Volume 10, 2007
Ancient and Modern Philosophy
Some Reflections on Early Greek Philosophy vis-à-vis Competition between Oracles and their Colonization Policies
The paper focuses on the trajectory of involvement of the ancient Greek philosophers, up to Callisthenes and Clearchus, in the competition of the two greatest oracles, the Delphic and the Didymian (Branchidae), on the one hand, and in the ideology of colonization of the East, on the other. While the pre-Socratic Milesian philosophers were close to the Branchidae, Plato and Aristotle supported Delphi and the Delphic Apollo-Dionysian syncretism. I examine how the
original interpretation of the famous Delphic maxim 'Know Yourself related to political issues, e.g. implementation of the Platonic and Aristotelian political Utopias, and how after Alexander this interpretation lost its value. I conclude that from the very dawn, philosophy has been neither the first nor the last comer to the stage of world affairs, but already is inside them, acting as a creative intermediary within such problem-producing domains as politics and religion.