The Greek Way - Chapter 6, The Athenians as Plato Saw Them Summary & Analysis

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Plato's writings might be understood to open a window upon the intellectual life and values of Athenian society. Civilization, for them, "is a matter of imponderables, of delight in the things of the mind, of love of beauty, of honor, grace, courtesy, delicate feeling. Where imponderables are things of first importance, there is the height of civilization, and if, at the same time, the power to act exists unimpaired, human life has reached a level seldom attained and very seldom surpassed."

Of primary importance to the fifth century, Athenians were the imponderables. These imponderables were the truths and the ideals upon which the world and all matters of life could be understood and ordered. Order was of the utmost importance to these Athenians. They must search out and know the order of the...

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