Sunday, August 23, 2015


Funny how Life goes --- found myself on the Greek island of Delos a couple of weeks ago, being guided by an archeological student.  She was very good at describing Life in Delos during the 5th Century which can be described as the Golden age of Greece, with philosophical musings in Athens and the mainland Greece. Here in Delos however, due to the harsh conditions resulting from limited water availability the people were forced to become more creative and she told us that it would appear to be an important trading post being located in the mid-Mediterranean --in fact to signify its importance to trade, she indicated that it was probably the first Jewish synagogue built outside whatever Jewish people called their homeland at that time... I think it may have been around that time various factions started annoying their Roman masters who encouraged eviction.
 She mused that one of the more upmarket homes had depressions in its marble window frame, indicating possible bars in the window and speculated that the house could have belonged to a moneychanger of some sort as various peoples did business (representing a teller window of some sort) and maybe it was the beginnings of a banking system of sorts.

Purely by coincidence, I started reading The Criminal History of Mankind by Colin Wilson; and was startled to see Delos mentioned as indeed an important trading post-- for trafficking human beings! In fact, Mr Wilson goes on to describe Delos as having the largest slave market as the Greek Islands were so barren that piracy was a logical choice of occupation. In fact, I read later that he said that slavery became the foundation of Western civilizations/business/economy! How about THAT?  So before we got to the Sanctuary of Apollo-- apparently he promised prosperity for the dwellers of Delos as they gave sanctuary to his mothers Leto who was one of Zeus' many mistresses and hiding from the wrath of Zeus' irate wife Hera - there was a long stretch,about a mile, that the Guide said was a market place but she omitted to say what was the main thing being traded!  Mmm, now how can you miss out that piece of information?
Interestingly criminality was stated as an 'inevitable consequence of the development of intelligence' - the flip side of creativity...and also the childish tendency to take short-cuts. He later talked about the dangers of no checks and balances and cited Roman emperors who were fairly harmless before becoming Emperor but became depraved characters-- sexually and otherwise when they had absolute power with no checks and balances.

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