The Origins of Civilization in Greek and Roman Thought (Routledge Revivals)

By Sue Blundell

© 1986 – Routledge

234 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415748216
pub: 2015-06-12
US Dollars$54.95
Hardback: 9780415748209
pub: 2014-09-22
US Dollars$170.00

About the Book

It has been much disputed to what extent thinkers in Greek and Roman antiquity adhered to ideas of evolution and progress in human affairs. Did they lack any conception of process in time, or did they anticipate Darwinian and Lamarckian hypotheses?

The Origins of Civilization in Greek and Roman Thought, first published in1986, comprehensively examines this issue. Beginning with creation myths – Mother Earth and Pandora, the anti-progressive ideas of the Golden Age, and the cyclical theories of Orphism – Professor Blundell goes on to explore the origins of scientific speculation among the Pre-Socratics, its development into the teleological science of Aristotle, and the advent of the progressivist views of the Stoics. Attention is also given to the ‘primitivist’ debate, involving ideas about the noble savage and reflections of such speculation in poetry, and finally the relationship between nature and culture in ancient thought is investigated.

Table of Contents

Preface Part I: The Origins of the Human Race 1. Mythological explanations 2. The theories of the Presocratic philosophers 3. Later theories 4. Evolution and the survival of the fittest Part II: Patterns of Cultural History 5. Values and Cycles 6. Golden Age Theories 7. Theories of progress 8. Hard primitivism and the noble savage; Conclusion; Select Bibliography; Index

About the Series

Routledge Revivals

Are there elusive titles that you need and have been trying to source for years but thought that you would never be able to find?

Well this may be the end of your quest – here is a fantastic opportunity for you to discover past brilliance and purchase previously out of print and unavailable titles by some of the world’s most eminent academic scholars.

Drawing from over 100 years of innovative, cutting-edge, publishing Routledge Revivals is an exciting new programme whereby key titles from the distinguished and extensive backlist of the many acclaimed imprints associated with Routledge will be re-issued.

The programme draws upon the illustrious backlists of Kegan Paul, Trench & Trubner, Routledge & Kegan Paul, Methuen, Allen & Unwin and Routledge itself.

Routledge Revivals spans the whole of the Humanities and Social Sciences, and includes works by some of the world’s greatest thinkers including Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Simone Weil, Martin Buber, Karl Jaspers and Max Beloff.

If you are interested in Revivals in the Behavioral Sciences, please visit

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Ancient / General
HISTORY / Ancient / Greece
PHILOSOPHY / History & Surveys / Ancient & Classical
PHILOSOPHY / Political