Preferred Citation: Dodds, Eric R. The Greeks and the Irrational. Berkeley: University of California Press, c!, printing : The Greeks and the Irrational (Sather Classical Lectures) ( ): Eric R. Dodds: Books. E. R. DODDS. The Greeks and the Irrational. Berkeley and Los. Angeles, University of California Press, Pp. ix + $ (Sather Classical Lectures.
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That is literary adaptation. This is one of the books that made me decide that Classics was worth spending a lifetime on. Nussbaum Limited preview – This may be thought a littlesweeping; but it reflects an opinion which seems to be widely accepted. I must, however, mention one complication which had far-reaching historical consequences. The Mother, it would appear, had done likewise if indeed her cult was at that time distinct from that of – 78 – the Corybantes ;  and possibly Hecate also.
We read also in the Odyssey [ of “the heavy ate which the hard-hitting goddess Erinys laid on the understanding of Melampus.
Hector on one occasion goes berserk; but Norse heroes do so much oftener.
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Extraordinarily erudite and inciteful. In this one I shall deal with some of the new forms which these Homeric ideas assumed in the course of the Archaic Age. Still, I really enjoyed chapter one. University of California Press, I95i. The Greeks and the Irrational E.
That is possibly not accidental. Nilsson is also, I believe, right in holding that experiences of this sort played a part— along with other elements, such as the Minoan tradition of protecting goddesses— in building up that machinery of physical intervention to which Homer resorts so constantly and, to our thinking, often so superfluously.
It is a study of the successive interpretations which Greek minds placed on one particular type of human experience— a sort of experience in which nineteenth-century rationalism took little interest, but whose cultural significance is now widely recognised. Over the centuries covered by the book you see how a rationalist approach to answering life’s questions rose to have wide influence over Greek culture, but then a not-fully-understood change occurs, and the Greeks fall back into an irrational mindset.
He was a rock star in the field of Classical Studies and I am not ashamed to admit to having been a groupie.
From these experiences, narrated by him in tje song, he derives the skill in divination, religious poetry, and magical medicine which makes him socially important. If you are a hardcore Hellenophile, then this is one of the best books ever. University of Chicago Press, If the waking world has certain advantages anf solidity and continuity, its social opportunities are terribly restricted.
The Greeks and the Irrational
Barnes – – Classical World: And the belief, once accepted, naturally created fresh evidence in its own support by the operation of autosuggestion. This seems to me entirely justified.
An archaic Greek who suffered from such feelings was able to give them concrete form by telling himself that he must have been in contact with miasmaor that his burden was inherited from the religious offence of an ancestor. The people who in compensation for the crime of a remote ancestor were willing year irratiohal year, century after century, to send two daughters of their noblest families to be murdered in a distant country, or at best to survive there as temple slaves— these people, one would suppose, must have laboured not only under the fear of a irrationxl pollution, but under the profound sense of an inherited sin which must be thus horribly atoned.
The psyche also, however, provided an excellent way to explain the growing sense of guilt which arose greeka the Archaic Age—that perhaps, sins committed in a former life were carried with an eternal soul which passed from body to body. But with the relaxation of the family bond, with the growing claim of the individual to personal rights and personal responsibility, we should expect those internal tensions to develop which have so long characterised family life in Western societies.
Plato and Greek tradition in general makes Apollo its patron; and out of the three examples which he gives, the inspiration of two— the Pythia and the Sibyl— was Apolline, [ Merge author 3 35 Oct 31, That in skilled and cautious hands it might nevertheless yield interesting results, I am willing to believe; but I must not be beguiled into essaying it.
IrUiaaros from irincdonu is not found elsewhere, and its meaning is disputed; but the sense “touched,” i.
More often the god’s pharmacopoeia is purely magical; he makes his patients swallow snake-poison or ashes from the altar, or smear their eyes with the blood of a white cock. We shall be wise, then, to move slowly, and to pick our steps rather carefully among the litter. Else the son of Atreus would never have persisted in rousing the thumos in my chest, nor obstinately taken the girl against my will.
The Greeks and the Irrational by Eric R. Dodds – Paperback – University of California Press
Anyone familiar with the history of modern spiritualism will realise what an amazing amount of virtual cheating can be done in perfectly good faith by convinced believers. Among the Greeks, by far the commonest type is the apparition of a god or the heating of a divine voice which commands or forbids the performance of certain acts. Its occurrence in Phoenicia is attested by an Egyptian document of the eleventh century; and three centuries earlier still we find the Hittite king Mursili II praying for a “divine man” to do what Delphi was so often asked to do— to reveal for what sins the people were afflicted with a plague.
Some parts of the text can only be understood if you are already familiar with both the Iliad and Odysseymaking well-intentioned clarifications based on characters or scenes from them for example, and Dodds drops several names of historical persons, places, and occurrences presuming you know about them even my little ‘Dictionary of the Classical World’ didn’t know.
But it enjoys an independence which the word “organ” does not suggest to us, influenced as we are by the later concepts of “organism” and “organic unity.
Men who have received a communication of menos are several times compared to ravening lions; – 1 but the most striking description of the state is in Book 15, where Hector goes berserk poij’trai j he foams at the mouth, and his eyes glow. Grreks have now surveyed, in such a cursory manner as time permits, the commonest types of psychic intervention in Homer.
I hope that the result may have a certain interest not only for Greek scholars but for some anthropologists and social psychologists, indeed for anyone who is concerned to understand the springs of human behaviour.
Solon speaks of the hereditary victims of nemesis as ivalrwc, “not responsible”; Theognis complains of the unfairness of a system by which “the criminal gets away with it, while someone else takes the punishment later”; Aeschylus, if I understand him rightly. The sceptical Artabanus in Herodotus points out to Xerxes that most dreams are suggested by greekks waking preoccupations, yet he still talks of them in the old “objective” manner as “wandering about among men.
I expect to be reminded, in the first place, that “the Greeks were not savages,” and secondly, that in these relatively new studies the accepted truths of to-day are apt to become the discarded errors of to-morrow. But you have your premonitions and other abilities.
But if what I have to say is tje be intelligible to the nonspecialist, I must first attempt to make plain, at least in rough outline, certain of the general differences which separate the religious attitude of the Archaic Age from that presupposed in Homer.
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