Our image of heroic Greek antiques and figures grew out of even more ancient histories of western civilizations. They evolved and grew out of the cultures of Asia around Mesopotamia and in north Africa with Egypt and the Black Pharaohs to their south, and first allowed free speech in the times of Greek antiques.
Here there was little influence until the times of Marco Polo would any understanding of the Orient, or China come to the west. The ways of India were more known as the mountain ranges below the mighty mountains that very much separates India from China.
English in the British centuries of control of India began to learn that all western languages seemed to come from the Sanskrit of India. This amazing realization that an Indo-European culture that had come out of Africa, had first flowered and evolved in warm India.
And this Sanskrit civilization had then somehow poured westward to spread their more Caucasian peoples or at least their language structure through Persia into all of Europe.
In fact, I will add an unproven theory: those Sanskrit speaking Homo Sapiens could have been those who drove into extinction the Neanderthals of Europe some 30,000 years ago.
This theory has just occurred to me, so I can not yet verify this portion: the rest is well documented. We do know Sanskrit became the mother base of modern European languages. Except in Hungary and Finland where some of the descendants of the Mighty Khan settled.
The languages of Hungary and Finland share a Mongol base, very distinct from their neighbors who more likely have a base around mama for mother and dada or pappa for father and so many other common base words that 1770 English gentlemen of letters noticed this to their shock.
But up to Greece creating a citizen army, a free city state where all were encouraged to speak and the theater made mockery of foolish decisions by the elders in charge. Even Socrates, the father of independent thought, had been badly wounded in three mighty battles to defend Athens from Persia, always on the attack.
It was a reward for wounded older soldiers such as Socrates to receive their pension and discuss matters, and how they won the war.
But with Socrates and his pupils Aristotle and Plato the issues took on a deeper quest: what was this all for? The fighting, defending, never ending struggles against forces greater than them and determined to destroy them.
Socrates would always turn the question back on them: what if he had not fought and earned his small pension and stopped the evil death they all knew the Persian army intended all of them.
Would they be here alive as free men to discuss this if he had not openly shown his wish to be free enough he would defend that right and those of his family to the death, as he had done until he could not swing a sword any more? They had difficulty to do more than thank him, and all would mutter they certainly would do the same for their own families, if it came to that.
When dying, Socrates said to Aristotle, who later said to Alexander the Great, he believed there was a God, and that he as a good man was going to a better place.
In contrast, there have been so many documentaries on about Rome and all the excess and self centered degradation of slaves, the gladiators, lions killing Christians, thumbs down. The Republic gave way to an Emperor at Augustus and all rulers were a Caesar after that.
No wonder Thomas Jefferson admired the ideals of Greece over those of Rome. His architecture, and that of justice halls of America may seem like the glory of Rome. They are not. They represent the freedom ideals of ancient Greece, as his serene Monticello shows.
He was our Democratic Republican President, more emphasis on the democratic than the republican, I think. I stand with Tom.