Hellenic contributions to Western Civilization are acknowledged by all, but the details of their endowment are under-appreciated. This volume seeks to disclose two distinctive features of Western culture uniquely attributable to the ancient Greeks: A human-centered worldview that elevated humans to the threshold of divinity and a philosophical temperament which for the first time in history proffered the unbridled operation of the human mind as a kind of cultural imperative. Eighteen seminal thinkers who left lasting impressions in such fields as ethics, medicine, religion, politics, poetry and art are examined in detail. The efforts of these individuals helped establish a unique cultural pedigree unlike any other in world history. They invested the West with that restless, intrepid habit of mind that remains the hallmark of Western civilization to this day.
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