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300 BC was period filled with rapid and widespread awakening of all the people involved. The period was marked with new ideals in terms of politics with new and fresh ideas being injected into the world by great thinkers such as Plato and Socrates. The political system was under constant attacks from ideological enemies and real enemies that fought in numerous battles. The century also saw the rise of the greatest rulers such as Alexander the great. The medical filed also received numerous advancements.
The most notable contribution was from Hippocrates who defined the ethics of the field. Other innovations were made to ensure ease the life that the people led. This paper will focus on the most notable political and social advancements made during the century (McKay, Hill & Buckler, 451).
The century started with the death of Socrates who was killed in 399 BC. The Greek philosopher was killed due to his outlandish perception on normal issues. He was killed since the government of the day purported that he was going to be the beginning of their fall. Initially the rulers ignored him and assumed that he was one of the disoriented people. However, as his teaching and perceptions received more following and acceptance, there was an urgent need to deal with him.
The Socratic teachings focused on the failures of the government and society in ruling the people in the right and just manner. He found fault in the current system of democracy since it sought to benefit the rulers and politicians while leaving the people in the same condition. He posited that the government worked against the common good of the people in order to keep them in a vulnerable position for their manipulation.
He identified the fault in the rulers as their lack of tolerance for any person who evoked questions on why they held the positions that they currently occupied. He faulted the belief that the fighters for justice could fulfill their stakes while under the control of the assemblies. He noticed that there were two possible outcomes. The first and the most prevalent outcome was that the people that moved against the grain would be killed.
In the event that they were not killed, their contributions to the fight for democracy would be futile. Their effect will be erased by the tidal wave of time. He espoused that the government was not doing its job since its interests in justice were easily swayed by any emotional argument that was presented before them. Emotional arguments led to a common trend whereby the good actors would get away with any crime by evoking their talent. Socrates suggested that the best approach of dealing with the pollution of the justice system was through creation of structures of justice.
He suggested that the source of the inadequacies in the political system were founded in the democracy. His experience taught him that the real nature of a person is revealed when they are given power. The superficial understanding that they indicate when handling immediate human survival questions gives way to their real unjust nature whenever they are conferred with power. The arguments advanced by Socrates led to more considerations on democracy whereby the politicians sought to serve the people better. His identification of the faults created the first foundation of the modern democracy.
Plato was a student under Socrates guidance. He is an influential figure in the western philosophy. He worked alongside other students of Socrates such as Aristotle to come up with the foundations of the modern western philosophy and science. He was a close follower of Socrates. His precise encounter with Socrates led to the development of strong acceptance of his teachings. In some cases, he may be seen as the mirror of Socrates. However, other influential people helped him be philosopher. Pythagoras was one of them. He influenced the Platonism philosophy by providing whim with different perspectives of mathematics. He encouraged him to look at the theories from different angles.
He contributed to the western history by covering numerous topics of philosophy (McKay, Hill & Buckler, 450).His mot-discussed work was the republic. However, Plato also focused on the father- son relationship. He investigated the effect of the father’s interest in their sons on their outcomes. Due to this focus, he always referred to the characters in his writing as either paternal or fraternal. Being student of Socrates, the beliefs on this topic were carved by the master. Socrates was of the opinion that the character of a son was an outcome of the gods doing and nothing could be done to change one’s character.
Plato came up with the idea that the soul was immortal. He also believes that the knowledge that one gets is a result of a divine intervention. This is a belief that still holds in the western world even though it has been modified. He believes that knowledge can be best assessed through the ability or inability of a person to recollect. He holds the same position as Socrates that the source of poetry is the muses (McKay, Hill & Buckler, 500).
At some point, Plato moved away from the teachings of Socrates and carved his niche by inventing the philosophy of Platonism. The theory sought to indicate the consequences of denying on the intellect. The philosophy came from the increasing perspective of the master that some of the things that the common person thought of were real. Socrates was by large a disputant of the reality. He held the people that believed that something was real if it was graspable. Socrates thought of himself as a higher being who was in touch with the divine. He believed that he could not be as happy as the common people could since they did not have any conceptions with their muses. Plato focused on the idea of his master on matters touching on the reality.
