The Greeks - Philosophy
by Richard E. Noble
You can’t have an interest in philosophy and not be exposed to the Greeks. In fact, you can’t have an interest in learning and not be exposed to the Greeks. I have in my love of learning and knowledge read a lot of Greeks and about a lot of Greeks. I’ve read the playwrights Euripides, Sophocles, and Aeschylus. I have, of course, read Plato and Aristotle, and I have always been fascinated by the life and trial of the great moral thinker, Socrates. I’ve read about Greek wars, Greek Coliseums, Greek art, Greek everything. At least that is what I thought. Then just a few months ago, I picked up an old book at a yard sale, and once again, as happens so often in reading, I was made to feel like a complete imbecile. The book dealt with Greek love. Now I don’t know why it had never occurred to me that the Greeks were somewhat unique in their love making habits. I have heard all of the jokes about Greek style love and the Greeks with their ‘backwards’ ways, but yet it never sunk in. And I can honestly say that in all of my Greek studies, I can not remember Plato, or Aristotle, or Socrates ever mentioning the subject. Needless to say, I was shocked. By our American standards the Greeks were a whole nation of perverts. We here in the States believe that for every man there is a woman, the Greeks, I’m told, believed that for every man there was a cute young teenage boy. They actually had public debates as to who made the better lover, a woman or a young boy. The book goes on about a well known affair between Socrates and some young seductor of his. I can’t believe it!
I mentioned this to a well read friend of mine and he said … so what?
Is he kidding me?
I mean this changes everything. This puts all of those Greeks statues of the naked guys throwing a discus, or leaning on their elbow thinking, into a whole new dementia. What’s that naked guy sitting there thinking about? Why the hell is he naked? Why are all of these guys running around nude? Why all the statues of nude... GUYS? Why was Socrates’s wife always out in the street nagging her husband to come home and stop playing with all of his young ‘students’. I can’t believe it! I am totally shocked! And now I have to wonder, was it really the lovely face of Helen that launched a thousand ships... or was it Harold?