In the Greek city-states, democracy and philosophical thinking came to life on squares and streets – as the questions filled the air. Now the idea of a natural right arose, thoughts that ultimately resulted in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. At the same time, the Greeks created an pedagogy to educate citizens in free thinking and free speech, geometry was central.

The voices of humanism are a combined sound and geometry installation. The geometry sculptures are located on plinths along the 240-metre spiral road The Frozen River of Time. These are mathematical basic forms known from antiquity, they should shed light on classical statements about the rule of law, humanism and democracy from ancient literary sources.

There are more than 40 quotes from antiquity, which have been newly translated from Greek and Latin texts by Senior Lecturer Vemund Blomkvist UiO, and Eimund Sand at the University Library. The quotes can be read in Norwegian, Greek and Latin in the Rose Castle app.

A selection of these quotes has been transformed into an audio installation by Eimund Sand and the composer Martin Romberg. Here you can hear the sound of democracy, the speakers, the cacophony in the square, the pot shards being crushed, the water clock, the whistles, the bells.

The votes come out of Greek amphorae.
In ancient times, the amphorae were used to transport wine and olive oil. Here they transport votes. In Greek democracy, one voted, among other things, by carving the names of pot shards. Eimund has created 20 amphorae of crushed terracotta and carved old Greek letters into the pot shards. The sound of the voices and geometric shapes forms a whole and points to a kinship. The idea is that the immortal words are reflected in the eternal geometry.

1. Know yourself! One of the part-fishing maxims.

Γνωθι σαυτον.

2. Man is the measure of all things. Protagoras, quoted in Plato, Theaetetus 152a.

Παντων χρηματων μετρον ανθρωπος.

3. How beautiful is man when there is a human being. Menander. August Meineke, Menandri et Philemonis reliquiae, Berlin 1823, 335.

Ως χαριεν ανθρωπος αν ανθρωπος η.

4. Poverty in a democracy is preferable to the so-called prosperity of single-issuers, as much as freedom is preferable to slavery. Demokrit, fragment no. 147 in P. Natorp, Die Ethika des Demokritos, Hildesheim 1970, 20.

Η εν δημοκρατια πενιη της παρα τοις δυναστηισι καλεομενης ευδαιμονιης τοσουτο εστιν αιρετωτερη οκοσον ελευθεριη δουλειης.

5. But a law for all spreads continuously beyond the mighty heavens and the great earth. Empedocles, Fragments, 404-405.

αλλα το μεν παντων νομιμον δια τ ευρυμεδοντος αιθερος ηνεκεως τεταται δια τ απλετου αυ γης.

6. God has left everyone free. Nature hasn't enslaved anyone. Alkidamas, Messeniakos logos, fragment 1.

Ελευθερους αφηκε παντας θεος. Ουδενα δουλον η φυσις πεποιηκεν.

7. We use a constitution that does not have the laws of neighboring States as a role model, and we rather form a pattern ourselves than imitate others. It is called democracy because the board rests not only with a few but with the majority. (...). As citizens of the state, we enjoy complete freedom, but our daily life is also characterized by this boldness, without any mutual suspicion. We do not annoy ourselves with the neighbor if he lives according to his own desire, and we do not even send him crooked glances, which in themselves do not punish, but nevertheless harm. (...) In short, our city is a school for all of Greece. Pericles, Gravtale. Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War, 2, 37.41.

Xρώμεθα γὰρ πολιτείᾳ οὐ ζηλούσῃ τοὺς τῶν πέλας νόμους, παράδειγμα δὲ μᾶλλον αυτοι ὄντες τισὶν ἢ μιμούμενοι ἑτέρους. καὶ ὄνομα μὲν διὰ τὸ μὴ ἐς ὀλίγους ἀλλ' ἐς πλείονας οἰκεῖν δημοκρατία κέκληται. (...) ελευθερως δε τα τε προς το κοινον πολιτευομεν και ες την προς αλληλους των καθ ημεραν επιτηδευματων υποψιαν, ου δι οργης τον πελας, ει καθ ηδονην τι δρα, εχοντες, ουδε αζημιους μεν, λυπηρας δε τη οψει αχθηδονας προστιθεμενοι. (...) Ξυνελών τε λέγω τήν τε πᾶσαν πόλιν τῆς ῾Ελλάδος παίδευσιν εἶναι.

8. Not today or yesterday, but forever these laws live, and no one knows when they first appeared. Sophocles, Antigone 456.

Νομιμα ... ου γαρ τι νυν γε καχθες, αλλ αει ποτε ζη ταυτα, κουδεις οιδεν εξ οτου φανη.

9. There are many wonderful things, but nothing is more marvelous than man. Sophocles, Antigone 333.

Πολλα τα δεινα, κουδεν ανθρωπου δεινοτερον πελει.

