A Golden Age

horseheader11.jpgGood Morning!

As I wind my way through to deadline (in three weeks for me), I find myself not only writing, but more or less stuck with my nose in history almost continually.  And I’ve found something interesting, I think.  Now this isn’t my usual Native Amrican post, so please bear with me.  In fact, this is quite a different post in that it’s about Greece.

What?  Greece?  Why would I be studying Greek History?  Don’t know what to say except in my studies, I found a reference to Pericles — The Age of Pericles.  There were some similarties to what I was studying and enough to make me interested enough to learn a little.adam-beach.jpg  Let me tell you how I got here.  I’ve been studying the Iroquois Confederacy and was intrigued by the fact that it was founded by Hiawatha (the real one) and a man called the Peacemaker.  Not only did they found this Confederacy, they founded it to ensure that all men would live in freedom, that all men would have a voice in their government and they founded it to bring peace to the land they called Turtle Island (North America).

200px-112307-britishmuseum-perikles1Pericles lived around 495? – 429 BC.  And he did much the same for Greece and Rome and England, France and the United States, as Hiwatha and the Peacemaker did for the Iroquois Confederation.  Here are some of his famous quotes:

Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it.  

If Athens shall appear great to you, consider then that her glories were purchased by valiant men, and by men who learned their duty.

Instead of looking on discussion as a stumbling block in the way of action, we think it an indispensable preliminary to any wise action at all.

Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.

Make up your mind that happiness depends on being free, and freedom depends on being courageous.

It wasn’t that Pericles was a successful politician.  In fact, pretty much the opposite.  What he did do, however, is this:  he influenced and sparked freedom in not only Greece, but in Rome, England, France and the United States.  He who would read Pericles learns not only a little of Greek history, but of how valuable freedom is.  It was Pericles who said,

 “Every man may have a voice and my express his opinion in his government and the actions of his culture.  Men are entitled to that voice.  And the culture itself should contribute to them the availability of information so that they can know what the culture consists of.”

225px-t_jefferson_by_charles_willson_peale_1791_21Not only did he say that all men should have a voice in their government, he said that all men WILL have a voice in their government, forever.  Now that’s a pretty brave thing to say, considering that time could find him to be wrong.  It sounds to me like it comes straight out of the mouth of Thomas Jefferson.

At the time , this idea — that all men should be free — that all men should have a voice in their government — that all men should be allowed to understand and contribute to their government — was a new idea.  Republics and freedom are not the average form of government down through the ages on this planet.  Prior to Pericles, tyrants ruled.  But after Pericles, and since that time, those tyrants who have sought to raise their heads have perished.  Sure they might succeed for a number of years,but their demise is almost always accomplished.  And so it has beens since the Age of Pericles.

180px-declaration_independence1Our Founding Fathers were more than aware of the Age of Pericles and were educated in practically nothing but the Golden Age of Greece, an interesting thing to ponder, since it says that Pericles influenced people 2000 years after his life.

Now, I’m not saying that the Peacemaker and Hiawatha were as influencial as Pericles or that the Native Americans had a sort of Republic of Greece established here in America.  What they did have was a government that was set up to be governed by the people.  Every man and woman was free, free to speak and to utter their opinions freely without consequence.  That the Iroquois Confederacy lost its power was not due to its inadequacy, for it influenced a people for well over 200 years and brought prosperity and peace to an entire people.  Their power was lost in duplicity, land grabs, lies, dishonesty — plus half of their people being on the wrong side of the Revolutionary War — the Mohawk sided with England mostly — due to their pledge to the English — what they called the Covenant Chain.

300px-hiawatha_departure1But what the Peacemaker and Hiawatha did that was so similar to Pericles in my consideration was that they set into motion an ideal for the future.  They said that all people have an interest in their government, that all people have a right to speak their ideas and opinions, and that Turtle Island would lead the world to peace — they wished for freedom for all people and hoped to include all people of Turtle Island in their prosperity.

sacagaweaThere have been many great people who have lived on this planet.  I thought I’d mention these three, who have so captured my admiration.

