4 more profoundly moving spiritual thoughts from the Stoic, Marcus Aurelius: Just to give you an idea of the vast scope and universal appeal of the Stoic philosophy the Roman emperor, Marcus Aurelius (AD 160-180) espoused, here is a composite of four quotations from his splendid Meditations, which I urge anyone who has an eye and an ear for profound spiritual thought to read. I have been and am most deeply moved by this profound observation by Marcus Aurelius on the nature of the soul: The soul becomes dyed with the colour of its thought. How true, how eminently and profoundly true. This single, acute observation goes a very long way in explaining how the extent of both the good and the evil in every one of us tinctures the soul of each one of us. Where ever the good prevails over the evil in one’s life, and the more the better, the more appealing the colour of one’s soul. We can think of many individuals throughout history whose souls are of a subtle, delightful hue. Persons such as Buddha, Mahatma Ghandi and Jesus come to mind. Their souls must project an aura of caerulean blue, aquamarine, teal or the like. But woe to those such as the Roman emperor, the monster, Caligula, Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler, whose souls (or whatever is left of them, if anything) have been tarred all but pitch black.
The full range of marvelous, rich colours the Minoans at Knossos used on their stunning frescoes! We notice right away that the colours they had at their disposal ran from various shades of yellows (saffron) and oranges to blues and various shades of purple. The Minoans at Knossos, Pylos, Thera (Thira, Santorini) and elsewhere were unable to reproduce green pigment. This minor drawback had little or no perceptible effect on the splendid results they almost invariably came up with in their breathtaking frescoes, the likes of which were not reproduced anywhere else in the Occidental ancient world, except perhaps by the Romans, especially at Pompeii. The Romans were able to reproduce greens. Two lovely frescoes from Pompeii:
Third Palace, Knossos, Late Minoan III (ca. 1450 BCE), general views from the net:
In this post and the next two, you can see several illustrations and paintings of the ancient palace and city of Knossos in its full glory in the Late Minoan III period (ca. 1450 BCE).
Notice in this beautiful painting of ancient Knossos (population ca. 55,000, a huge city for the ancient world) the arches beneath the causeway leading to the city. And we thought arches were a Roman invention!
What is so remarkable about Middle and Late Minoan architecture is that it looks so modern, even to us in the twenty-first century. The architecture is simple and streamlined, no extravagant frills. This sets Knossos in stark contrast to practically every other ancient civilization, except Classical Athenian (the acropolis and Parthenon, ca. 430-400 BCE). Almost all other ancient civilizations went in for the extravagant and the excessive, much like Baroque architecture in the seventeenth century AD, all of which I cannot abide. In order to set the stark contrast between Minoan and Mycenaean architecture and that of Persepolis and ancient China, for instance, I am also including photos from the latter civilizations. The architecture of Persepolis is particularly gaudy and distasteful to me.