The Parthenon

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The Parthenon

Post by NAB »

I watched a documentary on this last evening, and was very taken by its history, most notably when it was built (around 2500 years ago pre-dating the rise of Christianity?), and the assertion that the Athenians and Greece were actually the originators of "Democracy" as we know it.

Also interesting they pointed to a number of more modern buildings that copied some of its features, particularly in the US. (Is the Whitehouse one of them? Others?)

The program covered the many difficulties encountered in recent attempts to repair/restore it somewhat and stabilize it, in the process noting how it was engineered and built - each piece being unique to its final position and to a very tight degree of accuracy. Then reference was made to the time it took to build it and compared it to what it would take us to duplicate the feat in terms of manpower, equipment and, particularly, time.

It made me wonder if we are as truly advanced in such matters as we like to think we are, not just in engineering and construction technique, but in terms of application of democratic principles too.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parthenon

Nab
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Re: The Parthenon

Post by WhatThe »

I too am fascinated by ancient buildings and their construction, and the societies that built them. Very sophisticated peoples.
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Re: The Parthenon

Post by Born_again »

I've been very fortunate in having the interest and opportunity to visit many of the ancient wonders of the world during my travels, and being plagued by the question of why such advancements of civilisation have all seemingly ended up in ruin.

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Re: The Parthenon

Post by NAB »

I have to admit that is the first time I have seen the period (early middle ages) following the decline of the Roman Empire referred to as The "Christian" Dark Ages (modern spin?) and, although it comes as no surprise that some might try to present it as so, (and that to some degree that might even be partially correct in that the Catholic Church was the only Christian institution to survive the decline and fall of the Roman Empire intact), ...it seems that concentrating only on those areas leaves a huge gap in recognizing other things and regions that have contributed immensely to "where we are today" globally.

...my impression at this point is that there were many far greater factors at work than Christianity, including Islamic based conquests that undermined the growth and influence of Greece and Athens.

Still, it was not my intent to open up yet another thread to be taken over by religion bashing, ...but hopefully to explore more fully the interesting cultures pre-dating the foundations and rise of modern religion and its texts, mainly in the areas of government (political) philosophy (the rise of democracy and its path over more than 2000 years in particular, since it seems clear that idea is not as modern as many seem to think), ...and the role played by related architecture.

Thinking here that while that architecture may have been influenced by cultural beliefs that included some form of deities or gods (not the the current Christian, Jewish, or Islamic One), I have the sense that the designs also included more practical (and earthly) considerations associated more with forms of government than religion.

Plus of course some rather startling testimony that some cultures (in this case the Athenians) had actually developed construction and leadership skills that leave even our best today in constant wonder.

Nab
"He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still." - Lao-Tzu
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Re: The Parthenon

Post by Born_again »

True democracy was and has proven to be far too dangerous for traditional and current Authority to stomach. 'They' have successfully kept it under wraps by whatever means were possible, and invariably organised religion was on hand to do the dirty work for 'them'. Heck!, as history has shown, religion has even usurped 'the authority' to become the imposed Authority, eg. Catholic Dark Age and the neo-Sharia just-as-Dark Age.
I very much doubt that a single human being will ever feel the concept of true democracy ...ever!
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Re: The Parthenon

Post by NAB »

Sometimes I think this whole forum should just be named "Religion" or "Religious philosophy", and we could just forget about trying to discuss any other kind of philosophy here.

Nab
"He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still." - Lao-Tzu
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Re: The Parthenon

Post by WhatThe »

Nab, since you enjoyed that program, (I think I saw the same one) there's a couple more ou would probably like. Can't remember the name exactly, "something something with olly steeds" and "ancient weather" on discovery or history channel. Very intersting programming. Actually there's many shows like Parthenon one, I watch them all the time.
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Re: The Parthenon

Post by Glacier »

NAB wrote:I have to admit that is the first time I have seen the period (early middle ages) following the decline of the Roman Empire referred to as The "Christian" Dark Ages (modern spin?)

Probably spin and same with the graph. It would more likely be that scientific advancement is sinusoidal.
Mathematically described as:
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or graphically:
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The world's great civilizations have progressed through
this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; from
spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty;
from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness;
from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to
apathy; from apathy to dependence; from dependence back
again into bondage.

~ Alexander Tyler (ca.1770)


As for the topic on hand, it is amazing what knowledge people had back in time, and we know even less about previous civilizations since much of what they had was destroyed during the conquest of the next dominant power. A real shame.
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Re: The Parthenon

Post by Queen K »

Imagine if the Library at Alexandria hadn't been destroyed.

Or the scrolls of the Mayan. Spanish SOB's. Christians!
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Re: The Parthenon

Post by grammafreddy »

Architecture, both ancient and modern, has always fascinated me. I would like to know more about this documentary you watched. Is there a link to something you can give me? Many thanks.
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Re: The Parthenon

Post by NAB »

I'm not sure what channel I was tuned to gramma. Will have to see if I can track it down as I missed parts of the program (particularly the start of it) and would like to watch it again more closely. It would have been either the Discovery Channel, History channel, or GEO. I don't regularly watch any of the other channels.

Nab
"He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still." - Lao-Tzu
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Re: The Parthenon

Post by NAB »

Yes, it is a real shame Glacier, although I suspect that there is still lots knowledge to be gleaned about those previous civilizations that may find application in our times. One might even start to wonder what it was about their society (and system of government) that made them susceptible to attack, conquest, and destruction of their symbols and architecture by "the next dominant power".

I rather like the explanation in the quote you provided. The more times I read it (and try to associate it with more modern times and various modern day societies) I cannot help but speculate as to where "we" are on that cycle. Certainly somewhere in the latter stages of the quote I would think, although I am having difficulty trying to define the nature of the forces that (would/could) hold us in bondage, ...and whether or not they be external or internal to each of us.....

....or perhaps some among us are even the ones bent on doing the dominating at the next stage (complete with associated destruction of symbols and related architecture) if 'they' can but undermine the existing "power" (as "they" perceive it)? Which leads to the question: What could those ancient civilizations have done differently to avoid being wiped out and placed into bondage. And what societal mechanisms were at work (even from within) that helped it along. Selfishness? Greed? Decline of democracy as those in "government" and the corporate "elite" became ever more powerful and self serving? Hmmmmmmm, while some get distracted and focused on attacking the "church" as the notion of the power needing to be destroyed, others have focused on destruction of such as the world trade centre as the real centre of power and architectural symbols of our modern society ;-)

"The world's great civilizations have progressed through
this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; from
spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty;
from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness;
from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to
apathy; from apathy to dependence; from dependence back
again into bondage."

~ Alexander Tyler (ca.1770)

Nab
Footnote: that sinusoidal representation looks very much like what "they" are apparently using to induce our meters to run faster when "they" need a revenues top up ;-)
"He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still." - Lao-Tzu
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grammafreddy
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Re: The Parthenon

Post by grammafreddy »

Nab - I went looking (I love Google) and I found this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLCW0zKR4xk

Is that what you watched? If so, it was fascinating and kept me up until nearly 2 am watching it. There's others there, as well, but my eyes had descended past half mast, so I bookmarked the page for later.

If that is different, then I would still appreciate a link or whatever to the one you watched. Many thanks.

"The world's great civilizations have progressed through
this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; from
spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty;
from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness;
from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to
apathy; from apathy to dependence; from dependence back
again into bondage."

~ Alexander Tyler (ca.1770)


That's some quote! I think it's very true. The red bolded stage is where I think we are today. IMO too many people are becoming too socialistic, looking to governments (authority) to do too much - and governments are more than happy to control their people. Unfortunately, we have moved beyond local and national governments now and it is the world government (which includes the UN) that seeks to control us all. I don't think society is too far from bondage at this time and given the things that happen on a global scale.
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Re: The Parthenon

Post by NAB »

Yep, that appears to be the one Gramma. Thanks so much for finding it! I know what I'll be watching once more this evening.

Nab
"He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still." - Lao-Tzu
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Re: The Parthenon

Post by quietlywatching84 »

....or perhaps some among us are even the ones bent on doing the dominating at the next stage (complete with associated destruction of symbols and related architecture) if 'they' can but undermine the existing "power" (as "they" perceive it)? Which leads to the question: What could those ancient civilizations have done differently to avoid being wiped out and placed into bondage. And what societal mechanisms were at work (even from within) that helped it along. Selfishness? Greed? Decline of democracy as those in "government" and the corporate "elite" became ever more powerful and self serving? Hmmmmmmm, while some get distracted and focused on attacking the "church" as the notion of the power needing to be destroyed, others have focused on destruction of such as the world trade centre as the real centre of power and architectural symbols of our modern society ;-)


You really must read "systems of survival" for a great theory on the subject that is presented within its pages. Full of historical andedotes and written in platonic dialogue. Probably right up your alley since you enjoy politics as well.
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