I’d love to talk with you today, so please come on in and tell me what you think of all this.  By the way, did you learn Greek history in school?  I surely didn’t.  Nor had I even heard of Pericles until I stumbled upon this history.  I’m glad to know, however, that my daughters had some studies in Greek literature (I”m not so certain of its history).  How about you?

I’ll be doing a drawing at the end of the day and will be giving away a book to one lucky blogger.  So come on in and leave a comment.  Oh, and please be sure to pick up your copy of Black Eagle today!


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KAREN KAY aka GEN BAILEY is the multi-published author of American Indian Historical Romances. She has written for such prestigious publishers as AVON/HarperCollins, Berkley/Penguin/Putnam and Samhain Publishing. KAREN KAY’S great grandmother was Choctaw Indian and Kay is honored to be able to write about the American Indian Culture.
Please refer to https://petticoatsandpistols.com/sweepstakesrules for all contest rules.

74 thoughts on “A Golden Age”

  1. no Greek history for me in school.
    You came upon some very interesting info; they wanted freedom, freedom of speech and peace back then as we do now.

    the cover for Black Eagle sure stands out and is very nice.

  2. what interesting information.

    Freedom which should be “FREE” has cost alot in this world.

    Egyptians holding the Hewbrews back, the imports taking from the native americans, the white man holding the black man as slaves, the northern people holding the poor Irish as slave labor, The man holding the woman back.

    In God’s eyes “all men (and women) are created equal” and we should ALL be treated that way.

    Peacemaker and Hiawatha where really great visionaries.

  3. Hi Karen,
    Glad to see the post is up and looking great!
    I did get some Greek mythology in school and it fascinated me. Also learned about both the Greek and Roman culture and the wise men of that day.

    Your comparisions are right on!

  4. Hi Karen,
    Glad to see the post is up and looking great!
    I did get some Greek mythology in school and it fascinated me. Also learned about both the Greek and Roman culture and the wise men of that day.

    Your comparisions are right on!

  5. Hi Karen,
    Glad to see the post is up and looking great!
    I did get some Greek mythology in school and it fascinated me. Also learned about both the Greek and Roman culture and the wise men of that day.

    Your comparisions are right on!

  6. Thanks for the very thoughtful post, Karen. I remember in college having to read a book called THE GREEK WAY. It was a scholarly book and not a very exciting read, but some of it stuck in my head. I remember the contributions of Pericles, but comparing it to the Iroquois Confederation is a fresh take. Right on!
    And it’s nice to have Adam back. 🙂

  7. Hi Kay,
    I know a bit about Greek mythology but not much about the history. I travelled there quite some years ago and the geography is gorgeous, much like Souhern California.

    I loved this post. It always makes me grit my teeth that it’s always “men” being free and equal. I just can’t imagine my husband wanting equality just for our son and not our daughter. Grrrr. And our founding fathers were on the tail end of the Age of Enlightenment!

    Is the Peacemaker the same as Dekinawidah?

    I can’t wait to read this book. I love your work anyway but the Iroqois have always fascinated me.

    Best wishes with your deadline.

  8. Hi Robyn!

    Thanks for your comment. Yeah, we don’t teach the Greek history anymore and it’s a shame, because our country is so based on it…and the Indian tradition, as well.

    Yes, man should be free. He’s certainly going to think what he wants to think no matter what another tries to do to enslave him. Interestingly, all through history the slave masters perish. Always. Perhaps that’s the way this universe is built.

    It might look so good to those who would impose their will over others, but if they ever read real history (not the kind written by the victors — sort of made up history) they’ll see that always, one for one, the slave master perishes.

    He might rule for a few years, but in the end… Gosh there’s so many examples. It seems to me the only place where the slave master has any real foot hold currently is in China, but China, as opposed to the West has no tradition of freedom — and so we see the people there not fighting back against the tyranny around them — geez, listen to me go on and on.


    Anyway, thanks for the post. Have a super day!

