the ancient Greek poet only second in importance to Homer, while he lived during the same epoch as Homer, meaning between 700 and 800 B.C. . The special attribute of these first scholars of Ancient Greek Civilization which differentiates them from the “revealed scriptures” of the Old Testament is the fact that in their oral accounts as epic poets, they functioned as “creative human entities” who aimed at contributing personally towards an analysis and an evaluation of their themes, without any external interpolation, especially a metaphysical one!!!
As examples, we could address ourselves to the works of Homer, who is widely considered as the Creator of the First Literature in Europe, while in Plato’s “Republic”, the philosopher distinguishes him with the titles of the “first teacher of tragedy”, “the leader of learning” and the “educator of Greece”!!!(p.1,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homer).
From what I can gather, the present Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Greece, Ieronimos,is not very knowledgeable of Ancient Greek Civilization, since in July of 2009, in a formal ceremony under the Acropolis in Athens, lecturing about the contribution made by Saint Paul to European Civilization, he specified that, ‘… Athenians, Hellenes, Europeans, have to thank most of all Saint Paul…’, and he continued by adding that, ‘… he is our teacher. He is the preacher of love, he is a social worker…’!!!(translated from Greek)(p.1, http://sfrang.blogspot.gr/2009/07/blog-post_15.html).
These are the actual commentaries made by the Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Greece, revealing in very clear and concrete terms what has always been the official position of the Greek Orthodox Church with respect to Ancient Greek Civilization; that Civilization which has defined the cultural, political, scientific and artistic sets of reference within the Modern Western World!!!
Homer was the First Educator of Greeks because through his two famous epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey, not only did he describe the Greek Mythology, meaning the identities of the Greek divinities and the relations between them, but he also clarified the initiatives and the interventions undertaken by these divinities concerning the everyday activities of mortals.
A few Greek divinities identified themselves with some mortals and allied with these, competing with other Greek divinities who supported their opponents. Clashes did not only occur between mortals but also between divinities for the sake of mortals that they were affiliated to . Eventually there is Order, because the Highest Greek Divinity, Zeus, does not want for any one side to have absolute control over the course of events, whether they represent divinities or mortals, while transgressing these Universal “checks and balances” is punished by Him through his wife Themis.
Therefore, we observe that in the Trojan War, goddess Athena and god Apollo supported the Greeks, while god Poseidon and goddess Aphrodite were the allies of the Trojans. In Homer’s epic the Odyssey, Poseidon tries very hard to disrupt Odysseus’s journey back to his homeland and his kingdom, the island of Ithaki in the Ionian Sea, creating insurmountable obstacles for him. This enmity of Poseidon towards the Greek hero Odysseus was generated when this “mortal hero” blinded the god’s son, Cyclope Poliphimos, on “the island of the man-eaters”. Living through all these extremely horrendous travel circumstances, created and imposed by Poseidon to obstruct or even neutralize Odysseus, the last one, after seven years of gruelling adventures finally managed to return safe to his homeland, but only through the mediations and the interventions of goddess Athena and god Hermis, even with the aid and the support of Zeus , the most powerful divinity of Mount Olympus!!!(p.1,http://el.ancientgreekmythology.wikia.com/wiki/Odysseas).
In the works of Hesiod, the didactic elements are much more prevalent than those of Homer, because he introduces his own personal human attributes of empirical observation, judgement, wisdom and logic!!! For example in his work, ”Works and Days”, Hesiod introduces his own axioms concerning the way human beings should live, trying to convince them to become better persons and wiser in their everyday life and in their relationships with their fellow human beings. He urges them to work hard and to love the work they do because according to him, work offers the preconditions for success and happiness. Furthermore, Hesiod describes in detail, the methods through which farmers can cultivate their land in order to have better crop yields.(p.1,https://el.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isiodos).
Hesiod is analytical and methodical, passing on “scientific information” concerning various agricultural techniques, the economic organization of a society, the practical aspects of astronomy in a variety of human tasks and occupations, as well as a set of methods on how to calculate time. Many scholars in the Western World, consider Hesiod as the first Economist in History!!!(p.1,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hesiod).
