One of the most notable Greek philosophers – Plato, was born to a wealthy family around 428 B.C.E.
Plato was a devoted student of the great philosopher – Socrates. After the death of Socrates, Plato, aged 40, started teaching and opened up his own school – The Academy - which remained to be operated for nearly nine centuries after his death in 347 B.C.
The Academy was an ideal school for would-be politicians in ancient Greece. There, the primary focus of students was to explore self-related questions such as “what is the self?”, “what is the human nature?” etc.
Early Life and Education:
Plato belonged to a noble Athenian lineage both from his father’s and mother’s side. His father Ariston died quite early when Plato was just a small child. His mother, however, remarried a politician – Pyrilampes.
Plato grew up during war times when the Peloponnesian War (431- 404) was going on. The primary subjects that he studied were philosophy, poetry, gymnastics, and politics. Various distinguished Athenian teachers such as the philosopher Cratylus taught him philosophy, poetry, and gymnastics.
The young Plato was extremely inspired by the philosophies of Socrates and soon became one of his most loyal and faithful followers.
Plato’s Travels and His Academy Life:
After Socrates forced suicide in 399 B.C, Plato spent 12 years traveling in southern Italy, Sicily, and Egypt. During his travels, he spent his time studying with other philosophers including a genius mathematician – Pythagoras.
He returned back in Athens around 387 and founded his own philosophical school where he delivered lectures to students who came around from different walks of life. It has been said that many of Plato’s writings, especially his most famous “dialogues”, were originated from his teaching there.
Plato’s philosophy is mostly found in the form of conversations called “dialogues”.
One of the speakers of those dialogues is Socrates. Although Plato has multiple famous works, one of the most famous ones is the Republic which showcases his principal philosophy.
In this work, he explains the meaning of justice, and what the right criteria is for cities or governments to rule. He further describes what an ideal society is. This work has had a great impact on both philosophy and political studies of all nations of all times.
Plato believed that the concept of being rich should be obliterated and everyone should live a simple life. He thought that a philosopher should be the king and rule the society.
About the Author:
Amita Vadlamudi, a retired Technology Professional, now spends time reading and writing on various topics. Some of the other articles written by Ms. Vadlamudi on Weebly are:
Socrates, born in ancient Greece in 470 BC, was a scholar, a teacher and a philosopher. He is considered to be the first moral philosopher of the Western ethical tradition of thought and the man who laid down the foundations for the western systems of logic and philosophy.
As part of the mandatory service required of every able-bodied Athenian, Socrates served in the army and participated in three military campaigns with them. Not known for having attractive physical features, Socrates was regarded for his valor in battle and refusal to retreat from threatening situations. Socrates did, however, emphasize the importance of the mind over the body.
His philosophy revolved around practical results for the greater well-being of society. Instead of relying on theological doctrine, Socrates sought to develop an ethical system based on human reason.
The ancient Greek philosopher believed that human choice was based more on the inherent desire for happiness and that wisdom comes from understanding oneself. He taught that the more a person knows, the better the ability he or she has to make choices that can bring them true happiness.
Socrates believed that the same philosophy should guide the government and the politics and that only the people with the greatest virtue, knowledge and ability should be appointed to the government positions.
At the time, his teachings and philosophy went against the norm of Greek society and the people in power. In 399 BC Socrates was accused of corrupting the youth of Athens. Socrates chose to represent himself in the trial and argued that he was only fulfilling an important role in society and serving the people. His defiant attitude towards the whole procedure resulted in his being sentenced to death by poison.
Socrates accepted his punishment with courage and dignity. He drank the hemlock mixture without hesitation and he described his death as a release of the soul from the body.
Amita Vadlamudi is also the author of the following articles on ancient cultures and personalities:
Aristotle, an Ancient Greek philosopher and scientist, was one of the greatest intellectuals in politics, psychology, and ethics. He was born in 384 B.C. in Stagira in northern Greece to a court physician of King Amyntus III of Macedonia. However, Aristotle’s parents died when he was quite young.
