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Hellenic Tradition and the Contemporary World


  • Leonidas Bargeliotes


The paper presents and analyzes the war/peace issue in the Hellenic tradition and its relevance to the contemporary world. It is focused on some of the Hellenic factors that were successfully used in antiquity to overcome conflicts and war and to achieve a harmoniously existing world. The factors that can be used as paradigmatic cases are the conceptions of divine "kosmos" and of "polis"; effective dialogue; the education of rulers and of citizens so as to be able to govern themselves and use their power in order to preserve civilization for posterity and to sustain their values, to oppose "stasis" and to embrace "homonoia", to overcome conflicts and to preserve peace in more than two hundred city-states. In addition, I argue that the long and rich Hellenic experience is relevant to our epoch in the sense that it is universally known for its anti-polemic policy and its peace movements. Conceptions such as "kosmos" and organismic polis, the practice of laws and of "homonoia", or friendship, can contribute to the solution of our local and world problems and the prevention of contemporary violence, terrorism, and wars. They can be used by future generations as a model of how to prevent the repetition of another holocaust, of any extermination of human beings by human beings (Dachau), or of any war tragedies (bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki). They show, above all, how humanity can achieve a lasting world peace. Copyright © 2009 American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc..

Suggested Citation

  • Leonidas Bargeliotes, 2009. "Hellenic Tradition and the Contemporary World," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(1), pages 205-229, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ajecsc:v:68:y:2009:i:1:p:205-229

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