Monday, October 26, 2020

The Roots of Ancient Greek Culture

"What is Plato but Moses speaking Attic Greek?” ~ Numenius (the second century BC Greek philosopher who lived in the Roman City of Apamea). Three centuries before Numenius, Aristobulus (181–124 BC), 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 several similarities in the philosophical and mythological musings of Judaism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, and the ancient Egyptians—all four civilizations evolved between 3000 and 4000 years ago. They could have influenced each other and the Ancient Greeks. Numenius and Aristobulus tried to find the connection between the Ancient Greek thought and the philosophy and mythology developed by the Brahmins, Jews, Magi, and Egyptians.

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