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"Philosopher Kings"

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  Quote Decebal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: "Philosopher Kings"
    Posted: 12-Oct-2006 at 13:44


I'd like to gather a list of monarchs who were also noted for their intellectual achievements, preferably being writers, philosophers or scientists. I can provide some introductory entries:

- Nabonidus, the last king Of Babylon who was so concerned with ancient history and archeological excavations, that he paid little attention to the impending doom of his empire and its subsequent conquest by Cyrus of the Achemenids

- Marcus Aurelius, the only Roman Emperor who also established a reputation for his philosophy, and whoi wrote "Meditations"

- Constantine Porphyrogenitus - a Byzantine Emperor and noted author. We could probably also add Anna Comnena, a noted historian and a Byzantine princess

- Babur "the Tiger", the first Great Moghul- not only an able general but also a noted author

I'd like to hear of more...

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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Oct-2006 at 13:56
Take notice of the following:
 
Nezahualcoyotl, king of Texcoco, pre-columbian Mexico.
Alphose X the Wise, Christian king of Spain at the Middle Ages
Ptolmey I, the King of Alexandria.
 
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  Quote Komnenos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Oct-2006 at 14:00
Julian the Apostate, who had immense philosophical pretensions, but was more of a caricature of a Hellenic thinker.
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  Quote rider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Oct-2006 at 14:20
I wouldn't say that Ptolemaios Soter was much of a philosopher, pinguin.
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  Quote vulkan02 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Oct-2006 at 14:25
King Solomon was regarded as the acme of wisdom in ancient Hebrew scriptures. He's also my current avatar ...Wink


Edited by vulkan02 - 12-Oct-2006 at 14:26
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  Quote Maharbbal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Oct-2006 at 14:41
Trotsky. His "My Life" is regarded as one of the best piece of Russian litterature in the 20th century. Churchill, De Gaule, and the Prince of Ligne are also highly praized for the quality of their memoir.

Marguerite de Navarre. First (and best?) French femal poet.

Frederick II. His philosophical work is said to be of good quality.

God (King of the Kings) is said to have written a few books.

Lorenzo De Medici was a very skilled poet.

I guess Ludwig of Bavaria must have written something.

Louis XIV left two books to his sons.

Must be others.
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  Quote Kids Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Oct-2006 at 14:53
Alexander the Great
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  Quote Komnenos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Oct-2006 at 15:22
Originally posted by Maharbbal

Trotsky. His "My Life" is regarded as one of the best piece of Russian litterature in the 20th century. Churchill, De Gaule, and the Prince of Ligne are also highly praized for the quality of their memoir.

 
I though we are restricted to monarchs.
Anyway, if you mention Trotsky, how about Lenin who thrilled the Russian workers and peasants with works like "Materialism and Empirio-Criticism" , a seminal piece of Marxist philosophy.
 
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Oct-2006 at 15:36
Originally posted by rider

I wouldn't say that Ptolemaios Soter was much of a philosopher, pinguin.
 
Yes, you are right. He was more like a "manager" of events LOL
 
Yep, I change him by King Solomon, then. I mantain, though, Nezahualcoyotl and King Alphonse the Wise. And, of course, Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor.
 
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Edited by pinguin - 12-Oct-2006 at 15:38
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  Quote Maharbbal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Oct-2006 at 15:37
True and we could also mention Stalin's "on Yougoslavia" maybe the only piece of litterature able to make Main Kampf look like a seminal essay on human condition.
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Oct-2006 at 15:40
I would not call Stalin, Hitler or Mao Tse Tung "phylosophers" because they wrote the Main Kampf or the Red Book.
 
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  Quote Bulldog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Oct-2006 at 15:46
What did Alexander the Great write?
 
More additions-
 
- Suleyman the Magnificent, master poet, patron of the arts and architecture, creater of of one of the greatest justice system combinating a balance between Turkic Yasa and Ture and Islamic Shariah Law.
 
- Ulugh Bey/Beg/Bek, great scientist, ruler of the timurids, builder of the famous Samarkent observatory, calculated the length of a year, achieved mathmatical advancments and catelogued a thousand stars and the motions of the planets.
 
