Exploring Ancient Greece Through Aristotle’s Politics

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Last weekend in Manhattan, I purchased The Politics of Aristotle because even though learning about Greek mythology is very interesting, I wanted to know a little bit about their more concrete ideas and beliefs; since Aristotle was a very prominent philosopher in Ancient Greece, I thought I’d look to him. Even though I haven’t read the entire book yet, I already have a very different view on Greek society. It was shocking to realize just how oppressed women were! Before reading this book, I thought that their only limitations were not being able to participate in government and having to look after the house. However, Aristotle makes it very clear that he thinks women should be bound to their houses, which is disappointing coming from such an enlightened thinker. Aristotle also refers to slavery as “natural” and stresses separation of labor and classes. While some of Aristotle’s ideas are clearly questionable, the questions he poses are thought provoking. It makes me wonder what a perfect society would actually look like. But one thing is for sure: it wouldn’t be anything like the Greeks.

Elene T., Team Mars