He believed that there were better ways of seeing things. He even proceeded to state that the people that rely on their eyes for sight are blind. This was a divergence from the reality whereby the rules of physics applied. Socrates postulated that the physical things as the common people see them are shadows of the reality. This theory as advanced by Plato states that the things that are thought to be real are only instantiate versions of the real things, which can only be perceived with the hidden eye.
Metaphysics as a philosophy focuses on the political ideology whereby he states that the people that are beyond the real world, or illuminated have the capacity to lead. He idealized a situation whereby the wise people ought to be drawn out from their contemplation's and converted into philosopher kings. These arguments indicate that Plato and Socrates founded the modern philosophy in the western world (McKay, Hill & Buckler, 45).
The requirement of the modern leaders to be visionary is drawn from the metaphysic. Plato also developed other theories such as the theory of forms. This theory was an advancement of the allegory of the cave by Socrates. He stated that the state ought to be developed I such a manner that it is mad of the productive members who are the workers, the protective members who are the warriors or the police for and the governing elite who are capable of making wise leadership decisions.
The battles of Veii were a battle that took place between the city of Veii and roman republic. The city of Veii had been accustomed to fighting with the roman and retreating to the comfort of the walls. As slung as there was no way of entering the city, the government of Rome was sure that it was fighting a never-ending war.
The chances that the roman republic had at that time of survival were reduced to the minimal levels. In order for the roman army to break the continuous siege, the leader Marcus Furius Camillus organized digging of a tunnel into the city that would allow the roman armies attack the city at the places where it was the most vulnerable. The roman armies had been camping outside the city for long wanting their chance to get in. however, with the tunnel completed, the soldiers jumped on the walls of the city in a frenzy.
The soldiers of Veii were shocked to find out that they were under an attack launched from various directions in a simultaneous manner. The innovation by the emergency general led to the victory of the Roman Empire and the barrier to the expansion was reduced. The siege ended up in a victory for the Roman Empire and wealth for the solders that participated. The innovation was an improvement on the approaches of battle strategy whereby it was noted that the most important attack was the one conducted from behind the enemy lines. This was the foundation of the modern day stratify in the battlefield.
The century was also marked with numerous top members of the medical profession. The most outstanding one was Hippocrates. He is deemed the most inflectional physician in the medial history. He is deemed the father of the western medicine due to his contributions and his perception of the Hippocratic School of medicine. The perception on medicine changed with the introduction of the school of medicine. He was capable of making the people distinguish between medicine and other fields. This led to the establishment of medicine as a profession on its own (Toy, 48). However, his contributions cannot be exactly pinpointed since the majority of the body of knowledge in medicine was arrived at by other practitioners.
There is no evidence that he wrote the corpus, which was a book of medicine that the philosophers used. He is mostly famous for forming the Hippocratic Oath, which states the methods that can be used in defining medicine in the modern world. He also developed a systematic approach of learning clinical medicine. This led to the development of a single approach to medicine that focuses on the attainment of all information (McKay, Hill & Buckler, 45-200).
Essentially, he designed the medical course. This advancement was built on over the years to develop the modern medicine. It also led to the development of the right approach to medicine. He is the pioneer of studies in the causes of the diseases. He was the first person to distance himself from the perception that the diseases were caused by the sins. He espoused that the diseases were caused by natural means and not superstitions. He was a follower of Pythagoras and he believed that there should be a separation between medicine and superstition.
There was a long war between Rome and Macedon. The war was protracted since either sides were convinced that they were right in their quests. The warring sides also had similar might and they had other wars that they were fighting in other parts of the world. Coming up with a long term solution was deemed to be the best move that would help the governments of the warring parties to focus their resources on other parts of development. The solution that lasted took the form of a treaty dubbed peace of philocrates.
Philocrates was the main negotiator in the agreement. This treaty was designed to ensure that the ten-year long war would end. King Philip the second was increasingly powerful leading to more victories and conquests. Anthems were a neutral ground before and it had not been drawn to the sacred war. However, the alliances that it made pitted it against kin Philip. Dealing with the king was seen as the only solution to the war (McKay, Hill & Buckler, 562).
The lead negotiator was a prominent politician in Athens and he sought peace for the sake of the city. He opined that there was no need of fighting the war when the damage was to be immense and defeat was eminent. This treaty was also a ticket out of the content fighting between the two kingdoms. The first suggestion by the lead negotiator to come up with a treaty before was denied and the assembly ended up putting him on trial for the suggestion. However, with the defeat of Rome eminent, there was no other option but to revisit the possibility of the treaty (Toy, 42).
