It has been much disputed to what extent thinkers in Greek and Roman antiquity adhered to ideas of evolution and progress in human affairs. Did they lack any conception of process in time, or did they anticipate Darwinian and Lamarckian hypotheses?

The Origins of Civilization in Greek and Roman Thought, first published in1986, comprehensively examines this issue. Beginning with creation myths – Mother Earth and Pandora, the anti-progressive ideas of the Golden Age, and the cyclical theories of Orphism – Professor Blundell goes on to explore the origins of scientific speculation among the Pre-Socratics, its development into the teleological science of Aristotle, and the advent of the progressivist views of the Stoics. Attention is also given to the ‘primitivist’ debate, involving ideas about the noble savage and reflections of such speculation in poetry, and finally the relationship between nature and culture in ancient thought is investigated.

part 1|99 pages

The Origins of the Human Race

chapter Chapter One|21 pages

Mythological Explanations

chapter Chapter two|30 pages

The Theories of the Presocratic Philosophers

chapter Chapter Three|19 pages

Later Theories

chapter Chapter Four|27 pages

Evolution and the Survival of the Fittest

part 2|127 pages

Patterns of Cultural History

chapter Chapter Five|32 pages

Values and Cycles

chapter Chapter Six|30 pages

Golden Age Theories

chapter Chapter Seven|38 pages

Theories of Progress

chapter Chapter Eight|22 pages

Hard Primitivism and the Noble Savage

chapter |3 pages