Friday, 30 December 2016

Quote of the Day: On Aristotle’s ancient city



“[Alexandria] was the first modern city. It stood at the confluence of three ancient cultures: Greece, Egypt & the Middle East, including Babylon. People of of every colour and religion from Syria, Asia Minor, Iberia, Phoenicia, Nubia, the Arabian Peninsula, Persia & India swarmed its streets, did business in its shops, and unloaded their goods in its warehouses… [Until the arrival of Christianity centuries later, p]eople were too busy making money to fight over religious or ethnic differences.
    “No other ancient city demonstrated so powerfully Aristotle’s assertion that ‘a difference of capacities among its members enables them to attain a higher and better life by the mutual exchange of their different services.’ From that point of view alone, Alexandria was already Aristotle’s city … the perfect place to give Aristotle a new boost as the godfather of Western science.”

~ Arthur Herman, from his book The Cave and the Light: Plato Versus Aristotle, and the Struggle for the Soul of Western Civilisation



  1. I wish its library still existed - such a thirst for knowledge and recording of everything in long hand. I guess a lot of it would be curious but interesting nonsense but also suspect there would have been some gems as well.


    1. You and me both Anonymous. If someone with a time machine offered to let me visit one place and time, I'd pick the Alexandrian Library at its peak.


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