  9. Wow, Sherry! What a great post you wrote. I so agree with you. Down through the ages, some have always tried to enslave the more numerous populus. Republics have been few. We’re lucky to have been raised in the traditions of one. : )

  10. Hi Charlene!

    Thanks for much for your post, even it is was in triplicate. That’s great that you had some Greek mythology. I didn’t even get that in school. But the ideas of freedom and that all men should be free and be able to participate in their government and be able to express their opinions to anyone and in anyplace really need to be taught again, I think.

    Thanks for your help with the blog last night, too.

  11. Hi Elizabeth!

    That’s great that you were able to learn a bit about the Greek history. I never learned any of it at all and so this is all new territory to me. Yes, it really did strike me the similarities between the Iroquois and Pericles.

    Thanks for your thoughts, Elizabeth.

  12. Hi Tanya!

    I had to read your post through to understand what you meant by “men.” When I think of men, I usually think that they mean “men” as in human beings — not just “men.” In Iroquois society, they truly meant all human beings since women held the balance of power in their society.

    Yes, the Peacemaker is that same man. Indians don’t speak his name and so I figure I won’t either. His life is kinda shrouded in mystery.

    Thanks for your thoughts, Tanya!

  13. What an interesting post Karen! It makes me wonder are we really free today. We are still told today what we can and can’t do. Women are still not treated as an equil, when it comes to jobs because men still make more money doing the same job! Smoker’s are not aloud to smoke in restaurants. They raise the taxes on alcohol and cigaretts, which only hit a few people. Is this really fair. Where is our freedom today!

    I don’t think we every study Greek history in school but I think I might have enjoyed it.

  14. Hi Quilt Lady!

    I agree with you. We aren’t truly free today. In Pericles day to tax a citizen was not considered proper form. Our Founding Fathers went to war over taxation without representation. And today they’re winding a bill through Congress that will tax us for “carbon” emissions and we think they mean our cars? Think again. The pets we keep, the very air we breathe in some cases, the things we eat — all for the “good” of the planet, don’t you know. Hopefully that bill will never see the light of day.

    So yes, I agree with you. Not teaching Greek history and particularly the Age of Pericles, not teaching the founding principles of this country is not in accordance with keeping one’s freedom.

    Anyway, thanks for your thoughts.

  15. I think I learned more about Greek history from reading Louis L’Amour books than from school. He was always having his cowboys read some classic, ancient book like Plato.

  16. My very best friend all the way through from elementary school to high school was a Greek girl and I learned many things by listening to her. She was an especially smart person and later became a teacher. Perhaps I was her very first student. Greek history is very interesting as is Indian history. Freedom is our most-valuable asset and I fear is not appreciated as much as it should be, but is more taken for granted. Freedom is most-appreciated by those who don’t have it. Your blog is very enlightening and interesting.

  17. Not only was Greek not a part of history in my school, Native Americans were not as well. It’s such a shame that because of certain opinions, so much wonderful history was left out of our lives until years later.

    I really enjoyed your post and believe that unless we all stand up together as one rather than as a seperate group of people, we will never truly be free.

  18. Hi Gladys!

    Thanks so much for your comments and thoughts. I agree with what you say and I, too, fear that it isn’t appreciated. In truth, I fear we’re losing it — all for our own “good” of course.

    Thanks for your comments.

  19. What an astute observation, Joy. I also agree with you. The Founding Fathers put it this way, “Either we hang together united, or we hang together separately.” I think that’s it — it might not be exact.

    One of the lessons the Iroquois gave our country was in being united. They had 13 sticks — they showed that one broke easily, but 13 together was almost impossible to break.

  20. You always have such interesting information to read. No- we never studied Greek History in school but let’s not talk about how long ago that was. This will be short as I’m sick with a UTI but wanted to log on and say “Hi” to my friend.
    I tried to find your Black Eagle at Walmart and they didn’t have it. I’ll get it elsewhere though. Have a great day.

  21. I went to the proverbial one room schoolhouse as a wee one so I didn’t learn history beyond the basics. I think that’s why I’m addicted to the History Channel now. I’m making up for lost time.