 
 
 


Edited by Bulldog - 12-Oct-2006 at 15:48
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  Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Oct-2006 at 16:05
Richard III, who assemble the largest collection of books in England and seems to have read them all.
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  Quote Chilbudios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Oct-2006 at 17:05
Some surprising testimonies of intellectual achievements come from the early Barbaric kingdoms:
 
In Italy, maybe Theodoric the Great not so, but Amalasuntha knew not only Latin, but also Greek (which was a mark of exquisite literacy in the Latin West of those times) and as Cassiodorus says, she was quite knowledgeable in the Classical Culture. Theodat was also named the "philosopher king" and Procopius said about him he was more skillful in Plato than in miltary.
 
In Spain, Sisebut, the Visigothic king was also erudite both in theology but also in laic literature. He knew not only the Christian Holy Books, but also theology, classical philosophy as his letters and poems prove. In fact several of the later Visigothic kings enjoyed the royal library which contained both religious and laic literature.
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  Quote malizai_ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Oct-2006 at 17:10
Ulugh Beg, how can we forget.
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  Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Oct-2006 at 03:05
In England, Alfred the Great.
 
And James I of England VI of Scotland was known as the 'wisest fool in Christendom'.
 
Philosophers can be idiots too.
 
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  Quote Leonardo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Oct-2006 at 08:38
Originally posted by Komnenos

Julian the Apostate, who had immense philosophical pretensions, but was more of a caricature of a Hellenic thinker.
 
I disagree totally with you Big smile
 
 
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  Quote Hellios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Oct-2006 at 10:04
Originally posted by Bulldog

What did Alexander the Great write?
 

Alexander didn't live long enough to produce many philosophical written works, but philosophy isn't only about writing.

 

He grabbed any opportunity he could (during his hectic military campaigns) to philosophize with the local philosophers of the various kingdoms he conquered.  This probably had something to do with his background & education; he was personally educated by Aristotle, follower/student of Plato, follower/student of Socrates.  Alexanders philosophical background/education and sense of philosophy were probably as good as any other King mention in this thread.

 

He also contributed greatly to philosophy by creating many foundations for its development, such as some of the great cities/schools he founded, which became famous for the development of philosophy.

 

People who try to distance Alexander from philosophy are probably from the "I think Alexander was overrated..." gang.  He was greatly philosophical in both his upbringing and his actions (during his short life).  Those "written works" historians love to see, would've come later.  It shouldn't be doubted that somebody with his philosophical background/experience and philosophical sense, would've also produced some fine philosophical "written" work if he has reached an older age.

 
There are so many greatly philosophical monarchs.
 


Edited by Hellios - 13-Oct-2006 at 10:13
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  Quote Bulldog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Oct-2006 at 12:20
The same can be said about any Conqueror, Monarch, Leader though. Most recieve the top education and have quite a privallaged background. There are ofcourse exceptions, one that springs to mind is Timurlenk and Nadir Shah, they had to be doubly as intellegent as getting to become a leader when your a shephard would be tough today let along in back in the middle-ages.

You comment on some of the great cities he founded, yet he also destroyed probobly the greatest and most advanced city of the era "Persepolis" and countless other cities.

Alexander the Great is among the warrior kings, for more focused with millitaristic actions rather than philosophies and culture. He belongs in a group with, Atilla the Hun and Genghiz Khan.     
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  Quote Hellios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Oct-2006 at 13:02

Hey BD,

 

Originally posted by Bulldog

The same can be said about any Conqueror, Monarch, Leader though. Most recieve the top education and have quite a privallaged background.

 

Yes, most monarchs had a good education & privileged background, but (in terms of philosophy) that's not the same thing as personal tutoring by the Aristotle-Plato-Socrates lineage.  In terms of philosophy, that's something quite extraordinary.

 
 

Originally posted by Bulldog

You comment on some of the great cities he founded, yet he also destroyed probobly the greatest and most advanced city of the era "Persepolis" and countless other cities.

 

Most conquerors destroyed cities, but not all of them built as many as he did.  Try to look at the big picture.

 
 

Originally posted by Bulldog

Alexander the Great is among the warrior kings, for more focused with millitaristic actions rather than philosophies and culture. He belongs in a group with, Atilla the Hun and Genghiz Khan.

 

You must have some political or favoritistic issues to be saying that his interest in cultures & sense of philosophy were the same as Attila the Hun and Genghis Khan.  All Ive been trying to say is that he wasnt as un-philosophical as you portrayed him in your earlier post.

 
 
Remember, I didn't jump in this thread to propose Alexander as a 'Philosophical King', I jumped in because another member mentioned him and you replied "What did Alexander write?", so I said philosophy isn't only about writing & tried to explain why I thought so...
 
 


Edited by Hellios - 13-Oct-2006 at 13:31
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