September 22, 2016

Today in History: Battle of Salamis saved classical Greece (480 BC)

John RobsonResident Historian
 

The Battle of Salamis on September 22, 480 BC, saved classical Greece before it even got started, before Aristotle, Socrates or Sophocles.

And it saved the West, because the Greek habit of free and dispassionate inquiry lies near the root of our open societies.

But Salamis wasn’t just a victory for free inquiry. It was a victory by free inquiry, as the Greeks outsmarted the Persians by debating strategy instead of bowing to a God-emperor.

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commented 2016-09-22 22:41:58 -0400
Brilliant insights as usual, John Robson.
I especially like your noting that “Greek civilization is characterized by a highly unusual separation of emotion from reason in order to consider a question dispassionately; a habit of mind that puts truth ahead of loyalty.”
You have just explained the polar opposite of left wing thinking. They do not separate emotion from reason and in fact put emotion ahead of reason if reason is used at all. For the left wing truth is sacrificed to loyalty at every turn and is in fact the sine qua non of the loyal lefty.

Hence the objection to the fact of Muslims being unsuitable inhabitants of western societies. Or the fact of 1400 years of unbroken Muslim aggression. Or the falsehood of human caused global warming. They will brook no criticism of their most loyal positions and shout down those who try to be dispassionate. The list could and should go on but thanks for the clear, concise explanation. Maybe some day Jay Kelly will take one of your classes. Now that would be an education.
commented 2016-09-22 18:56:37 -0400
Robinson mentions that Xerxes did not have citizens but subjects to command.

Is that kinda like Notley in Alberta? Wynne in Ontario? Baby Doc, I mean Butt in Canada?
commented 2016-09-22 14:23:21 -0400
A very interesting reflection. Thank you.
commented 2016-09-22 14:19:57 -0400
beginning of democracy and the age of reason?