At the age of 17, he enrolled himself in Plato’s Academy and served his time there as both a student and a teacher. Aristotle invested 20 years of his life as a student and a teacher in Plato’s Academy, emerging as a recognized critic and an intellect. In 338 B.C., he was appointed to tutor Alexander the Great.
In 335 B.C, Aristotle opened up his own school – the Lyceum, in Athens – where he primarily spent his time studying, teaching, and writing. Owing to the huge popularity of Plato’s Academy, the Lyceum attracted the attention of students all over the Greek. The academy was founded on the ideologies of the founder of Plato’s Academy which was Plato himself. During his time in the Lyceum, Aristotle was able to compose approximately 200 works, out of which only 31 survived. The notable works of Aristotle from that time has been categorized into four groups. The “Organon” – a set of philosophical and scientific investigation; the second group is Aristotle’s theoretical work on animals, cosmology etc; the third group is his practical work; and the last but not least is his “Poetic” work. The few most famous of his works include Nicomachean Ethics, Politics, Metaphysics, Poetics, and Prior Analytics.
Aristotle made contributions to a wide range of subjects including logic, metaphysics, mathematics, physics, biology, botany, ethics, politics, agriculture, medicine, dance, and theatre. Aristotle believed that any kind of argument can be assessed by its structure rather than its content. The best example of a valid argument is his syllogism – all men are mortal. Socrates is a man and thus, he is mortal. Since the structure of the argument seems logical then the conclusion of the debate is true as well. Aristotle was a big believer of good reasoning backed by scientific reasons.
Although Aristotle was a student of Plato, he began deviating from his teachings and consequently rejected many of his teachings. One of them was Plato’s theory of forms which concludes that beauty and other abstract values exist independent of the object. On the contrary, he argued that forms are intrinsic to the objects and cannot exist on their own, separate from the object itself.
Amita Vadlamudi, the author of this article is a former Computer Analyst, who is currently enjoying her retirement. Reading, researching and writing about ancient cultures and famous personalities are particular interests of Amita Vadlamudi.
Dolphins are extremely intelligent aquatic mammals and belong to the family of whales. There are almost forty distinct species of dolphins with orcas, also known as killer whales, being the largest in the category.
Dolphins are sea-based but use their blow holes, located in a central position above their heads, to breathe air every five to ten minutes. In that regard, it serves the purpose of being a nostril of sorts for this aquatic mammal.
CharacteristicsDolphins are found worldwide, predominantly in shallow seas of tropical and temperate oceans. They are carnivorous animals, which means they feed on smaller fishes and squids. Although their color varies from one specimen to another, the vast majority of dolphins are gray in color and their beaks are notably darker in shade than the rest of their body.
Typically, dolphins reside in groups of five to a dozen individuals, which are collectively referred to as pods. They enjoy a loosely structured lifestyle and are considerably social in nature. Interaction is vital for all members of the whale family and dolphins are no exception. This essentially explains why dolphins are so friendly when they make contact with humans at various aquariums.
At sea, sharks provide opposition for dolphins, although a pod provides more than a formidable match for a shark! In some instances, dolphins are not intimidated by their fellow fish and may even hunt sharks as a group.
In terms of their movement, dolphins are agile and flexible, which can be observed when they spring forth from the surface of the seas or their swimming pools and continue to leap upwards, much to the delight of onlookers.
Although their population is not known, a concern for dolphins’ welfare has been growing at an alarming rate as certain species have declined in numbers. A disconcerting fact is that many species have either been identified as endangered or classified as extinct!
There is no specific season during which dolphins breed. Instead, they are involved in the reproduction process throughout the year. However, it has been noted that the optimal dolphin mating season is in spring and autumn.
In principle, the gestation period for dolphins lies between 9 to 17 months, which is longer than the average mammal but more common among fishes. As the period of birth comes closer for dolphins, the mothers separate themselves from their clique and deliver the newborn close to the surface of the water.
About the Author: Amita Vadlamudi, a former Information Technology professional has written on many subjects, including science, technology and history. Ms. Vadlamudi’s professional resume is posted on About.me. Look for Amita Vadlamudi’s many articles on her Wordpress website.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869. He was the youngest child of Karamchand and Putlibai Gandhi.