In contrast to the “revealed ideological values” of the Traditional Jewish Civilization where all axioms are recorded in the Old Testament ; values which have to be “followed to the letter” by practicing Jews without any alternations or omissions( in order to ensure the integrity and the permanence of the Jewish Nation and the Jewish Race), Ancient Greek Civilization was founded on the personal initiatives, the personal actions and the personal works of Greek mortals and divinities!!!
In Greek Mythology there are some personalities who symbolize the “existential propensity” to define and determine their own course of life but also the developments of their own communities, contrary to the “divine prerogatives” of Zeus, the highest Olympian God, who maintained the “natural order” and the “moral order” of the Universe!!!
Oedipus, the son of Laius and Jocasta, king and queen of Thebes, came into conflict with the Olympian Divinities when they enforced their “natural” and “moral” order on the inhabitants of Thebes by sending the Sphinx, a mythical monster whose role was to punish those mortals who do not respect the Universal Order of the Olympian Gods. The Sphinx inflicted terror and devastation on the people of Thebes and their natural environment which had sustained them. The Sphinx represented a “divine scourge” imposed for the disrespect demonstrated by the Thebans in their everyday lives towards the “natural” and the “moral” order of Zeus!!!
The only way to exterminate the Sphinx was if a mortal who came into contact with Her, answered her mysterious and difficult riddle, otherwise She would kill him. The riddle was the following:’ What walks on four feet in the morning, two in the afternoon and three at night?’. Oedipus met the Sphinx to answer the riddle and save the people of Thebes, from this “divine monster”. Oedipus did not know then that he was the son of Laius, king of Thebes, who he had killed in a skirmish while traveling from Corinth to the Oracle at Delphi, with the purpose of asking about the identity of his real parents.
King Laius had banished Oedipus from his kingdom when he was only a little child, because the Oracle at Delphi had warned him that he would beget a son who in the end would kill him. As a consequence, Oedipus was adopted by the king of Corinth, Polybus, and his queen Merope, when a shepherd found the child and handed it over to them, knowing that they had no children of their own. As a consequence, Oedipus was raised as a prince, and was the natural heir to the throne of Corinth.
Concluding, we should emphasize the fact that even though Oedipus did not know that he came from Thebes and that he was the son of the king of Thebes Laius, he took the decision to face up to the Sphinx, endangering his own life if he could not answer correctly Her riddle. Yet, if he answered correctly , he would face the wrath and he fury of the gods, especially the anger of Zeus, since the “divine curse” would have been eliminated with the intervention of a mortal!!! Oedipus accepted to live through this risky venture in order to save the people of Thebes from the misery and the terror which had been activated by the Olympian divinities, enforcing the “natural” and “moral” order of Zeus and his wife Themis!!!
Oedipus gave the correct answer to the riddle of the Sphinx which was:’ It is Man, since as an infant , he crawls on all fours; as an adult he walks on two legs and; in old age , he uses a walking stick.’ After the correct answer by Oedipus, the Sphinx fell off a cliff and died!!!(p.1-2,http://www.eleftheria.gr/apopsis/arthra/item/90165…).
Following the success of this feat , the provisional king of Thebes, Creon, handed over the throne of Thebes to Oedipus and he let his own sister, queen Jocasta, the widow of king Laius, become the wife of Oedipus who was also his mother. At that moment, no one knew about the “illicit” family relations and family entanglements concerning the main protagonists of this whole mythological story; a mythological story which became the first written Greek Tragedy!!!
Naturally, the gods and goddesses of Mount Olympus responded to the actions of Oedipus for neutralizing the “divine scourge” of the Sphinx by causing a deadly and destructive plague which lasted for seven years, the number of years which Oedipus reigned as king of Thebes. The inhabitants of Thebes were informed by the various oracles that the cause for this plague was Oedipus himself, because through his personal relations and initiatives he had renounced the moral precepts of the gods. The people of Thebes finally decided to banish Oedipus from their own city!!!
