‘We are all Greeks. Our laws, our literature, our religion, our arts, have their root in Greece’, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley once wrote. It is in Greek that the questions which shaped the destiny of Western culture were asked, and so were the first attempts at an answer, and the search for a method of investigation. This book tries to rediscover the propulsive force that for over two millennia spread, and still lives in our system of thought. By systematically quoting the very words of the leading actors and by tracing their sources, it leads the reader along a path where they will be able to observe the establishment of philosophical ideas and language, in an updated and balanced picture of archaic lore, of the thought of the classical and hellenistic ages, and of the philosophy of late antiquity. The book looks closely at the progress of scientific thought and at its increasing autonomy, while following the evolution of the fruitful yet problematic relationship between the Greek world and the Near East.

chapter 1|40 pages

East and West

chapter 3|14 pages

Philosophical Stones

Ancient philosophy as reflected in the mirror of inscriptions

chapter 5|18 pages

‘You Greeks are always Children’

The infancy of wisdom

chapter 6|122 pages

The Presocratics

chapter 7|28 pages

The Sophists and Socrates

chapter 9|77 pages


chapter 10|23 pages

The Academy From Plato To Polemo

chapter 11|48 pages


chapter 12|86 pages

Hellenistic Philosophy

chapter 14|46 pages

Some Remarks On Ancient Science

chapter 15|32 pages

Philosophy in Rome

chapter 18|74 pages

Greek Philosophy and Philosophers in the Third–Sixth Century ce

From Plotinus to the last Alexandrian commentators