10 Facts About Anacharsis


Anacharsis was a Scythian philosopher; he travelled from his homeland on the northern shores of the Black Sea, to Ancient Athens, in the early 6th century BC, and made a great impression as a forthright and outspoken barbarian, that is, a non-Greek speaker.

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Anacharsis left his native country to travel in pursuit of knowledge, and came to Athens about 589 BC, at a time when Solon was occupied with his legislative measures.

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Anacharsis cultivated the outsider's knack of seeing the illogic in familiar things.

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Anacharsis was the first foreigner who received the privileges of Athenian citizenship.

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Anacharsis was reckoned by some ancient authors as one of the Seven Sages of Greece, and it is said that he was initiated into the Eleusinian Mysteries of the Great Goddess, a privilege denied to those who did not speak fluent Greek.

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Anacharsis was said to have written a book comparing the laws of the Scythians with the laws of the Greeks, as well as work on the art of war.

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Anacharsis became famous for the simplicity of his way of living and his acute observations on the institutions and customs of the Greeks.

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Greetings from Anacharsis to Hanno: My clothing is a Scythian cloak, my shoes are the hard soles of my feet, my bed is the earth, my food is only seasoned by hunger - and I eat nothing but milk and cheese and meat.

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Anacharsis laughed at Solon for imagining that the dishonesty and greed of the Athenians could be restrained by written laws.

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Such laws, said Anacharsis, are like spiderwebs: they catch the weak and poor, but the rich can rip right through them.

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