Oedipus is a very important mythological figure in Ancient Greek Literature and in Ancient Greek Culture because through his own personal judgements and involvement in relation to a Divine Universal Order, he induced the passage of human existence from the “mythical” to the “historic”!!! When Oedipus made personally the decision to confront the Sphinx and answer Her enigmatic riddle for the purpose of saving the inhabitants of Thebes from this “divine monster”, not only did he put into question the “natural” and the “moral” order of goddess Themis and the Olympian divinities, but he also saw himself as the defender and the protector of the quality of their lives!!!
Oedipus in his meeting with the Sphinx, utilized his human capacities to exorcise her “divine role” of avenger in the process of enforcing The Universal Equilibrium of the Gods. At the same time, Oedipus had negated the exclusivity of the Olympian Deities to impose their own moral standards on the actions and initiatives of human beings. Oedipus in his meeting with the Sphinx had utilized his logic, his wisdom, his compassion , his intelligence and his human courage to neutralize Her!!! Oedipus through his own initiatives and provocations, made Man into an active participant in his own evolution, which means that Man writes his own History without any designations and interjections from the Divine!!!
The second most important personality in Ancient Greek Mythology and in Ancient Greek Literature who resists the “natural” and the “moral” order of the Gods in order to defend himself and his companions is Odysseus, who we learn about from the two epics of Homer, the Iliad and the Odyssey.
Odysseus was the king of the island of Ithaki on the Ionian Sea when the Greeks decided to attack Troy in order to bring back Princess Helen who was the wife of king Menelaos of Sparta, brother of Agamemnon , king of Mycene. Princess Helen had been abducted by Paris, prince of Troy and son of its king , Priamos. Odysseus was one of the major heroes of the Greeks in the Trojan War, while the others were Achilles, Agamemnon, Menelaos and Nestor, king of Pilos in the Peloponnese.
Odysseus was a brave soldier, a prudent king, a loyal comrade and a resourceful leader. He is someone who is always thinking, analysing the personalities and the psychology of the people with whom he collaborates. He is straightforward , valiant and bold, respects the young Greek warriors such as Achilles, while he is also protective and flexible with his young fellow companions from Ithaki, holding in check his emotions when they do no follow his orders and the aftermath is disastrous for everyone!!!! Finally, Odysseus living through the Trojan War and his grueling return voyage to his kingdom Ithaki, which took him seven years to complete, made him stop trusting the wisdom and the impartiality of the Olympian Divinities!!!(p.2,http://el.ancientgreekmythology.wikia.com/wiki/Odysseas).
We shall describe two events from the experiences of Odysseus during the periods of the Trojan War and afterwards, which clearly demonstrate the initiatives which he took contravening the “natural” and the “moral” order of the gods in order to protect the interests of the Greeks, the interests of his companions and naturally his own personal self and safety during his return voyage to his homeland and family.
We will begin with the Trojan War which had lasted for 10 years and no one side had been able to achieve a decisive victory so that the war would end. Both warring camps , meaning he Trojans and the Greeks, had been debilitated with no concrete results. Odysseus who was an intelligent and resourceful man, who loved to devise various solutions to the problems that preoccupied him, constructed an enormous wooden horse, the famous Trojan Horse, so as to permit a number of Greek soldiers to enter the walls of Troy which were impenetrable until then. Under the guidance of Odysseus, the Greeks constructed this enormous wooden horse which was standing on huge wooden wheels. The wooden frame of the horse had a hidden trapdoor where a sufficient number of Greek soldiers could hide with their own weapons and stay hidden for the period of time needed to make a surprise assault!!!
The plan was that the Greek soldiers would pretend that they had accepted their own defeat and that they would sail to return to their homelands in the Peloponnese. Before making their “simulated departure” from Troy, the Greeks placed their Wooden Horse at the gates of the city as “the spoils” of victory of the Trojans over the Greeks. The Greeks departed from Troy temporarily with their boats, while the Trojans very soon started to believe that they were the victors in the war and that the Greeks had finally accepted their military defeat, leaving definitely their kingdom!!!
