Colin Davies assesses the ancient Greek whose philosophy seemed to have banished certainty forever. In Socrates' midst, there flourished a new humanism in which man saw himself as the denizen of an indifferent universe

Simultaneously, in Athens and other Greek cities, the progressive curtailment of the autocracy previously enjoyed by the landed nobility as the rising middle classes secured greater influence in military and political affairs, and the gradual development of a democracy that was to be the model and envy of contemporary Greece and posterity alike, created an interest in political and moral inquiry that served both the practical requirements of aspiring young politicians and the more academic interests of the theorists and philosophers who congregated at the recognized centre of Greek culture.

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