I came to the Greeks early, and I found answers in them. Greece's great men let all their acts turn on the immortality of the soul. We don't really act as if we believed in the soul's immortality and that's why we are where we are today.
The power of good is shown not by triumphantly conquering evil, but by continuing to resist evil while facing certain defeat.
The author determines that the bitterest struggles are for one side of the truth to the suppression of the other side.
It may seem odd to say that the men who made the myths disliked the irrational and had a love for facts; but it is true, no matter how wildly fantastic some of the stories are...
Our way would seem quite familiar to the Romans, more by far than the Greek way. Socrates in the Symposium, when Alcibiades challenged him to drink two quarts of wine, could have done so or not as he chose, but the diners-out of Horace's day had no such freedom. He speaks often of the master of the drinking, who was always appointed to dictate how much each man was to drink. Very many unseemly dinner parties must have paved the way for that regulation. A Roman in his cups would've been hard to handle, surly, quarrelsome, dangerous. No doubt there had been banquets without number which had ended in fights, broken furniture, injuries, deaths. Pass a law then, the invariable Roman remedy, to keep drunkenness within bounds. Of course it worked both ways: everybody was obliged to empty the same number of glasses and the temperate man had to drink a great deal more than he wanted, but whenever laws are brought in to regulate the majority who have not abused their liberty for the sake of the minority who have, just such results come to pass. Indeed, any attempt to establish a uniform average in that stubbornly individual phenomenon, human nature, will have only one result that can be foretold with certainty: it will press hardest on the best.
To the Greeks, the word character first referred to the stamp upon a coin. By extension, man was the coin, and the character trait was the stamp imprinted upon him. To them, that trait, for example bravery, was a share of something all mankind had, rather than means of distinguishing one from the whole.
A magical universe was so terrifying because it was so irrational. There was no cause and effect anywhere.
They yoked themselves to a car and drew her all the long way through dust and heat. Everyone admired their filial piety when they arrived and the proud and happy mother standing before the statue prayed that Hera would reward them by giving them the best gift in her power. As she finished her prayer the two lads sank to the ground. They were smiling and they looked as if they were peacefully asleep but they were dead. (Biton and Cleobis)
When the freedom they wished for most was the freedom from responsibility then Athens ceased to be free and never was free again.
Mind and spirit together make up that which separates us from the rest of the animal world, that which enables a man to know the truth and that which enables him to die for the truth.