The Way Ancient Greeks Saw Happiness

992 Words4 Pages
The ancient Greeks valued wisdom above all other virtues. They saw wisdom as the ultimate way to happiness. To gain happiness in ancient Greek culture meant that one had to suffer. All Greeks, including Plato, Socrates, and Aeschylus believed that through suffering one would gain knowledge and wisdom. In Aeschylus’s play Agamemnon, the main theme is suffering. In the play, Zeus is portrayed as a god who makes mortals suffer in order for them to learn from their experiences. This means that learning is a natural process. As a human, one learns from the experiences they go through. If one were to have their identity stole, they would learn not to give out their personal information. This is the ancient Greek philosophy, bad things happen for a reason. There was no other Greek philosopher more adamant about the quest for wisdom than Socrates. His desire for knowledge led him through many life experiences and caused his eventual death. Socrates’ view of wisdom is best expressed in Plato’s literary work Apology which follows Socrates as he is charged with corrupting the youth and not believing the gods of Athens. In the story, Plato documents how Socrates visited the oracle of Delphi and was proclaimed the wishes of all the people in Athens. Socrates felt confused; he thought there were more people wiser than he was. He took this information and set out on his quest to find wisdom. Socrates interviews, politicians, poets and craftsman. When he questioned politicians he found people who thought they knew things, but they really knew nothing. When he questioned poets he found people with amazing intellect and inspirations, but not wisdom. Finally, when he interviewed craftsmen he found people who truly had wisdom in their crafts, but n... ... middle of paper ... ...stinguish the good from the bad. Socrates to some is the father of modern wisdom studies. His contribution to understanding through logic has helped many scholars understand how the Greeks viewed suffering and wisdom as one. To really have wisdom, one must understand that they know nothing, possess nothing and have known suffering. Most people think of suffering as bad, in some cases it can be, but it is a teacher. Along with it come lessons and if one hears those lessons, and then they will truly be wise. Works Cited Dillon, D. Wisdom and Suffering. 2010. Modern Journal of Philosophy. Retrieved from the Web. March 24, 2014 Plato. Apology. 2012 University of Adelaide. Retrieved from the Web. March 24, 2014 Steiner, R. The Origin of Suffering. 2009. The University of Montana. Retrieved from the Web. March 24, 2014
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