2 Answers

  1. The difference in the nature and characteristics of the ways of social development. At a time when Thales was looking at the stars in Greece, Tarquinius the Proud came to power in Rome. The Roman polis is still being formed, there are no laws of the XII tables yet, and Papirius, with whom the history of Roman law begins, did not even collect the laws of kings. As Rome reaches its heyday, Greece, in turn, is experiencing a crisis. The campaigns of Alexander the Great turned the usual world order upside down, and after his death, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East become an arena for diadochi clashes. Greece seems to be on the periphery of this new world, although it is also affected by these wars. In the same period, at the beginning of the third century BC, the Academy is headed by Arkesilaus, who tends to skepticism and believes that true judgment is impossible, but only probable. His successors are apparently insignificant, because nothing remains of them. At the same time, the desire for luxury begins to flourish, which is explained by the crisis of the traditional social structure and the wealth that has flowed from the east. Rome is still quite conservative during this period, and a person who meets three criteria is considered an exemplary person: citizen – farmer – warrior. Even by the time of the conquest of Carthage and Corinth (146 BC), deliberate modesty will be in honor. Examples of Emilius Paulus, who took nothing from the spoils of the war against Perseus the Great, and Mummius Achaicus, who conquered Corinth and brought many statues to Rome, did not take anything personally. However, already in the II century BC. there are people who are interested in Greek scholarship – this is Scipio the Elder and, to a greater extent, Scipio the Younger, who even gathered a learned circle around him. On the whole, society did not approve of this interest in speculative pursuits; Cato was a prominent exponent of this view. His main treatise is Agriculture, and his philosophy boils down to being a vir bonus in the sense of being a good host. When the Roman intellectual elite did turn to philosophical studies in the first century BC, there was even a language problem: there were no abstract concepts, no linguistic apparatus. This interestingly characterizes the Romans as more practical and concrete people. Philosophy has always remained a kind of occupation, a hobby. The exception is late, properly Roman stoicism, but it is not a strictly developed philosophical system, but mostly reflections on ethical issues. Prominent representatives are Seneca, Musonius Rufus (only fragments of his works have been preserved), Epictetus (a Greek and freedman), Marcus Aurelius (wrote in Greek). It seems to me that a philosopher (again, rather an ethical thinker) can to some extent be called Tacitus, who tried to trace the dynamics of the development and decline of social mores through history (in principle, a tradition begun by Sallust). Finally, we should also take into account the crisis of ancient culture: by the time of the heyday of the Roman state (the turn of the era), so many works had already been created that it was difficult to create something new because of the difficulties of covering the existing heritage. Therefore, compilations, epitomes, and compilations begin to appear. Vivid examples are the Historia Naturalis of Pliny the Elder (an encyclopedia of natural sciences) and the Noctes Atticae of Aulus Gellius (in fact, a notebook where the author wrote down everything interesting that came across him while reading).

  2. Because philosophy has long been considered dangerous to the state and moral foundations, and the Greek philosophers entered Rome too late.

    Thus, Claudius Aelianus writes: “The Epicureans Alcaeus and Philiscus were expelled from Rome for introducing young men to many inappropriate pleasures. The Messenians also forced the Epicureans to leave their city.” There is no agreement about the time when this happened – either in 173 BC or in 154 BC. Но But it is known for sure that in 161 BC philosophers and rhetoricians were forbidden to stay in Rome by a decree of the Senate.

    Philosophers reappeared in Rome, not as philosophers, but as ambassadors. The Athenians destroyed the city of Oropos and were fined by the Romans. To avoid paying a heavy fine, the Greeks sent envoys to Rome. The” philosophical embassy ” from Athens – the academic Carneades, the stoic Diogenes of Babylon, and the Peripatetic Critolaus-arrived in 155 BC, and the Greek speeches caused such a furor that they were hurriedly sent home.

    In particular, Karnead made paired speeches, taking turns defending opposing points of view – first defending justice in politics, then arguing against it. The younger generation was attracted to this independence of thinking, but the older generation did not understand it. It adopted and assimilated from Greek thought primarily texts that were purely utilitarian, such as Xenophon's Domostroy. Therefore, Roman philosophical literature remained applied and didactic for a long time.

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