10. It is slavery not being able to say what one thinks. Euripides, Phoenissae, 392.

Δουλου τοδ ειπας μη λεγειν α τις φρονει.

11. Geometry is knowledge of what is always there. Plato, State 527b.

Του γαρ αει οντος η γεωμετρια γνωσις εστιν.

12. If I had to either do wrong or suffer injustice, I would have chosen to suffer injustice rather than injustice. Plato, Gorgias 469c.

Ει δε αναγκαιον ειη αδικειν η αδικεισθαι, ελοιμην αν μαλλον αδικεισθαι η αδικειν.

13. Of all things, the most inconseparable, as it is now with us, is that men and women with all power do not take part in the same tasks. Plato, Laws 805c.

Παντων ανοητοτατα τα νυν εν τοις παρ ημιν τοποις γινεσθαι, το μη παση ρωμη ομοθυμαθον επιτηδευειν ανδρας γυναιξι ταυτα.

14. The state is not only for people to live, but for them to live happily ever after. Aristotle, Politics 1280a.

Ει δε μητε του ζην ενεκεν μονον αλλα μαλλον του ευ ζην.

15. The state is a community of free. Aristotle, Politics 1279a.

Η δε πολις κοινωνια των ελευθερων εστιν.

16. The basis of the democratic state is freedom. Aristotle, Politics 1317a.

Υποθεσις μεν ουν της δημοκρατικης πολιτειας ελευθερια.

17. There are two kinds of laws, one individual and the other universal. The individual is determined by and for the individual people, and it is partly written and partly unwritten. But the universal law is by nature. There is some universal right and injustice that all people sense by virtue of nature, even if there is no community or agreement between them. Aristotle, Rhetoric, 1373b.

Λεγω δε νομον τον μεν ιδιον τον δε κοινον. Ιδιον μεν τον εκαστοις ωρισμενον προς αυτους και τουτον τον μεν αγραφον, τον δε γεγραμμενον. Κοινον δε κατά φυσιν. Εστι γαρ τι ο μαντευονται πανες φυσει κοινον δικαιον και αδικον, καν μηδεμια κοινωνια προς αλληλους η μηδε συνθηκη.

18. Therefore, God's blissful activity is pure thinking, and of all human activities, the one most related to the deity will be the happiest. Aristotle, Nikomactic Ethics, X, 8.

Ώστε η του θεου ενεργεια μακαροτητι διαφερουσα θεωρητικη αν ειη. Και των ανθρωπων δη ταυτηι συγγενεστατη ευδαιμονικωτατη.

19. I, for my part, believe that for free people, the shame of the state of things is of the greatest necessity. Demosthenes, First Filipino Speech, 10.

Εγω μεν γαρ οιμαι τοις ελευθεροις μεγιστην αναγκην την
υπερ των πραγματων αισχυνην ειναι.

20. I hold it to the right and reasonable Athenians, if I boldly say something true, that you do not get angry with me for that reason. Think about this instead: Otherwise, you believe that everyone in the city should have the same right to speak boldly, so that you have also given the city's strangers and slaves part of this right, and one can see how slaves in you with greater right say what they want than citizens of some other cities. Demosthenes, Third Filipino Speech, 3.

Αξιω δ, ω ανδρες Αθηναιοι, αν τι των αληθων μετα παρρησιας λεγω, μηδεμιαν μοι δια τουτο παρ υμων οργην γενεσθαι. Σκοπειτε γαρ ωδι. Υμεις την παρρησιαν επι μεν των αλλων ουτω κοινην οιεσθε δειν ειναι πασι τοις εν τη πολει, ώστε και τοις ξενοις και τοις δουλοις αυτης μεταδεδωκατε, και πολλους αν τις οικετας ιδοι παρ ημιν μετα πλειονος εξουσιας ο τι βουλονται λεγοντας η πολιτας εν ενιαις των αλλων πολεων.

21. What I am about to say may be unexpected, but it is true. Demosthenes, Third Filipino Speech, 5.

και παραδοξον μεν ισως εστιν ο μελλω λεγειν, αληθες δε.

22. And we call them speech artists who can speak in a crowd, but those who can counsel about things with themselves in the best way we consider insightful. Isocrates, Nikocles, 8.

Και ρητορικους μεν καλουμεν τους εν τω πληθει λεγειν δυναμενους, ευβουλους δε νομιζομεν, οιτινες αν αυτοι προς αυτους αριστα περι των πραγματων διαλεχθωσιν.

23. Pythagoras learned with the utmost clarity about everyone's friendship with all, the fellowship of the gods through piety and true understanding of the worship, the teachings of friendship with each other, the friendship of the soul with the body, the sense of the inexorable, the friendship of men with each other, the fellow citizens through a common legislation, the strangers through the right natural sense, the man's friendship with the woman, or with children or siblings and the people of the house through unbreakable fellowship. , everyone's friendship with everyone, even the living creatures that lack reason, through righteousness and natural connection and cohesion. Iamblichus, De vita pythagorica, 33.