  22. Hi Kay,

    What an interesting piece. I hardly know anything about Greek History. In todays world it seems we are not free.
    I love to read your post they are so informing and great.
    I did try to find your new book “Black Eagle” but was unable to find it. I will though. I received your postcards and I have handed out all of them, wish I had more

    Thanks and the post was great

    Author “Native Dreams”

  23. just wow id of never put two and two together what a great way to learn more about history i love to read about history and a new interest will make me wanna do the same and study up on Pericles

    and i have to agree in todays world its all about society and politics not about people ty for the wonderful insite on the subject

  24. I went to school during the 40’s and 50’s (yes I’m ancient now) and Greek/Native American history were not offered. We had one year of Ancient History which focused on King Tut. I remember my teacher saying how handsome he was; I never did figure out how he’s being goodlooking related to history. Accomplishments were glossed over. Dates were the main focus. Freedom for all was something that was never referred to. I have learned more reading now than I did in school. This post is no different, it has lead me to doing some research of my own.

    Thanks, Kay

  25. Hi Jody!

    Me, too! Making up for lost time in history, that is. I did go to a small town school, but not a one room classroom. Nice to hear from you!

  26. Hi Melinda!

    Gosh, it’s so disheartening to hear that someone is looking for my book and can’t find it. Borders I know carries it, as does Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million and of course Amazon. Hopefully you’ll be able to find it at one of these places.

    Thanks for passing out the bookmarks — and thanks for being a so beloved Warriorette.!

  27. Karen–very interesting, and I can tell you most certainly did become immersed in your research. I understand this–I begin to look for one thing, that leads to another, etc. Freedom–how telling that the phrase and concept have been used forever, really. The Greeks were the forerunners of many things, and now, freedom. Yes, the term applied to men, except in some Native American tribes, the woman owns everything, and the name is passed through her, and if she doesn’t like her husband, she can pack up his stuff and set it on the doorstep, uh outside the tipi. Thanks-Celia

  28. Hi Beverly!

    Thanks so much for your thoughts and comments. Yes, I so agree with you on society at this point in our history.

    I love reading history nowadays — it does come alive for me.

  29. HI Jean!

    It was the same for me in school, only dates and such were of interest and it was dull and boring, although real history is exciting and full of surprises. I love looking at it from the causes and effects viewpoint — what was the cause and what was the effect of that cause. Only in this way, I think, can we truly learn from history. There have been some wonderful men and women who have lived and have contributed to making this a better world.

    I love reading about them and making them come alive.

  30. Hi Celia!

    I can see that you, too, make history come alive. I love the Native American history — like I said, my nose is almost continually in some history book — so looking at the Greek history was refreshing for me. What a man Pericles was. What an influence (for the good) he was for all the world. Probably I will try to find out more about him, too.

  31. Gee looking back to my History classes, all I remember learning about were explorers, the wars, bits and pieces of the states, presidents, etc. No Greek history and very little Native American history were brought into the class… So much that is unknown to me is out there!!!

  32. Hi Karen,
    Love your post & everyone’s responses, gets me thinking. I especially love the 13 sticks comment, the Native American stories hold such wisdom and truth and it’s a shame they aren’t taught more often.

    No, I guess we’re not really completely free for our own good…lol or the good of the whole, but I believe it’s the best system out there. I guess there has to be trade offs, compromises, for all of us. For example, I don’t like being forced to wear a seat belt or I get ticketed, all for my own good but I do like being able to sit in a public smoke-free restaurant and breathe easy, since I have asthma.

    You make a good point in your post that freedom takes courage, “freedom don’t come free.” The costs have been high for many courageous individuals & their families throughout history & the benefits from their courage have been great for the masses, who sadly most times seem to take it for granted or don’t recognize the efforts.

    I think there will always be a slave master trying to dominate those they can for greed whether it be power or money or out of fear. But as you said they have not and will not last. The saying “The meek shall inherit the earth” may ring a bit of truth…lol

    Thanks for sharing your historical findings. That’s why I love your books!


