'I think therefore I am.'  Descartes            'I AM THAT I AM.'  Exodus.3.        'I am what I am.'  La Cage aux Folles

15 September 2010

The Axial Age

There appears to have been times in history when little progress has been made. In what we in the West call the dark ages Europe appears to have been a dismal and uninspired place, but in the Arab world intellectual thought flourished, Universities shone and much progress in philosophy and science was made. There were however times in various parts of our world when progress did cease and intellectual thought did indeed go backwards, but thankfully there were also times when an enormous explosion of great thought occurred such as around 500 BC. a great flowering in man's history and development known as The Axial Age, a term coined by the German philosopher Karl Jaspers.
Zoroaster 630 - 553 BCE (Persia)  preached the contest between good and evil and one supreme being.
Lao Zi from 604 BCE  - (China)  taught the acceptance of the laws of the universe and founded Daoism.
Thales of Miletus  624-546 BCE  speculated about the primary material element of all beings and cosmic phenomena.
Buddha 560 - 480 BCE (India)  found enlightenment.
Confucius 551-479 BCE (China)  the ethical philosopher, taught mutual respect.
Isaiah II (Israel) around this time Judaism finally came to see God as being the unique, one and only.
Socrates 469 - 399 BCE (Greece)  taught how to think and by that would virtue be achieved.
Plato 427-347 BCE (Greece) recorded Socrates wisdom and discussed the whole range of philosophical topics.

At that time the 'father of history', Herodotus (Greece)  485 - 425 BCE  was the first to write history and observations with critical analysis under the influence of philosophical thought and research. Also the oracle at Delphi came to great prominence, Jerusalem was destroyed and the population exiled in Babylon, as great shifts in population occurred throughout Asia Minor. This time also saw such figures as Pythagoras, Sappho, Nebuchadnezzar, Euripides, Sophocles, Aeschylus, Hippocrates, Democritus.

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