After a few days, when the Trojans confirmed that the Greek ships had disappeared from the horizon, finally becoming convinced that they were victorious, they opened the gates of the city, dragging the Wooden Horse within its interior. The Trojans then went into a frenzy of merriment, drinking all day long. When night fell and the inhabitants of Troy were in a state of intoxication and lethargy, the soldiers of Odysseus who were hidden inside the wooden frame of the Horse, creped out and were able to take over the undefended city easily; with very little resistance.
After the takeover of the city of Troy, the Greek soldiers committed many atrocities, killing many ordinary citizens, women and children, but also prisoners of war!!! The person responsible for this inhumane strategy and policy of the Greeks was Odysseus because in this particular case, he was the commander directing all military operations from the very beginning.(p.3,http://el.ancientgreekmythology.wikia.com/wiki/Odysseas).
Odysseus with his priorities and designs , making use of the Wooden Horse to overrun the city of Troy in an underhanded and devious manner, had trespassed and had ignored the “moral” and the “natural” order of the Olympian Divinities!!!
First of all, it was the way with which the Greek soldiers had attacked the Trojan soldiers, hiding within the cavity of the Trojan Horse, while the Trojans were not in a position to fight back on equal terms, since they were intoxicated. The Greeks had contravened the “established rules of combat” between opposing warring camps, which prescribe that they face one another and that they are of equal potential!!!
Second, the Greek soldiers had violated the “established rules of conduct of war” when as victors, they committed atrocities. The Greek divinities considered the war violations executed by Odysseus and his soldiers as a “vilification” and they stopped supporting the military leaders of the Greek armies, especially Odysseus, during his return voyage to the island of Ithaki which lasted seven years.
Similarly, Odysseus faced insurmountable obstacles during his return voyage because of the curse of god Poseidon, who had wished him never to complete this voyage to his kingdom and birthplace!!! Odysseus had blinded Poseidon’s Cyclope son, Poliphimos, on the island of the man-eaters!!!Only in the final segment of this tumultuous voyage , do we see goddess Athena and god Hermis intervening in order to facilitate Odysseus’s return trip, convincing Zeus and the council of the Olympian divinities to sustain him on a practical level!!! (p.2,http://el.ancientgreekmythology.wiki/com/wiki/Odysseus).
I would like here to take a pause and point out the heavy price which was paid by the Greek military leaders for their policies in conducting the Trojan War, where they had completely disregarded the equilibriums of the “natural” and “moral” order maintained by Zeus and the Olympian divinities . None of these glorified Greek military commanders such as Achilles, Agamemnon, Menelaos and Nestor died a natural death. Even Odysseus was killed by his second son Tilegonos, who was the child he had with his former female companion, the sorceress Kirki!!!(p.2,http://el.ancientgreekmythology.wikia/com/wiki/Odysseus).
The third personality in Greek mythology which had acted against the universal order of the Olympian Gods for the benefit of mortals was Prometheus, a Titan like goddess Themis. The Titans represented the old divinities of the Greek Pantheon, before the twelve gods and goddesses of Olympus had established themselves at the pinnacle of Greek Theogony with the battles of the Titans. Zeus, the son of Kronos, the head divinity of the Titans, killed him and took the pre-eminence and the leadership of the Greek gods and demigods!!!
Prometheus , even though he was a member of the old divinities, he was in contact with the gods and goddesses of Mount Olympus , especially with Zeus, the highest divinity. He therefore knew that these divinities possessed “the Fire” to service themselves, a natural element which was forbidden to mortals whose use would improve the quality of their lives and develop their communities. The Greek gods and goddesses wanted Man to be feeble, deficient and subservient, thus ensuring their dominance and prestige over Humans!!!
Prometheus as with Themis , were both off springs of Titans, who supported the amelioration of the life of mortals. As a consequence , Prometheus stole the Fire from mount Olympus and gave it to Man. Prometheus had violated the tenets of the gods, especially those of Zeus, which forbade mortals to make use of it.
