ANCIENT GREECE, HELLENISTIC PERIOD AND ROMAN AREA

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Major purpose of history of political thought is that confessed writes during history is understanding and rendition. We research that, there are three main sections in history of political thought. These are Ancient Greece, Hellenistic Period and Roman Area. All sections have similar or different features. I am going to mention about these features.

Firstly, Ancient Greece has two polis or city-state(Athens and Sparta). A polis fulfils the every needs in itself man, so it is competent. The reason of development in the means of morality is polis. You only could be a real man in the polis. In thıs period, commons were member of tribunate, and in case, nobilities were member of senate. Two word had appeared in this period. ‘koinon and idion’ koinon(men) expresses public(agora) ,and idion(women) expresses oikos(household). Plato said that ‘ıf the girls are brave, she can be soldier or guardians.’ In this period, answers are more important than asked questions. Human beings as seen a man had started in the medieval age, and concept of peoples is invented 19th century. Citizenship and passing the time of day were work or occupation, every citizen also were statesman. In the Ancient Greece, religion would be human guise polytheistic. There is a stratified class. Ancient Greece is that closed society ,and has a congregationesque lives. There was no separation between relation and social institution. Religion and economy are similar thing. Once again in this period, there was debate of ‘thesmoi and nomoi’. One of separation of conventionalists and naturalists was the most important separation of history in nomoi and thesmoi’s debate. As far as Rome occupy Macedonia, polis was subsisting.

Secondly, Hellenistic period was starting with Alexander the Great because power of free and independent Ancient Greece is as dead as a dodo with dominance of Alexander the Great. In this period, there were two important question : (1) What is the good life or good? (2) How should we live? State of self-sufficiency is a matter of individual. It is passed the from collectivism to individualism. Nevertheless, imputed something to polis was imputing to individual. Hellenistic period are defined with philosophical schools that are Epucurean, Stoics and Cynics. Zenon was founder of Stoics. They care about self-sufficiency in individualism, and claims universal natural law. ’Logos’ is that a primary law and universal mind and also there is a share from Logos in the everything of universe. Logos is the ruler of universal reason. Being self-sufficiency of man originates from shares of Logos. Man bring under control our own desires. They have an ‘apathia’ situation. Nevertheless, man should be indifferent ,and control the desires, pain and pleasures. Also they have fatalism because of guaranty of universal logos. All pleasures transform pain in the long term. If you are slave of your own pleasures, you cannot be self-sufficiency and control yourselves. Epucurus was founder of Epicurean school. They have two basic motives : pain and pleasure for utilitarianism. According to this school, pleasures are tools of happiness , and there were an ‘ataraxia’ situation. Ataraxia means virtue(high pleasure). Individual should be self-sufficiency and they are going to see inside of them(introspective). They criticize Aristotle, Plato and Naturalism because of passed from collectivism to individualism. Lastly, Antisthenes is the founder of Cynics. Diogenes from Sinop, is very famous member of Cynics. Kyon means dog , nevertheless doggy life. If the social and political rules are related, it will concern you. According to Cynics, man born free ,but they cannot live free. They are hedonist and also they hate civilizations, criticize them and, must be virtuous. There is no private property and polis. Individuals are self-sufficiency and cynics are the anarchists.

Lastly, Rome is a city-state and Rome and Ottoman are very similar. Stoics are very popular during Roman Empire. They developed the form of regime(res publica), and belong to the public ,so opposite the private. Thought of man and state is at root of the state. State expresses integrity of peoples ,and peoples express state, too.  There is a stratified society; Patrici is nobleman(senate), Pleb is council(tribunate). Senate and tribunate conflict each other. There were three famous thinkers in Roman Area. Such as; Cicero, Seneca and Polybios. Polybios influenced Greek Philosophy. He claims that good government means good constitution ,and the power disturbed or separated among council, senate and tribunate. Council checks both of them, senate checks tribunate. Cicero was a state man and member of the senate. According to him, state is not a natural ,and not kozasui . Independent right of state is related with government and commonwealth or republic. He said that The laws must be rational ,and identified the population res publica. A constitution must be include wisdom-freedom and love’. Seneca, was talking about ‘free will’. Fatalism is his thought. He said that human beings is rational creature. Man could be free ,but they should purified their desires ,but being slave of rational constitutions would make free to man. Society predate from state as history. In his opinion, freedom is the best situation but private property is risk for freedom.

In conclusion, generally, Ancient Greece had involved the both of them because thinkers in Roman Area and Hellenistic Period had impressed thinkers in Ancient Greece. In Ancient Greece , there is a collectivism ,but with to conquest Macedonia, Ancient Greece is as dead as a dodo ,and is passed from collectivism to individualism. Once again, man are not purified their own desires because man are depended to state ,but on the other hand, there was an individualism ,so man could be slave of desires in Roman Area and Hellenistic Period. Nevertheless, role of state is very important in Ancient Greece, in case, role of individual is very important, too. Ancient Greece has polis or city-state but, with conquest Macedonia, polis is annihilated by Roman Empire. Finally, if not all, marks  Ancient Greece, Hellenistic Period and Roman Area is seen and Plato’s Republic, concept of peoples, human beings as seen man ..etc. had only recently started to show effects.

YUSUF TANER KILAVUZ

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Yusuf Taner KILAVUZ

Istanbul Medeniyet University, Faculty of Political Science, Department of International Relations. tanerkilavuz@gmail.com

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