Solon’s philosophy: the development of personality and the concept of “measure”

Alek­san­dra S. Solovy­o­va
Saint Peters­burg State Uni­ver­si­ty

Solon’s phi­los­o­phy: the devel­op­ment of per­son­al­i­ty and the con­cept of “mea­sure”

Abstract. The arti­cle con­sid­ers the phi­los­o­phy of the Athen­ian politi­cian Solon, who was able to lay the foun­da­tions of the demo­c­ra­t­ic struc­ture of Atti­ca. The aim of the work is to study the fea­tures of Solon’s world out­look and the his­tor­i­cal con­text that influ­enced his for­ma­tion. With the help of the his­tor­i­cal-genet­ic method, the arti­cle ana­lyzes the polit­i­cal and social pre­req­ui­sites for the emer­gence of the phi­los­o­phy of the wise man. The his­tor­i­cal-com­par­a­tive method is used to crit­i­cal­ly com­pre­hend ancient sources. The typo­log­i­cal method helps to cor­re­late Solon’s out­look with the gen­er­al devel­op­ment of ancient thought of the archa­ic epoch. The research is based on the his­tor­i­cal approach, which is nec­es­sary to link the for­ma­tion of the phi­los­o­phy of the Athen­ian sage and those events that took place in the polis dur­ing the archa­ic peri­od of Greece.
In mod­ern his­to­ri­og­ra­phy Solon is most often seen as a politi­cian, leg­is­la­tor of Atti­ca. The world out­look of the “sev­en wise men” is stud­ied in the gen­er­al con­text of the emer­gence of ancient social thought. The nov­el­ty and rel­e­vance of this arti­cle are a detailed con­sid­er­a­tion of the new con­cepts that appear in the world view of Solon as one of the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the “Sev­en Wise Men” and can be traced in the fur­ther phi­los­o­phy of ancient Greece, name­ly, the emer­gence of indi­vid­u­al­ism and the notion of “mea­sures.” In ancient times, Solon was ranked among the “sev­en wise men”, whom the Greeks wor­shiped.
The phi­los­o­phy of the “sev­en wise men” is the ini­tial peri­od of the for­ma­tion of ancient Greek thought, a grad­ual depar­ture from the epic and mytho­log­i­cal per­cep­tion of the world. Their views laid the foun­da­tion for the sub­se­quent devel­op­ment of phi­los­o­phy in Greece.
Despite the fact that the ancient authors list of per­sons who are ranked among the sev­en wise men, is con­stant­ly chang­ing, Solon is men­tioned in almost every enu­mer­a­tion of the sages. In addi­tion, the study of Solon’s out­look is helped by the safe­ty of sources that describe his activ­i­ties. Espe­cial­ly impor­tant are the infor­ma­tion of Aris­to­tle, Herodotus, Plutarch. Equal­ly impor­tant are the ele­gies of the leg­is­la­tor, which have sur­vived to our time, which reflect Solon’s views on con­tem­po­rary real­i­ty. In the arti­cle, Solon’s world out­look is stud­ied, the emer­gence of the con­cept of “mea­sures” in the phi­los­o­phy of the sage. Con­sid­er­a­tion of the socio-polit­i­cal con­text helps to under­stand the con­di­tions under which Solon’s per­son­al­i­ty evolved. The reformer, being of noble ori­gin, was engaged in trade busi­ness, which affect­ed his way of life and per­cep­tion of real­i­ty. Solon lived in an era when there was a con­stant aris­to­crat­ic strug­gle that under­mined the sta­bil­i­ty of the Athen­ian pol­i­cy. In addi­tion, the dom­i­na­tion of noble births led to the fact that ordi­nary peo­ple were unable to par­tic­i­pate in polit­i­cal life. Solon was a wit­ness to these process­es, which influ­enced his world­view. Injus­tice, a con­stant strug­gle for pow­er, greed, abuse are those cat­e­gories that the sage con­demns, con­trast­ing them with love for the home­land, the law, a sense of pro­por­tion. The his­tor­i­cal analy­sis of the biog­ra­phy of Solon allows us to draw con­clu­sions about how the views of the Athen­ian sage were formed.

Key­words: Solon, sev­en sages, per­son­al­i­ty, mod­er­a­tion, phi­los­o­phy, archa­ic age.



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