1 Answer | Add Yours
Ancient Greek culture achieved conformity to social values through shame, not through consciousness of guilt. Thus honor, which is inextricably linked to shame, was a value of ancient Greece. I believe conscious as a way to direct individual behavior is an invention of the English and American Puritains, or maybe of Protestantism, or maybe of Christainity. At any rate, shame is capable of influencing the behavior of everyone, while feelings of guilt are capable of influencing only those who have a conscious; most people do have a conscious, but sociopaths do not and cannot be controlled but by shame or by brute force.
Classical education is said to be about the Greek love of truth and beauty and the Roman genius for government, so this suggests some of the things that they valued.
Carl C. Zimmerman in Family and Civilization, described the trustee family of ancient Greece, then the atomistic family which evolved and helped to precipitate the conquest of Greece by Rome.
In Greek times, again in Roman times, and again in modern times, the predominant type of family evolved from trustee to domestic to atomistic.
Whenever and wherever neither the state nor the church ruled the family, the family ruled itself; this was trustee familism (582). In the trustee family, the family embraces many households. One man is head of the family but he is subject to a family counsel and occasionally to the entire family if nearly all members feel so strongly about an issue that they are willing to oppose him.
Family mores include: men do not openly engage in premarital or extramarital sex. Women do not engage in premarital or extramarital sex at all, except for the ever present few blacksliders. Women who are not virgins cannot marry and are kicked out of the family. Adulteresses also are kicked out, or killed if caught in the act.
Property is held in common, is received from previous generations and is held in trust for future generations. The family takes care of its own. It is responsible for seeking revenge or compensation for injury to a family member by an outsider; it is responsible for paying compensation if a member injures an outsider; costly feuds can result.
Trustee and domestic family members have strong bonds to their families and to the nation of which their family is a part. Atomistic family members are very individualistic, me, me, me, and not very strongly bonded to family or anything else. They make poor soldiers because they have no love of family or country. They have loose morals, have sexually deviant practices, have no or few children, or allow their children to grow up without much parental control. You can see how this type of culture might have been easy for the Romans to conquor. and after the Romans evolved such a culture, they were easy for the barbarians to conquer.
We’ve answered 333,957 questions. We can answer yours, too.Ask a question