Why was there a Hellenic Golden Age ?

Sep 2010
9,988
Bahrain
And not in other places ? :confused:

No, this isn't a Greek bashing thread (ya heard, Thess ? ;)). I think its amazing that there were so many philosophers, theorists, mathematicians etc. in Greece and no where else (at the time) :zany:
 

okamido

Forum Staff
Jun 2009
29,885
land of Califia
...I think its amazing that there were so many philosophers, theorists, mathematicians etc. in Greece and no where else (at the time) :zany:
That we know of Mohammed..that we know of. This is the key to the question...it is just that the knowledge that grew in Greece, and moved to Greece from other areas, survived there. The learning from Egypt, Mesopotamia, India and early China may have simply been lost through any number of varying reasons and factors.
 
May 2011
1,747
Macedonia, Eastern Roman Empire
It must be noted that the Greeks who migrated in South Italy and Anatolia were those who boosted that civilization. That didn't happen in mainland Greece, so the new areas may had offered more opportunities.
 
Dec 2010
142
Ah well economically there was a pretty large surplus in places like Athens allowing for a large leisure class; Greek culture was heavily focused on individual achievement and glory; the alphabetical writing system was a novel way to gain quick literacy and communicate more easily than other scripts. There are probably hundreds of little factors that led to a golden age.

Writing and preservation is probably most important; there may have been concurrent "golden ages" in other places all cross the world; the difference is that the Greek texts were preserved thru the Roman and Arabic worlds to our day so we can recognize them. There may have been a Dacian, Germanic, or a Scythian intellectual revolution at the same time but we can't know given that they have left no written testimony to it.
 

Frank81

Ad Honorem
Feb 2010
5,140
Canary Islands-Spain
And not in other places ? :confused:

No, this isn't a Greek bashing thread (ya heard, Thess ? ;)). I think its amazing that there were so many philosophers, theorists, mathematicians etc. in Greece and no where else (at the time) :zany:

Mohammed, the old historians knew this period as an "Axial Age". Because, not only in Greece but in the main areas of civillization, an astounding explosion of creativity took place.

Confucius, Buddha, Greek philosophers and, probably, Zoroaster, lived all around the same time.
 

Guaporense

Ad Honorem
Mar 2011
5,050
Brazil
The Greek golden age was the product of a period of economic prosperity that started around 800 BCE in mainland greece and lasted until 300 BCE. As result Greeks from 300 BCE were 5 cm taller, lived 10 years longer and had houses 5-7 times larger than Greeks from 800 BCE. Personal consumption of metal and pottery goods also increased about 10 times, from archaeological escavations in greek sites.

So the degree economic prosperity achieved by the greeks at the age of aristotle was exceptional at the time and allowed a large proportion of the population to have the free time required to think about art, literature, philosophy and math. Apparently other regions didn't achieve the same degree of social develpment where a large proportion of the population had the free time to think about philosophy.

This economic prosperity didn't last long and by the late hellenistic period greece was already declining and the number of famous philosophers and artists from greece also declined as result. Still Greece proper remained an important part of the classical world until the 4-5th centuries.
 
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Guaporense

Ad Honorem
Mar 2011
5,050
Brazil
Writing and preservation is probably most important; there may have been concurrent "golden ages" in other places all cross the world; the difference is that the Greek texts were preserved thru the Roman and Arabic worlds to our day so we can recognize them. There may have been a Dacian, Germanic, or a Scythian intellectual revolution at the same time but we can't know given that they have left no written testimony to it.
They have left no archaeological testimony of cities, writing and elaborate houses and sculptures as well. Only of villages with simple houses. Also, Greek authors wrote a lot about these peoples and they didn't cite any Dacian, Germanic and Scythian intellectuals. In that case one can simply assume that they never developed literature, philosophy and math.

We also have good knowledge of Chinese history, in fact better knowledge relative to Ancient Greek history since China never had a dark age that europe had. Still the number of know ancient chinese intellectuals is much smaller. From 600 bc to 300 ad we know of over 60 Greek mathematicians and only 4 Chinese mathematicians.
 
Aug 2010
17,765
Central Macedonia
And not in other places ? :confused:

No, this isn't a Greek bashing thread (ya heard, Thess ? ;)). I think its amazing that there were so many philosophers, theorists, mathematicians etc. in Greece and no where else (at the time) :zany:

You know there is an American phrase for this:

"Why are you doing this? Because we CAN" :cool: