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Monday, October 26, 2020

The Roots of Ancient Greek Culture

"What is Plato but Moses speaking Attic Greek?” — this is the famous statement of Numenius, the second century CE Greek philosopher who lived in the Roman City of Apamea. Around three centuries before Numenius, Aristobulus (181–124 B.C.E.), the Hellenistic Jewish philosopher of the Peripatetic school who lived in Alexandria, argued that the essentials of Greek philosophy and mythology were derived from Jewish and other ancient resources. He held that not only Plato and Aristotle but also the oldest Greek thinkers like Homer, Hesiod, and Orpheus owed an intellectual debt to Judaism and other ancient cultures. There are lot of parallels in the philosophical and mythological musings of Judaism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, and the ancient Egyptians—these four civilizations evolved between 3000 and 4000 years ago—and they must have influenced each other and the Ancient Greeks. Numenius and Aristobulus devoted their life to finding the connection between the Ancient Greek thought and the philosophy and mythology developed by the Brahmins, Jews, Magi, and Egyptians.

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