Roman Education

Essay 1 The question at hand is “According to ancient Greek rulers, historians and philosophers, what role should education and property/wealth play in determining who should govern? ” In order to answer this question you must look into the very core of Greek society. To learn about Greek society I have read readings from ancient Greek historians and philosophers such as Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, and Thucydides. Plato introduced Greece to the thought of Idealism and his take on what an ideal society looks like. Aristotle believed that the way a household is ran correlates to society as a whole.
Greece believed in democracy, therefore a household should be run in accordance to idealistic, democratic views. The ruler of the house, the man, has more control than the women, the women more than the slaves, and the children have no control but are considered above slaves. Aristotle thinks a man’s wealth is not always considered by his property value but by his knowledge. He said “…it is clear then that in household management the people are of greater importance than the material property, and their quality of more account than that of goods that make up their wealth. (Aristotle) Greek philosophers believed that in order to become a ruler you must have standards throughout your life. Aristotle said “…for neither life itself nor the good life is possible without a certain minimum standard of wealth. Again, for any given craft the existence of the proper tools will be the essential for the performance of its task. ” Aristotle is saying that any ruler must have grown up with standards. A child’s knowledge is only as good as who is raising the child, therefore a ruler must have grown up under people who have high standards of society living.
This can point us in the direction of rulers handing the throne down to sons or other family members. It seems logical to think that a person that has grown up under the supervision of a ruler would carry the same beliefs and ethics about society and life in Greece. This is further explained in a quote from Aristotle “Take the child: he is not yet fully developed and his function is to grow up, so we cannot speak of his virtue as belonging absolutely to him, but only in relation to the progress of his development and to whoever is in charge of him. ”

With power comes wealth, and wealth is very important when it comes to being a ruler that can have things done. Thucydides said “we employ wealth for use than for show. ”(Thucydides) That statement alone gives way to the thought that wealth can buy you anything, even leadership. Of course Greek people believe in idealism and want their leader to be pure and believe in all their virtues. That does not mean that money cannot get you power, because it certainly does still to this day. Plato believes in more than just wealth and property. He believes in the pureness of one’s soul and their virtues.
He said “…and they will have to watched at a very young age, in order that we may see whether they preserve their resolution, and never, under the influence and force of enchantment, forget or cast off their sense of duty to the state.. ”(Plato) This is Plato’s idea of true knowledge, the thought of a soul that has a clear thought of how to rule a society. When it comes down to it knowledge is more important in picking a ruler, but wealth plays a bigger role in placing a person in the position of getting picked. The Greek philosophers agree that knowledge of idealistic beliefs is more important idealistically in picking a ruler.

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