An Alternative History. The Dark Age of Greek thought began with the Pre-Anaxocratics (excerpted from Sotionus below), who focused on the ethical and political aspects of cosmological questions. These reasons for this focus were structural, due to despotic revolutions that overthrew the local democracies recently established off the coast of Asia Minor. In place of these democracies, each island re-imposed the decentralized leadership of priest-kings who held a monopoly on religious worship. The main questions therefore centered around where the cosmos fit into the divinely legitimized state hierarchy—whether and how to practice correct rituals to the gods, shun the priests in favor of humanity at large, or renounce humanity entirely.
So much conflict revolved around the different manner that tyrants in particular cities conducted their worship, that they did not pay attention when the Persians began to amass their forces to the east. Though Themistocles made a persuasive argument in the Athenian senate to build a navy, this was not done. The bickering and divided city-states were easily defeated by Darius and Xerxes. Under the satraps, however, the philosophers continued to develop their ideas with some autonomy, though the local religions were folded into Zoroastrianism. The satraps adopted the role of priests from the local kings they replaced, and continued to practice local customs much as they had been practiced before. The Greek philosophers themselves, having mislaid confidence in their purpose and destiny as a people due to losing the Persian Wars, developed various schools along the spectrums of the four ‘negative philosophies’—pessimism, nihilism, hedonism, and fatalism—which has had a deep impact upon later thinkers in the Abyssal Canon.
Successions of the Anti-Philosophers, by Sotionus of Caria
Following the Greek loss to Darius and Xerxes in the Persian Wars, early Hellenistic thinkers explore pessimistic reflections of life, rooting the cosmos in principles of non-being.
On Corrupted Generation, by Apellicon of Teos
Apellicon of Teos, self-appointed editor and interpreter of Aristotle’s manuscripts, fills in lacunae with what he thought the philosopher said—with profound results for the future of Western thought.
Anarkhía, by Airistotle
A dialogue between Airistotle and his pupils, including a young Alexander, in which the nature of ruling badly is examined and the principle of cacodaemonia introduced.
On Mumble-ables, by Alexander Aphrodisiac
Language is reduced to nothing, via dubious logic.