Maxims and Sayings, Herakleitos

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The “Unity of Opposites” is a very interesting piece. The concept of opposites and the balance that lies within all is the main idea. By placing these values and definitions as one in the same Herakleitos goes a step further. Although he only discusses a limited number of things and their opposites, this theory can go beyond and be forever limitless in the categorizing of opposites. It sheds light to the idea of balance and good and bad, heaven and hell, life and death. All things in this universe have an opposite and that which is living is also death and here within lies the harmony of absolute knowledge. In a way I believe Herekleitos is seeking wisdom by defining mans belief in religion and themselves. As so stated in his final verse “I inquired of myself”. One excerpt from the maxim stating, “ War is father of all and king of all; and some he made gods and some men, some slaves and some free.”, shows a strong belief in warfare and accurately depicts the Mycenaean culture of the warrior class. This culture took great pride in their belief of war and strength in pillaging. They lived by the idea that to survive one must attack before being attacked. Just as in the saying by Herakleitos, “The name of the bow is life, but its work is death.”, a belief for warfare and weaponry is shown. By giving life itself to the object of the bow, the Mycenaean culture can be defined as a war mongering culture. This theory is clearly defined as well in the art piece known as “The Warrior Vase”. By depicting ancient warriors on this vase, the Mycenaean culture shows that even on a home based piece of pottery, one is reminded of the true value of warfare and strength. The men portrayed on this vase also show a high level of weaponry and defense for an ancient culture with minimal contact with Egyptians and well before roman times.
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