Φιλιαν δε διαφανεστατα παντων προς απαντας Πυθαγορας παρεδωκε, θεων μεν προς ανθρωπους δι ευσεβειας και επιστημονικης θεραπειας, δογματων δε προς αλληλα και καθολου ψυχης προς σωμα λογιστικου τε προς τα του αλογου ανθρωπων δε προς αλληλους, πολιτων μεν δια νομιμοτητος υγιους, ετεροφυλων δε δια φυσιολογιας ορθης, ανδρος δε προς γυναικα η τεκνα η αδελφους και οικειους δια κοινωνιας αδιαστροφου, συλληβδην δε παντων προς απαντας και προσετι των αλογων ζωων τινα δια δικαιοσυνης και φυσικης επιπλοκης και κοινοτητος.

24. If the ability to think is common to us people, then reason, which makes us common sense, is common. If so, reason, which imposes on us what to do or not to do, is also common. Then the law is also common and we are citizens and have a part in a common state. If so, the world is like a city-state. What else can one call the community that the whole human family takes part in?

Ει το νοερον ημιν κοινον, και ο λογος, καθ ον λογικοι εσμεν, κοινος. Ει τουτο, και ο προστακτικος των ποιητεων η μη λογος κοινος. Ει τουτο και ο νομος κοινος. Ει τουτο, πολιται εσμεν, ει τουτο, πολιτευματος τινος μετεχομεν. Ει τουτο, ο κοσμος ωσανει πολις εστι. Τινος γαρ αλλου φησει τις το των ανθρωπων παν γενος κοινου πολιτευματος μετεχειν.

25. I am a human being, and I do not consider anything human as alien to me. Terents, Heautontimoroumenos, 77.

Gay sum: humani nil a me alienum puto.

26. Thus, they lack the very beautiful and to the highest degree of natural friendship, which is an object of longing in itself and for themselves. Nor can they learn from themselves how valuable and powerful such a friendship is. For everyone loves themselves, not to obtain any reward for their love, but because each one is precious to himself. Unless the same thing is transferred to friendship, the true friend will never be found. Because a true friend is like another me. Cicero, De amicitia – About friendship, 80.

Ita pulcherrima illa et maxime naturali carent amicitia per se a propter se expetita nec ipsi sibi exemplo healthy, haec vis amicitiae et qualis et quanta sit. Ipse enim se quisque diligit, non out aliquam a se ipse mercedem exigat caritatis suae, sed quod per se sibi quisque carus est. Quod nisi idem in amicitiam transferetur, verus amicus numquam reperietur; est enim is qui est tamquam alter idem.

27. First of all, man has a unique urge to seek and explore the truth. Therefore, when we are done with the necessary pursuits and business, we have a desire to see, hear and learn something new, and we consider it an obvious part of a happy life that we can gain insight into something that is enigmatic or wonderful. From this it is understood that the true, simple and real are most in accordance with human nature. Cicero, The Officiis – About the Duties, 1.13.

In primisque hominis est propria veri inquisitio atque investigatio. Itaque cum sumus necessariis negotiis curisque vacui, tum avemus aliquid further, audire, addiscere cognitionemque rerum aut occultarum aut admirabilium ad beate vivendum necessariam ducimus. Ex quo intellegitur, quod verum, simplex, sincerumque sit, id esse naturae hominis aptissimum.

28. Peace is freedom at rest. Cicero, Second Filipino Speech, 44.

Pax est tranquilla libertas.

29. As I watched them from there, the other celestial bodies seemed to me to be glorious and wonderful, and these stars were of a species that we have never seen from earth, and they were greater than we ever imagined. The smallest of them, furthest away from heaven and closest to earth, shone with a borrowed light. But the spheres of the stars easily surpassed the Earth in size. Now I saw that the earth was so small that it was disappointing to discover that our empire apparently only occupied a point. Cicero, Somnium Scipionis 8, Scipio's Dream, De re publica VI.

Ex quo omnia mihi contemplanti praeclara cetera et mirabilia videbantur. Erant autem eae stellae, quas numquam ex hoc loco vidimus, et eae magnitudines omnium, quas esse numquam suspicati sumus, ex quibus erat ea minima, quae ultima caelo, citima a terris, luce lucebat aliena. Stellarum autem globi terrae magnitudinem facile vincebant. Iam ipsa terra ita mihi parva visa est, ut me imperii nostri, quo quasi punctum eius attingimus, paeniteret.