Zeus punished Prometheus even though he represented a Greek divinity, tying him on top of a cliff, where each day an eagle would come and devour his liver. The eagle of Zeus came each day because within a short time, the liver would rejuvenate itself. This divine punishment on Prometheus lasted for a very long time, until god Hermis intervened because he felt pity for him. Hermis convinced Zeus to let Prometheus free and to allow him to become part of the Olympian circle of divinities. I would like here to emphasize an important dimension concerning the “theogony” of the Ancient Greeks which is, that the powerful divinities of Mount Olympus by their nature and temperament wanted the “lesser divinities” and the “demi gods” to be subservient to them and insecure so that they could predominate and feel superior to all of them!!!
In order to better understand the difference of an “existential philosophy” between the Ancient Greeks and the Traditional Jews, we shall compare the behaviour of the Greek students of Socrates and the Jewish students of Jesus Christ when their teachers had been condemned to death by the courts of their respective communities, which “naturally” supported the interests of the Socio-Economic Establishment of their respective societies.
Let us begin with Socrates(469B.C.-399B.C.), who was born, raised and lived all of his life in Athens. Socrates is considered as one of the philosophers who contributed decisively for the way we comprehend philosophy today, while he also greatly influenced almost all of the philosophic schools of the West . Socrates is classified as one of the most important figures of the Greek and the International Intellect and Civilization, as well as being one of the founders of Western Philosophy!!!
Socrates was an Athenian citizen which meant that he owned land, nevertheless, he was to a large degree poor because his land property was meagre and not very profitable, while he did not charge any fees for the lessons he gave to young people like many of his peers during that time. Most of his students came from aristocratic families, nevertheless Socrates did not have his own school premises since he did not teach systematically but initiated various philosophic discussions at every part of Athens, with people of every age and from every walk of life!!! Around him, he had a circle of young students who “admired” him and “adored” him, because through his deep wisdom and extensive knowhow, they could discuss and learn about social, political, moral and religious matters!!!!
Socrates through his teachings, was socially, ideologically and philosophically a radical, questioning the “undemocratic policies” of the administrators of Athens and the economic privileges of the ruling class or aristocracy , at the expense of the average citizen!!! As a consequence, the political, social and economic establishment of Athens in 399B.C., officially accused Socrates of “disrespect for the gods” and of “corrupting the youth”!!! Based on these accusations, he was given the death sentence by the court of Athens, with a difference of only 30 votes from the total of 500 citizens who were eligible to a vote!!!(p.3,http://www.paraskinio.gr/san-simera-o-sokratis-ipie-to-koneio/).
The students of Socrates who were young men coming from aristocratic families, stayed with him until the end, proposing to finance his escape. His students with their stance and their actions had taken a personal collision course against their privileged families, while also ignoring their own proper social interests!!! This personal sacrifice and daring by the students of Socrates was for their love and gratitude towards their Extraordinary and Wise Teacher!!! Socrates , as a law abiding citizen and a true philosopher, took the poison prescribed by the Athenian court and died!!!(p.2,http://www.paraskhnio.gr/san-simera-o-socratis-ipie-to-koneio/).
Contrary to this tragic historical event concerning the end of Socrates and the absolute dedication of his students during “the last hours of his life”, we have the historical documentation(4 Christian Gospels) concerning the attitude of the students of Jesus Christ when he was also sentenced to death by the Roman Court of Jerusalem. This decision by the Roman Court was taken with the “unanimity” of a very large segment of the Jewish population of the city , as well as the Religious Council of the Pharisees there , the Sanhedrin!!!
Jesus Christ had lived in the beginning of the 1st century A.D. and was crucified when he was in his early 30s , meaning he was very young. The father of Jesus Christ was a carpenter from Nazareth in Palestine, where Jesus Christ was raised, eventually exercising the same profession as his father. Jesus was cousin to John the Baptist and was of the same age. Mary , the mother of Jesus Christ, was first cousin to the mother of John. Jesus Christ belonged to the House of David from his mother’s side and had been taught to become a rabbi in Jerusalem!!!
