Reply To: Lectures by Jean Chandler

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Actually, Thucydides (1.5ff) has a really nice digression on how there are some places where men have to carry their weapons everywhere they go like Athenians did in the olden days and non-Greeks do in his day. Athenian aristocrats were very strong believers in their right to self-help by force and to keep arms and serve in the army, but this one thought that carrying arms in everyday life was a sign of primitive life and a world where everyone robbed their neighbours on land or on sea.

“Typical” might be a bit strong but this thinking – arms strengthen the community against external threats, but lead to woundings and killings within the community, so create laws to encourage the civic bearing of arms and discourage the private – comes up again and again and again from Britain to Iran. So its at least one very common way of thinking about the problem from antiquity into the present, and one that many English-speaking people today are not familiar with. (just discovered the edit button- ed.)

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by Philologus.