The Latin war was fought between the Roman Empire and the early inhabitants of Italy. Victory went to the Roman Empire. The results of the war included the dismantling of the Latin league and subsequent conquering and assimilation into the Roman Empire. The Latin has gained some rights in the new republic. The battle was for the autonomy of the Latin’s. It also aimed at curbing any unnecessary expansion of the Roman Empire into the surrounding areas. This approach to the war made it more of a resistance of assimilation than common war between nations.
The Sicilians were pagans. However, the former Latin’s that wanted citizenship were assimilated into the society if they renounced their faith. Even the rights conferred upon the people were not followed since the Romans perceived that they had more control over the area and there was no need of appealing the people by allowing them rights (Toy, 45). The war was bound to happen since the smaller Latin communities were focusing on their minor development while there were chances of being swallowed by the bigger kingdoms. They participated in this war to avoid being surrounded by the bigger kingdoms.
The battle of Chaeronea also took place in the same century. The battle was a culmination of the campaign by King Philips the second in Greece. The end of the war was marked by a decisive and conclusive win for the Macedonians. King Philips campaign in Greece was instigated by the desire to end the sacred war that had torn major civilizations in the country down (Toy, 452). The battle also provided the king with a strategic advantage since he was capable of making two separate peace treaties to do away with the year conflict that the country had with Athens over the northern territory. The battle was also fought to ensure that the power of the king would expand to the rest of the areas.
The power that he held and the armies under him made him the automatic de facto leader of Greece. The power of King Philips was seen to be a major threat to the rest of the states in the country more so Athens. Athens broke previous agreements with the king by siding with the territories that he was attacking. This was interpreted as an immediate act of aggression. The move to take the cities that were opposing him was met with resistance.
In some of the cases, the armies were of similar size. The tactics were similar. More so the people that the king fought against were occupying what would be a strong position given that they were fighting from home. However, few days of persistence led to the defeat of the allied forces. This was one of the major battles that the king won. This war led to a pact between the participating states whereby they promised to support the kingdom in all that it did. The power of the king made him the absolute general in the war against Persia (McKay, Hill & Buckler, 1991). However, the king was not capable of attending to his duties as the king since he was assassinated.
The power formerly wielded by King Philip rested on his son Alexander who came to be known as Alexander the great. He was elected to the throne of his father at the age of 20. He sought to expand the territory of his father as a way of attaining more power. He believed that the father was assassinated since he was not strong enough. He also wanted to dominate through the products that came from his kingdom. After his ascent to power, he proceed to conduct a ten year campaign aimed at expanding the kingdom in Asia and north east Africa. This expansion bore fruit in terms of the expanse of the kingdom.
His was the largest kingdom of his time. He was a major general in the army and he was never defeated. He became the most successful general in the history of war and his strategies were applied by the rest of the armies (McKay, Hill & Buckler, 56). The modern warfare borrows something from the way that he fought. His approach to supply chain management made the armies capable of travelling light. He was by large a military leader and did not engage in much of the politics. His approach towards leadership was influenced by Aristotle who was his tutor from the age of 16.
McKay, John P, Bennett D Hill, and John Buckler. A History Of Western Society. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1991. Print.
Toy, Sidney. History Of Fortification From 3000 BC To AD 1700. Havertown: Pen and Sword, 2006. Print.
This argument is inductive
During his trial, Socrates despises the authority in the state; attacking them with humiliating questions. He denies the Meletus time to reason out his answers hence making him look weak in order to nullify his accusations. Socrates’ questions compel Meletus to accuse him of being wicked and capable of harming the people around him. In his defence, Socrates does not deny the charge but rather justifies his actions in an indirect way. He explains to Meletus that if he did things that were harmful to the people around him, he would be hurting himself as well since he too is a member of the society.
To the youth such a statement may imply that as long as a particular act does not hurt the doer then it is right. However, this is not the case in real life since some acts may not hurt us but they hurt the people around us. The other accusation against Socrates is that he believed in supernatural beings instead of the gods sanctioned by the state. He still nullifies the accusation by claiming that according to him, supernatural beings are gods and their children (Miller, 2004).