  33. Sure we did, at least some, in elementary school and high school. And in the university I had at least one course where we talked something about ancient Greek and Rome. And that course was more interesting than the lessons in elementary school and high school. The way I remember the history lessons in the elementary school and high school: years and dates, statistics (one of my teachers in the elementary loved them =P), politics (zzzz), second world war, especially the war between Finland and Russia, barely anything about the time before the invasion of Swedes and Russian, but a lot about what happend after that and history of other countries.

  34. Hello, Karen and Adam,

    From the ancient days, like so many of your commenters, all I can recall of history is
    the emphasis on knowing dates. No mention
    of Cousin Pericles or any other Greek scholars.
    (well, I went to school so long ago that he was
    a cousin or something!!) Thanks for the history
    lesson, it doesn’t hurt to have a review every
    now and then!

  35. Hi Karen,I didnt have greek in school,not offered,but its a interesting subject,I get confused by it,youve made it a bit cleared,thanks for the info

  36. Hi Karen,
    Great post. We never studied Greek History in school .Black Eagle sounds like a wonderful book.

  37. Hi Karen, You always amaze me on your research!!! nO, we did not study Greek history in school if we did i didn’t know anything about it LoL our teaches were so boring i could barely focus on what i needed to learn to pass a test on it, they weren’t like you, I enjoy all your post and always learn something from them. I had never heard the word pericles before so this was very interesting as always, and thanks for not forgetting to include the picture of hotty that we all love to see : ) Love You XOXO

  38. I’ve always said that education is wasted on the young lol. There are just certain things that mean so much more when you’re a little older. I love history now but the way it was taught (mostly dates and memorization)and considering I had never left my hometown – it just all didn’t seem very interesting back then. And since history is still being made – there’s so much more they have to learn lol.

  39. Interesting post!
    I didn’t learn Greek history in school, but I did reas about Pericles somewhere.

  40. Wow, what a fascinating post. Thanks os much. I enjoy Greek history in school and I loved visiting Greece.

  41. HI karen,
    I studied European History in school 46 yrs ago. Knew Grrek Myth but not the history.
    The Iroquis were part of the Delaware Tribe which I found out camped in our towns backyard
    . We have a mill pond which the Native Americans would spend the summer here.
    I will send the article.
    I loved your book Black Eagle.

  42. Hi Colleen!

    It was the same for me, also. That’s one of the pleasures of being an historical romance author — I get to pt my nose into history. : )

  43. Hello again, Karen. Had learned a little about Greek history in school. Since I’m an information junkie, I’ve hit bits and pieces of information on Pericles, other Greek scholars, and Greek history. Never did make the jump to compare his philosophy with that of the Iroquois Confederacy. Gentlemen who were educated in the 1700 and 1800’s studied ancient Greece and Rome. I am certain all our “founding fathers” were well versed in the teachings of Greek and Roman philosophers. It would be surprising if that did not have some influence on them. I’d forgotten about the 13 sticks philosophy. It’s been a long time since I had that in my studies.
    Thanks for another interesting chat. I finally got to a book store yesterday and was able to pick up BLACK EAGLE. Can’t wait to read it!
    Take care. I’ll be looking forward to your next chat.

  44. Wow, Marilyn, such insights. Gosh a saying about he who thinks he is free and isn’t is very enslaved — that’s not the quote, but it goes something like that.

    Wouldn’t it be great to have a revival of Greek culture — the Golden Age of Greece — not Spartius — is that the right name for it or am I thinking of a movie. Spartan — gosh, can’t recall that — see how much I don’t know about this —

    Thanks so much for your post.

  45. Hi Minna,

    I guess if you’re a history teacher, you get to choose the history you get to teach. Probably one of the perks. Thanks so much for your post.

  46. Hi Minna,

    I guess if you’re a history teacher, you get to choose the history you get to teach. Probably one of the perks. Love your insights.

  47. Hi Emma!

    Yeah, I really hope you’ll enjoy the book. Although I love these points of history, my books are entertainment and history plays only a very, very minor part. : )

  48. Hi Lori!

    You said it — my history classes were pretty boring, also. Lots of dates that one never remembers 10 years later — what good is that? But again, the think studying the causes and effects of history is very worthwhile.

