By E. R. Dodds
Those essays characterize the total variety of Dodds' literary and philosophical pursuits, and his skill to mix profound scholarship with the lucid humanity of a instructor confident of the worth of Greek reviews to the fashionable international.
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Extra info for Ancient Concept of Progress and Other Essays on Greek Literature and Belief
2 I know no real parallel in Attic Greek for such a use; and if there were one, the metaphor would be quite inappropriate here. La yfjs. It is possible that EvDovTwv is intended literally, ifLucian's repeated statementJ that the Areopagus sat by night is anything more than a mistaken inference from the present passage. But it seems more likely that we are to think of the citizens as inactive 'sleeping partners' who entrust their security to the vigilance of the Areopagus : this metaphorical use of EvDEtv and Ka8EvDEtv is common enough; we find it at Ag.
That to Aeschylus himself the idea of a possible change in the attitude of gods was not foreign, the Eumenides sufficiently testifies. There too we are shown a conflict between divine beings, which is brought to an end by an act of free generosity and by the conversion before the spectators' eyes of the spirits of vengeance into ministers of blessing. Nor is this all. In the course of that conflict one party to it points out that Zeus himself has sinned against the moral law which he now professes to uphold; he has imprisoned his own father.
Orestes is in fact noticeably vague about the efficacy of pig's blood. The Erinyes are not. For them it has no efficacy. In their view Orestes is still a polluted creature, food for vampires (302), unfit for any contact with gods or men (653-6). And finally, even when they are reconciled and settled at Athens, the doctrine of inherited guilt is not abolished; it is reaffirmed at lines 934-5. If Aeschylus was really thinking about the curse of Cylon, the encouragement he offers the Alcmaeonids is singularly limited.
Ancient Concept of Progress and Other Essays on Greek Literature and Belief by E. R. Dodds