Hence, Socrates believed in the gods which was contrary to Meletus previous accusation. Socrates arguments were directed to making the leaders of the community weak. The youth are an obvious target for an impression since it would be difficult for them to visualize the strategy behind Socrates arguments. The evasive questioning put across by Socrates is an ultimate proof that he was guilty of corrupting the youth.
From the readings on wisdom and inspiration in the Middle East, it is clear that God made foolish the wisdom of the earth. The readings further state that God’s weakness is stronger that man’s strength (Anonymous, 2014). This proves that God strengthens the weak and makes the strong weak so that no person can brag in his presence. It is possible that this is the order of everything in the world. As a result, Socrates may not have been necessarily guilty. His arguments could have been based on the same motive as that of God.
Argument against the Charge that Socrates is Guilty of Corrupting the Young
This Argument is Inductive
Socrates is not guilty for the charge filed against him. During his trial, he is able to prove his innocence which lenders the accusations void. Again the meaning of corruption in the context of modern society is rather different. A person is entitled to his or her own life principles and believes. From the defence put across by Socrates he never influenced any person to follow his believes. If the youth decided to follow Socrates believes and question the wise, it would be by their own free will and not his influence (Miller, 2004). More to this it beats logic that Socrates is the only one in Athens who is accused of corrupting the youth. The charge against Socrates in invalid since there are high chances that leaders such as Meletus also have an impact on the youth (Miller, 2004).
While this argument is valid, philosophers and senior people in the community have a great impact on the young people. For instance, the youth are the ultimate target for politicians whenever they need to execute their operations. They are not only available but also inexperienced as compared to the leaders. This makes them vulnerable to the influence of leaders and prominent people in the community. In the case of Socrates there are chances that some youth were influenced by his arguments.
Anonymous. (2014). Philosophy 100. Readings on wisdom and inspiration in Middle East regions. Lecture notes.
Miller, A. (2004). Apology in five dialogues. Hackett publishing: Indiapolis.
The Last Supper is a painting made famous by Leonardo da Vinci, but there are different versions of this painting in museums across the world. It is instrumental to note that da Vinci’s work was done in the 15th century, and there are fundamental differences between his work and those of his successors such as Giampietrino and Cesare da Sesto, but much effort was put in to preserve the main theme of the picture. This review analyzes Sebastiano Ricci’s artwork done somewhere between 1659 and 1734. Sebastiano’s portrait depicts Christ sitting at a table with his Twelve disciples surrounding him. Biblically, the Last Supper was the final meal Christ has with his disciples, and its importance lay the revelation that one of his disciples would betray him. Most artists who did this work including Leonardo strived to show different facial responses of the Twelve apostles soon after Jesus made the proclamation. Subsequent works by Leonardo’s successors demonstrate an effort to maintain this theme. In Sebastiano’s piece, there is a fundamental shift that changes focus from the facial responses of the disciples to focus on figures. The artist focuses on the central figures of Christ and John the Evangelist. The picture portrays Jesus blessing the bread amidst considerable drama among the disciples. But in a manner that is perhaps representative of Venetian painting of the 15th century, Sebastiano adds intricate details to elaborate certain biblical concepts such as the woman standing with a basket of laundry on the left. The normal routine of life in those days is depicted by the presence of a dog licking a plate placed in the foreground. However, the use of color and artistic devices such as proportion, balance, and rhythm have been used extensively by the Sebastiano Ricci in his depiction of The Last Supper to bring out the thematic significance of this biblical event.
A striking difference between Sebastiano’s and da Vinci’s work is the depiction of three angels peeking in the clouds above the congregation below who seem oblivious to their presence. The disposition of the clouds is made to look sunnier than the room – perhaps as a pointer to the Christian belief that life in Heaven is the ultimate bliss. The painter achieved this effect by using brighter shades of the same color. Their childlike faces are believed to have been done intentionally by the painter to perpetuate the myth of angels’ holy innocence. This contrast is very clear when compared to the people in the room who look aged and are grownups. When compared to the original painting, there are minor pentimenti that are noticeable. For example, while in the original painting Judas’ is portrayed as leaning on the table with the full weight of his left arm on the table, Sebastiano’s work depicts Judas as more of touching the table. More importantly, the painter puts some characters with their backs towards the viewers. The strong outlines of the garments worn by the characters in the painting was achieved by applying full-bodied paint over an underlayer to achieve varying details of hue, color, and texture.
