Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hippodamus the Hippie

You know, I mentioned hippie-mocking in yesterday’s entry, and in reading one of next month’s Book Selections, Aristotle’s Politics, I think I may have stumbled across a reference to the first hippie radical (at the start of Book II, Chapter 8):

“Hippodamus of Miletus: A planner of towns, who also sought to plan cities on new lines…[I, Aristotle, will present criticism] of his legal novelties, and especially of his proposal to reward the inventors of reforms.  Tradition has its claims; and the value of a law-abiding habit may be greater than that of legal reforms.  Hippodamus the son of Euryphon, a citizen of Miletus, was the first man without practical experience of politics who attempted to handle the theme of the best form of constitution…In his general life, too, he was led into some eccentricity by a desire to attract attention…He wore his hair long and expensively adorned; he had flowing robes, made from a cheap but warm material, which he wore in summer time as well as in winter; and he aspired to be learned about nature generally.”

More in January 2010…

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