Out of the chaos of olden times, now nearly 3,000 years ago, the Hellenic world emerged. How and why this urge for beauty and order arose we do not know. We see man's first strivings to live in freedom, but it was a freedom tempered by law. Later on there arose a great literature, imperishable masterpieces of art, philosophy, tragedy, history, comedy, poetry, mathematics, and science. Enough works of the Greek world survive for us to see that the men of Greece for the first time made an effort to establish and keep clear the passageway that leads from things to ideas and from ideas to things. Abstractions, with their hope for comprehension and their heady dangers of diffuseness, are still the despair of philosophers. Mighty efforts were started in and around Athens, none ultimately successful, to judge what should be the proper size of an autonomous city-state that might
Bean WB. The Will of Zeus. Arch Intern Med. 1964;113(4):493–495. doi:10.1001/archinte.1964.00280100001001
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.