The intricate features of the garments such as the ruffles are achieved by quickly applying daubs of pastose paint. The prominent parts of the characters’ garments are highlighted by using daubs of white. This interplay between shades of color, intensity, hue has been used to achieve the themes for which The Last Supper has come to be known for – stability and disruption. Jesus who is centered in the middle of the table appears quite calm and collected. He is portrayed as being in a contemplative conversation with the disciples to his immediate left and right. The other disciples are engaged in their own discussions seemingly taken aback by the revelation that one of them was going to betray Jesus. In his calmness, Christ epitomizes the calmness which characterized his nature throughout his ministry. The apostles, on the other hand, are a picture of chaos and disruption – they seem to be engrossed in their mini groups perhaps debating who it was that was prophesied as the betrayer.
There is also a perfect geometry in the painting with regards to how the characters are placed. On Jesus’ right-hand side, there are eight people with one partly obscured by the standing disciple. Similarly, to Jesus’ left, there are also eight persons including the small child carried by the woman to the far left. The purpose of this was to bring about rhythm and balance to the picture. This is even more obvious when we consider that each of the women has been placed on either side of the center of the picture. There has been controversy about the gender of the person sitting to the immediate left of Christ with some thinking it was Mary Magdalene. Literary scholars have, however, maintained that da Vinci had a habit of obscuring the lines between the sexes just like he did in his most famous painting The Monalisa. Sebastiano’s use of this technique is purely a case of borrowing from the master. The ingenuity of The Last Supper lay in its composition – a simple yet profoundly vibrant piece of work that viewers cannot fully absorb at a single glance.
It is interesting that in spite of being a ‘still’ picture, the painting is more than just a bunch of men seated in a room. With background information on the significance of this meeting in Christianity, one can almost ‘feel’ the tense buzz in the room by looking at the facial expressions and posture of the characters. For instance, the woman with the baby on the far left seems to be leaving the room but turns when something of note piques her interest. Viewers can only speculate as to what might have happened or was said, but it had to be something noteworthy – like the revelation of the person who was going to betray Jesus. The posture of the man on Jesus’ immediate right is that of utter disbelief and shock. The disciple with the brown garment and yellow robe is standing as if having misheard what Jesus said. There is a woman with a laundry basket on her head, and the small boy seen rushing past her and the disciples also seems to have caught wind of what is happening in the congregation. The viewers can see another disciple talking to the boy as if to tell him off. The dynamism in this picture is so intense that it is almost like watching a motion picture.
This degree of dynamism has been achieved because of how Sebastiano incorporated the elements of space and time. In his overly simplistic conceptualization of the cogent themes and temperaments through various facial expressions and bodily gestures, the amount of sublime drama encapsulated in this painting is perhaps the reason why it is such a famous piece of work. That it is necessary to view this Sebastiano’s work layer by layer, segment by segment in order to fully comprehend its meaning is the sign that this was and remains one of the most accomplished creations of this artist. Sebastiano also demonstrates his prowess in incorporating proportionate representations of forms and figures. By using different shades of color and texture, he creates forms and figures that viewers can aptly identify as either male or female. The figure with the laundry basket over her head is undoubtedly female because of the graceful symbolization of its features. By juxtaposing the female next to the males (especially the young boy rushing past her), the use of different hues of color to show differences in skin tone and texture between men and women is splendid. Brighter colors have been used to depict the smooth even textured skin of women whereas men conventionally have rough textures probably because of conspicuous body hairs and exposure to the elements and for this the artist used darker shades. The men are also proportionately bigger than the women. Even in the case of the young boy, viewers can tell that he is young and a man because of his features. There is no mistaking the intent and wish of this artist to have these aspects understood by the viewers at first glance.
In conclusion, because of the way Sebastiano’s The Last Supper infuses various artistic elements to convey the important themes to the viewers, it is unmistakable that this was achieved through utilizing various other elements to hold and direct the viewer’s eyes through the whole picture. To have achieved this effect means this piece embodies unity. There is an unmistakable sense of completeness when one examines the painting in detail, and inasmuch as others might argue that the painting is so “picture perfect” with everything seemingly in place, it cannot be argued that Sebastiano’s The Last Supper is not a masterpiece. Even though there are innocuous strokes of the brush that a trained eye can spot (such as the over-distribution of strokes slightly to the right of Jesus’ head which creates an unrealistic concentration of light in one spot), the overall quality of the work is fantastic.
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