30. For the whole earth that you inhabit, narrow at the poles, wider on the sides, have land masses no larger than a small island. These are surrounded by an ocean that you on Earth call the Atlantic Ocean, the Ocean, Okeanos. As you can see, this sea is very small despite its mighty name. Cicero, Somnium Scipionis 13, Scipio's Dream, De re publica VI.

Omnis enim terra, quae colitur a vobis, angusta verticibus, lateribus latior, parva quaedam insula est, circumfusa illo mari, quod Atlanticum, quod magnum, quem Oceanum appellatis in terris, qui tamen tanto nomine quam sit parvus vides.

31. Since it is therefore obvious that what is moved by itself is eternal, who can say that the souls do not have this nature? Everything that is moved by an external force is soulless. But what has a soul is moved by its own inner drive, for this is the peculiarity and strength of the soul. And if it is the only thing of all things, moving by itself, it is surely not something born, and it is eternal. Cicero, Somnium Scipionis 20, Scipio's Dream, The Re publica VI.

Cum pateat igitur aeternum id esse, quod a se ipso moveatur, quis est, qui hanc naturam animis esse tributam neget? Inanimum est enim omne, quod pulsu agitatur externo. Quod autem est animal, id motu cietur interiore et suo, nam haec est propria natura animi atque vis. Quae si est una ex omnibus, quae se ipsa moveat, neque nata certe est et aeterna est.

32. The right that natural reason has created among all people is taken into account by all people without difference, and it is called international law, as a right that all people use. Gaius, Institutiones, I, 1.

Quod vero naturalis ratio inter omnes homines constituit, id apud omnes populos peraeque custoditur vocaturque ius gentium, quasi quo iure omnes gentes utuntur.

33. There is no easy way from Earth to the stars. Seneca, Hercules Furens, 437.

Non est ad astra mollis e terris via.

34. The slaves are our fellow slaves, if you consider that fate has equal power over all. Seneca, Epistulae morales ad Lucilium, 47.

Immo conservi, si cogitaveris tantundem in utrosque licere fortunae.

35. 'He is a slave'. But maybe free in his mind. 'He's a slave.' But is he hurt by it? Show me who's not a slave! One is a slave of lust, another of greed, a third of ambitiousness. They're all slaves to fear. (...) No slavery is more shameful than voluntary. Seneca. Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium, 47.17.

Servus est. Sed fortified liber animo. Servus est. Hoc illi nocebit? Cheese quis non sit. Alius libidini seruit. Alius avaritiae, alius ambitioni. Omnes timori. (...) Nulla servitus turpior est quam voluntaria.

36. For I will not accept that the thinking of a right and honorable life should be left to the philosophers, as some have intended, since a true citizen—one who is fit to handle public and private matters, who can govern cities, write laws, and improve them with court decisions—is truly nothing more than a speaker. Quintillian, Speaker's Education, Institutio oratoria, prooemium, 10.

Neque enim hoc concesserim, rationem rectae honestaeque vitae, ut quidam putaverunt, ad philosophos relegandam, cum vir ille vere civilis et publicarum privatarumque rerum administrationi accommodatus, qui regere consiliis urbes, fundare legibus, emendare iudiciis possit, non alius sit profecto quam orator.

37. When the Socratic philosopher Aristippos had suffered shipwrecks and was thrown ashore on a beach in Rhodes and there discovered drawn-down geometric figures, he is said to have cried out to his companions, 'Let us be of good courage! I see traces of people!' Vitruvius, De architectura, VI, 1.

Aristippus philosophus Socraticus, naufragio cum eiectus ad Rhodiensium litus animadvertisset geometrica schemata descripta, exclamavisse ad comites ita dicitur: 'bene speremus! hominum enim vestigia video.'

38. The scholar is the only one of all who is not a stranger in unknown countries and who is not friendless if he has lost his loved ones and his relatives. But in every city he is a citizen, and he can regard without fear the whimsical changes of fate. But he who believes that he is safe behind the wall of happiness and not the wall of learning, he walks on slippery and uncertain paths, struggling with a chaotic and unpredictable life. Theofrast, reproduced by Vitruvius, De architectura, VI, 1.

Doctum ex omnibus solum neque in alienis locis peregrinum neque amissis familiaribus et necessariis inopem amicorum, sed in omni civitate esse civem difficilesque fortunae its timore posse despicere casus; at qui non doctrinarum sed felicitatis praesidiis putaret se esse vallatum, labidis itineribus vadentem non stabili sed infirma conflictari vita.

Thus, 39. Polis was tasked with giving regular opportunity to obtain an 'immortal reputation', or give anyone the chance to excel in words and deeds to show who he was in his unprecedented inequality. Hannah Arendt, Vita activa.

40. All people are born free and with the same human dignity and human rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience, and should act against each other in the spirit of brotherhood. World Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1.