Paragraph : Philosophy


Once the strongest men were willing to die for philosophy : Socrates chose to be her (philosophy’s) martyr rather than live in flight before her enemies; Plato risked himself twice to win a kingdom for her; Marcus Aurelius loved her more passionately than his throne, and Bruno burned at the stake for loyalty to her. Once thrones and papacies feared philosophy and imprisoned her votaries lest dynasties should fall. Athens exiled Protagoras, and Alexandria trembled before Hypatia; a great pope courted timidly the friendship of Erasmus; regents and kings hounded Voltaire from their lands, and fretted in jealousy when at last all the civilized world bowed before the sceptre of his pen. Dionysius and Dionysius’s son offered Ploto the mastery of Syracuse; Alexander’s royal aid made Aristotle the most learned man in history; a scholar-king lifted Francis Bacon almost to the leadership of England, and protected him from his enemies; and the great Frederick, at midnight when all his pompous generals had gone to sleep, held high revelry with poets and philosophers, envious of their boundless realms and their timeless sway.
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