Adrienus is a 19-year old boy who just returned home after his second year studying at the Platonic Academy in Athens. His father, Lormio, is paying for the whole experience.
Lormio: Welcome home son! What tidings from University do you bring? Do your instructors give you any news from the war? The last we heard our soldiers were marching to Attica to drive back the Spartan hordes.
Adrienus: Wow, dad! You shouldn’t refer to them as hordes. Spartans are people too.
Lormio: They’re attacking us and constantly trying to kill every natural born Athenian.
Adrienus: That’s you’re Western Perspective. Did you ever think that maybe we’re the bad guys to them?
Lormio: Haven’t you heard about the Spartans? They’re brutal people. They take babies deemed too weak to be good soldiers and they throw them off a cliff. They literally have a communal pit full of dead babies.
Adrienus rolls his eyes.
Adrienus: It’s just a cultural difference. We should respect their traditions and not generalize. There are Spartans out there who don’t kill weakling babies. What about them?
Lormio: I pray to the Ares, God of War, that you’ve learned more than that about the world.
Adrienus: Yeah, let’s pray to Ares, dad. Because he’s a real thing. Magic invisible man in the sky controlling battles and swords? Please…
Lormio: Oh great, now you don’t believe in Gods? What the heck am I paying for you to go to school for? I sent you there to learn how to count so you could come back and help me sell olives.
Adrienus: I’m learning about more important things.
Lormio: What’s more important than olives?
Ardennes: Gee, I don’t know. How about forms?
Lormio: Like for building walls?
Adrienus: No. Forms. Plato says it’s like how everything isn’t really what it seems. Everything on earth is a copy or an image of what it truly is. Forms are the physical manifestations of the things we perceive. Not the things themselves.
Adrienus: Yeah, I didn’t expect you to comprehend.
Lormio: No, I think I do actually.
Lormio clenches his fist.
Lormio: So for instance this fist. This isn’t really a fist. What you perceive as a fist is actually just a combination of things it represents, right? So what does this fist represent to you?
Adrienus swallows deeply.
Adrienus: Um…I don’t know.
Lormio: I’ll tell you what I think it represents. I think this hand represents the destructive force. It represents Poseidon’s tempest. Zeus’ bellows. Ares’ chariot. It is strong and brutal. But that’s my perception. What is yours?
Adrienus: I think it means I should go help mom with dinner?
Lormio: Good guess.