The Trial and Execution of Socrates II

Lead: In 399 BC, Socrates, Greek teacher and philosopher, suspected of complicity in Athens’ defeat in the Peloponnesian War, was condemned to death by a jury of his peers.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the modern era, Socrates is regarded as one of the most influential figures in the development of thought and philosophy in the west. In the aftermath of the Peloponnesian War, in 399 BC, Socrates was viewed by some as an enemy of Athenian democracy. Socrates often criticized city officials for their lack of moral and intellectual leadership. In the aftermath of Athens’ defeat, charges were brought against the seventy year old teacher, charges of impiety (religious heresies) and corruption of the morals of the young men of Athens (unpatriotic agitation).

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The Trial and Execution of Socrates I

Lead: In 399 BC the Greek philosopher and social critic, Socrates, was tried for religious heresies and corrupting the morals of the young. His conviction led to his suicide.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Socrates, left no writings of his own. His life and philosophy are known to us through the writings of Plato, his most famous pupil and follower, and through the Greek historian Xenophon. His ideas became the foundation for an secular ethical philosophy based on knowledge and self-examination. Through knowledge, Socrates maintained, one could learn justice, truth and love, and in their application lead a moral life. Socrates’ method of teaching his philosophy is now known as the “Socratic method”- a dialogue between teacher and student that promotes self-examination. The teacher begins with a question such as “What is courage?” The student responds and thus begins a series of interrogatives, question answer, further question, answer, and so on.

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Mexico: Spanish Conquest and Rule

Lead:  For almost 300 years after 1521, Mexico was a colony of Spain and known as “La Nueva España” or New Spain.  It was the crown jewel in Spain’s holdings in the New World.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After the Spanish conquered the Aztecs in 1521, Mexico grew to include most of present day Central America and the southwestern United States. The colonial period lasted until the revolt of 1810 – which was led by a priest, Miguel Hidalgo, known today as the father of Mexico’s independence.

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Battle of Marathon II

Lead: The victory of the Greek forces at the Battle of Marathon helped set the course of western development.

Intro.: "A Moment In Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: The ever-expanding Persian empire under Cyrus the Great, Darius and Xerxes came to a halt as it collided with the Greek city-states and their colonies on the Aegean Sea. A powerful invasion force landed at the Bay of Marathon, twenty miles northeast of Athens, in the fall of 490 BC. As was often the case, the democratic Athenians were busy arguing who would command their army even as the Persians were at the gates. Finally, one of the generals, Miltiades, persuaded Callimachus, a civil official, to break the impasse and vote to attack the Persians first. Apparently there was evidence that some Athenians were sympathetic with the invaders and if the City waited too long the seeds of betrayal would undermine its resistance.

Battle of Marathon I

Lead: On the plain at Marathon, Greek armies met a much larger Persian invasion force. For a time, the outcome was in doubt.

Intro.: "A Moment In Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 500 BCE the Persian Empire stretched from India to the shores of the Black Sea. From their capital at Persepolis, Cyrus the Great and his successors, Darius and Xerxes, extended the borders and generally benevolent rule of Persia to most of the civilized world. As they moved west the Persians began to encounter those regions colonized by the major city-states of Greece.

Mount Vesuvius III

Lead: After being buried for seventeen centuries the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum became unparalleled archeological discoveries.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In point of fact, the excavations of these cities, buried in the enormous eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79, initiated the modern science of archeology. Their discovery was quite by accident, the ruins of Pompeii were first in the late 1600s by the architect Domenico Fontana even though at the time its identity was something of a mystery.

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Mount Vesuvius II

Lead: The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 was one of most destructive events to take place in the ancient world. 

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Early in the afternoon of August 24th, at Misenum (my ‘see num), the sister of the imminent naturalist and Roman imperial bureaucrat, Gaius Plinus Secundus, commander of the fleet at Naples, called her brother from his study to see an unusual cloud formation rising east across the bay in the vicinity of Mount Vesuvius. It was shaped like a pine tree and both trunk and crown were punctuated with bright glowing flashes. Ever the scientist, the Elder Pliny ordered up a swift light vessel so as to investigate this phenomenon, but, before he embarked, a note arrived from Rectina, wife of Bassus, a family friend, whose villa at the base of the volcano was in imminent danger of destruction. Alarmed, Pliny ordered the entire fleet into the Bay on a mission of rescue.

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Mount Vesuvius

Lead: In the late summer of AD 79 the stratovolcano Vesuvius which towers over the Bay of Naples erupted. There was a tragic loss of life.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Vesuvius is a relatively young volcano, a little less than 200,000 years old. It towers a little more than 4000 feet over the waters of the Bay of Naples and the plain of Campania in south central Italy. Approximately half way up the sides of the volcano is a high semicircular ridge called Mt. Somma, but in the first century Vesuvius had a single conical summit. Apparently, the mountain has long periods of  quiescence in which there is little volcanic activity, followed by varying periods of eruption. During the quiet times vineyards and orchards grow in the rich soil that covers the lower approaches. Higher up groves of oak and chestnut trees proceed almost to the very summit. During the long six century period before the giant eruption of 1631 there apparently were forests down in the 1000 foot deep crater and three lakes from which herds of sheep and cattle grazed unaware of the rumbling giant below.

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