Jesus was an enlightened rabbi, whose real social goal was the toppling of the Religious Establishment, especially the Association of the Pharisees who represented the Religious Aristocracy of the Jewish community of Palestine. Jesus Christ believed that the Pharisees had distorted the tenets of their God and his prophets for political and economic reasons. The Pharisees were cooperating perfectly with the Roman Administration of Palestine at the expense of its Jewish citizens so that they could protect their religious(ritual), economic and social status!!!
The message of Jesus Christ was simply the word “Love” in all of its dimensions. The love for God, the love for your fellow human beings, the love of nature and its animals, the love for Truth and the love of oneself!!! He was the first scholar and philosopher in human history whose whole ideology was based on the human sentiment and the feelings of Love!!! Christ as a very wise person knew very well that Love is a radical human potential on a personal but also on a collective level!!! He was conscious that Love is a type of human behaviour which is not directed or controlled, but is instinctive through Human Conscience and the Human Spirit!!!
The students of Christ had personal experience of the Love of Christ and of his dedication to them!!! They were witnesses of his Love in all the trips they had made together to the different cities and towns of Palestine, passing his message of Love to its inhabitants and performing miracles through Love’s positive power and energy!!!
The moment that the Roman Court of Jerusalem sentenced Jesus Christ to death by “crucifixion” , the Roman soldiers in cooperation with the sentry guards of the Pharisees, tried to find Him in order to arrest him and accompany him to the place of His execution. Judas, the favourite student of Christ, as well as being the youngest, the most educated and the richest of all of his students, facilitated the tracking down after receiving “a money bribe” of thirty talents from the Pharisees!!! Judas knew very well where Jesus Christ could be located because he was to meet all of his students at a certain time and at a certain location!!!
When the Roman soldiers and the sentry guards of the Pharisees arrived at the place which was indicated to them by Judas, the Roman soldiers asked Jesus’s students if they knew Him and if He was among them. The students expressed full ignorance and indifference!!! At a certain moment, Judas with a sign(kiss) which had been agreed upon in advance, revealed who Jesus Christ was, and then the Roman soldiers and the guards of the Pharisees arrested Him.
At first, they took him to the High Religious Court of Jerusalem, the Sanhedrin, in order to “legitimize” and “sanctify” the death sentence of Jesus Christ on behalf of Jewish Traditional Religious Justice. During the critical hours of the court proceedings, the students of Jesus Christ dispersed because they did not want to undergo any type of Roman interrogation and be accused of unlawful activity against the Roman authorities and Roman Justice, but more importantly, they did not want to be accused by the High Jewish Clerics or the Pharisees of “moral disrespect” towards the Traditional Religious Institutions of the Jewish Nation!!!
In the Gospel according to Matthew , verses 55 and 56, the Evangelist describes those dramatic moments of the trial of Christ by the Jewish High Clerics noting that, “ He turned towards the crowd and said , ‘Am I a robber and you came out to arrest me with swords and clubs??? Every day, I used to sit at the temple and would teach, yet you did not arrest me then. This is taking place so that the prophesies of the Holy Scriptures could be realized.’ Then, all of his students abandoned him and departed !!!”(translation from the Greek text).
All of Christ’s students had betrayed him at the end of His life, ignoring the depth and the degree of his spiritual and social contribution, as well as his everyday Acts of Love!!! The students of Jesus Christ did not have the rich cultural base to fathom and appreciate His philosophic and ideological ideals as had the Greek students of Socrates with their Teacher and Mentor!!!
Concluding, we could say that the students of Jesus Christ proved to be cowardly, selfish , hypocritical and very ungrateful!!! Character attributes which to a large degree define the personality of Modern Human Beings, especially in the Western World!!!
After the crucifixion, all of Christ’s students had the extraordinary “audacity” and “impudence” to go on teaching the Message of Love of Christ to the people, while Matthew and John, students of Christ, representing two of the four Evangelists of the Gospel, had described in their Scriptures, the life, the acts and the philosophy of Jesus Christ!!! Isn’t this whole historical setting an Absolute Existential Aberration and a Human Sacrilege ???
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