His father was the Dewan (chief minister) of Porbandar, a municipality in what is now Gujarat state, then under the British rule. Karamchand Gandhi, who was known for his diplomatic skills, was the political inspiration in Mahatma Gandhi’s life.
His mother was not well-read, but had long-lasting influence over young Gandhi with her commitment to religion and her philanthropic work.
Gandhi grew up in a home that worshipped the Hindu God Vishnu, with a very strong element of Jainism, whose chief teaching is non-violence. From these religions, Gandhi extracted the practice of ahimsa (no harm to any living thing), vegetarianism, fasting, and mutual tolerance between different sects.
He moved to South Africa to work as the supporting barrister (lawyer) of Seth Abdullah and lived there for 20 years. There he occupied himself with further research on the world’s religions, Hindu spiritual texts, and embraced a life of simplicity (with its main factors being fasting, meditation, and celibacy).
The time came for Gandhi to take a stand when he was pushed out of the first class compartment of a South African train for not giving up his seat for an European passenger. He returned to India in 1914.
Gandhi would often protest the oppression of Indians under the British rule and call for the economic independence of India. He stressed the importance of manufacturing khaddar, a homespun cloth made in India, to take the place of imported textiles from Britain. Gandhi’s simplistic lifestyle, passionate words, and commitment to a non-violence protest earned him a slew of followers who started calling him Mahatma (the one with the great soul). He became the voice of Indian National Congress, which lead peaceful protests against the British.
Gandhi’s work helped India gain independence from the British in 1945. His non-violence approach, however, did not bring lasting peace to him. He was assassinated in 1948 by a Hindu who was upset with Gandhi’s acquiescence to splitting the Muslim majority parts of India into a separate country, Pakistan.
About the Author:
Amita Vadlamudi is a former computer technology professional. Her resume can be found at her Edocr and Resumonk websites. Ms. Vadlamudi’s favorite images may be found at the Alternion site.
While Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle rank among ancient Greece’s most popular philosophers, there are a number of lesser known thinkers who made comparable contributions during their times. Solon, for example, was a politician and poet who actively lobbied against the moral and political decline of Rome. While his attempts failed during his life, Solon is credited as one of the earliest progenitors of Athenian democracy.
Democritus, on the other hand, is an example of a pre-Socratic philosopher who furthered conversations on topics as diverse as the atom and the cosmos. One of the more popular Greek philosophers was Archimedes of Syracuse. The thoughts of Archimedes resulted in numerous advances in the field of physics. He achieved various technological successes as well, contributing to inventions that ranged from military artillery to the screw pump.
About the author:
Amita Vadlamudi has gained experience working in various aspects of the computer systems engineering industry over the past few decades. Outside of her professional pursuits, Amita Vadlamudi spends her time reading about ancient Greek gods and Greek philosophers.
Read other articles from Ms. Vadlamudi on her Medium Site.
Confucius, whose real name was actually Kong Qui, was born possibly in 551 BC. Not much is known about this famous Chinese philosopher's childhood and early life but some scholars have come up with their own assumptions.
Confucius was born in the district of Zou which was controlled by the Kings of Zhou, however, it was governed by the lords of Lu. His father, Kong He, was an elderly commander of the local garrison in Lu. He is thought to have passed away when Confucius was only 3 years of age. He was then raised by his mother, Yan Zhengzai, who followed in his father’s footsteps a few years later at the age of 40. He married a woman, Qiguan, at the age 19 and by the time he was 20 he had become a father to a boy named Kong Li.
Confucius was given education in the school of commoners where he studied the “Six Arts”. He is known to be born into an upper middle class family, a class that lands between aristocracy and the commoners. He is known to work several government jobs in his young adult age.
Philosophy and Teachings:
As the 6th century proceeded the competing Chinese states started to disrespect the rule of the Chou Empire which had ruled for 500 years. This is when China experienced a period of moral decline. Confucius seeing this, decided to develop and reinforce certain societal values of compassion and tradition. His philosophy circled around the concept of loving others (ren) while practicing self-discipline. He believed that the ren could be put into action using the Golden Rule of not doing unto others what you would not wish upon yourself.