    Yeah, he is a hottie, isn’t he? Interestingly, I don’t watch TV and seldom go to movies so I’ve only seen him here and there on the internet and in a few select moview. : )

  49. Jeanne, this is such a wise statement — I hadn’t thought of that — that history is still being made and so there is so much more to study.

    What a great observation!

  50. Hi Estella!

    I love your name, by the way. Don’t know if you know this but in my second book, the character’s name was Estela — on “l.” Anyway, yeah it seems Greek history is a bit missing in our society and it’s important because there really haven’t been that many republics in this world. I think we should study them well — even if the tyrants in this world would rather their history be forgotten. : )

  51. Hi Emma!

    Thanks so much for your compliment on Black Eagle — does my heart good. But one thing — perhaps in the latter years of their Confederacy, the Iroquois joined ranks with the Delaware, but they weren’t part of the Delaware. The Delaware were their own tribe and spoke a different language, also.

    But as the Indians were displaced, it’s possible that they joined together. : )

  52. Good Evening, Patricia!

    Always love your comments — you are very well informed, I think. Yes, our Founding Fathers did have a grounding in Greek and Roman history, interestingly enough.

    I have been stuck by the similarities — so I thought I would mention it.

    Have a super evening!

  53. Hi everyone

    This is my frist time leaving a comment but I just had too I wanted to say that I love this website you get to read all kinds of cool things you get to find out about the best books and the people how write them so I just wanted to say thanks to you all for making this fun and thanks too Lorraine Heath for teling me about this website on hers I have alot of fun everytime I get on here

  54. Hi Karen, I studied a little Greek history many years ago, it was interesting reading your blog. I read Black Eagle, excellent book. Exciting and a great historical romance. I love the characters. Have a great rest of the day.

  55. Good Evening, Noralea!

    Thanks so much for the praise for this website. I will pass along your comments. : )

    And I love that you have left your first comment here. Hope that’s the start of many more.

  56. Good Evening, Linda!

    Gee, but it’s great to see you here on the blog. : ) Thanks for your compliments on BLACK EAGLE. : ) You are most gracious.

  57. You don’t have to thank me I really do love this site and I know that I will post more this is a site that there is so much to enjoy on here and I love everthing on here on all the websits that I have been on for books and there writers the one is my favorites

  58. Hi Karen! Thought you’d want to know that my daughter and I visited a few libraries this weekend and today she went to two bookstores and got your book markers there for BLACK EAGLE. They said they’d be happy to give them out with those who purchase romance books! I hope you get even more readers to see what they are missing!

    I so look forward to the posts here from you and all! I’m always enjoying learning about the history and I think I understand so much more when I read now! So don’t stop giving us that great info! The Age Of Pericles is totally new for me. I actually didn’t get much from HS at all with no interpreters and there wasn’t much to take of in History in College. Most I learn now is thought things i look up and in books and like here! I know of some mythology with the Greek gods, which probably doesn’t have much to do with Greece (I’m not sure, so I can say now I know LITTLE of it except for what I read in romance and then looked up more on their characters). How hard is it to find history from 495? I’m so glad they can preserve history now than they could then but you did find so much more that they did have on the government then.

  59. Hi Caffey!

    Wow, thank you so much for your help — one of my beloved Warriorettes! You really have a place in my heart.

    i didn’t know much about Greece either — I’ve never studied it until just recently — not even the mythology — yeah, I think our education could have been better. We should at least know more about this country and republics — like I said, there haven’t been that many of them in history. : )

    Have a super evening!

  60. “I guess if you’re a history teacher, you get to choose the history you get to teach.”

    Not entirely. You still have to teach what has been put in the history book you’ve chosen. The way you teach and what you add to the info given in the book is up to you. I think the publishers here get some guide lines about what to put to their history books, though. I doubt it has changed all that much since I was in elementary and high school, but the history books seemed to be full of politics and war. That’s the way I remember it anyway. And they wonder why kids think history is boring…

  61. Hi Minna!

    Thanks so much for your input — it’s so informative — i think you’re right — it’s about war and politics instead of real history.

Comments are closed.