His political beliefs advocated self-discipline. He said that the leader should exercise the discipline of self in order to remain humble and inspire his followers. According to Confucius, the leader should show compassion to their followers and motivate them to abide by the law by teaching them righteousness.
Confucius believed that his job as an educator was to teach people to live with integrity. Through his teachings, he worked to resurrect the traditional Chinese values of benevolence.
Death and Legacy:
Confucius died on November 21 479 B.C. His followers organized a funeral and dedicated a mourning period. As of 4th century B.C. Confucius was regarded as the man deserving much better recognition for his work during his time. By the 2nd century B.C. his ideas laid down the foundation to the ideology of the state.
About Amita Vadlamudi:
Reading and learning something new every day is a must to do for Amita Vadlamudi. She found the life and philosophy of Confucius a fascinating study, especially in light of the fact that this great philosopher lived about 2500 years ago.
Amita Vadlamudi is a former computer systems engineer who worked in the information technology industry for more than three decades. Outside of her professional life, Amita Vadlamudi is interested in history and enjoys reading nonfiction books on topics like ancient cultures.
Among the most advanced and famous of the world’s ancient cultures are the ancient Egyptians, whose kingdom lasted three millennia. Advanced for the time, the ancient Egyptians had a comprehensive writing system that they used to record the civilization’s history, beliefs, and ideas.
Ancient Egyptians were also advanced in the field of medicine, and records of physicians from the time indicate that specialized doctors likely focused healing different parts of the body. Medical professionals in ancient Egypt also learned to set broken bones, stitch wounds, and use honey as an infection-fighting agent.
Additionally, there is evidence to support the notion Ancient Egyptians practiced some measure of gender equality. Contracts and other documents show that women in ancient Egypt had significant financial and legal independence and received equal pay for work performed outside of the home.
Spending two minutes a day feeding them and fifteen minutes a week cleaning their bowl is all it takes to take care of goldfish. You can enjoy having them for years even if you do not have the room for a big fish tank. Goldfish can live for 3-4 years in small bowls if properly cared for.
First it is very important that there are at least two goldfish in the bowl for companionship. Secondly, proper amount of feeding is crucial. They should be fed twice daily in very small quantities. Check the instructions that come with the fish food for proper amounts.
If you are caring for two fish, be sure that the bowl is at least a 2 gallon size. Maintaining two bowls will make the cleaning easier. Once a week, using a fish net, gently transfer the fish into the clean bowl that was prepared the previous week. Dump all the water from the old dirty bowl and clean it. Use water only for cleaning; no soap or detergent should be used. Fill the bowl with clean water 2/3 of the way. Add proper amount of “aquarium water conditioner” found in the pet stores. Leave this bowl for next week’s use. Water staying at room temperature for a week will prevent any temperature shock when the fish are transferred into the new bowl. You will, in fact, notice the fish get perky and happy as they breathe easier in the clean bowl.
About the Author: Amita Vadlamudi is an Information Systems Professional who has had a busy career supporting many different Operating Systems and computer applications. Through her hectic schedule, Amita Vadlamudi finds relaxation in taking care of her goldfish.
Over the course of her career, Amita Vadlamudi worked as a computer systems engineer for several financial services companies. In her spare time, Amita Vadlamudi enjoys learning about ancient Roman and Greek gods.
With the exception of earth, the seven remaining planets in the solar system are named after ancient Roman gods, such as Mercury, god of travel, and Venus, goddess of love and beauty. The blood red tint of one planet encouraged astronomers to use the name of Mars, god of war. Neptune’s bluish appearance, meanwhile, was aptly named for the god of the oceans and seas.
The king of all Roman gods, Jupiter, was, of course, given the solar system’s largest planet. Interestingly, Uranus was originally named Georgium Sidus (Georgian star) by Sir William Herschel in honor of King George III. Uranus, the Greek god of the heavens, did not gain widespread recognition as a name for nearly a century.
While Pluto is no longer classified as a planet, ancient Roman astronomers named the dwarf planet after the god of the underworld.