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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The Greeks and the Irrational by E.R. Dodds

His oracles at Claros near Colophon and at Branchidae outside Miletus are said to have existed before the colonisation of Ionia, [34] and at both ecstatic prophecy appears to have been practised. 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.

I’m sure I’ve left out tons of detail in Dodd’s argument the references and notes in one chapter of this book alone Alas for the monolinguistics of man. When Theognis calls hope and fear “dangerous daemons,” or when Sophocles speaks of Eros as a power that “warps to wrong the righteous mind, for its destruction” [ we should not dismiss this as “personification”: No man can perform an action and know whether its outcome will be good or bad I read this book because it was mentioned on the the Julian Jaynes Sociey website.

Meanwhile we may notice that the language used by Greeks at all periods in describing dreams of all sorts appears to be suggested by a type of dream in which the dreamer is the passive recipient of an objective vision.

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The stylised, objective dreams I have been describing are not the only dreams with which the epic poets are acquainted. The Pythia became entheos, plena deo: Sometimes, it is true, he will answer in his sleep; once he stretches gdeeks his arms to embrace the dream-figure. The son gave the father the same unquestioning obedience which in due course he would receive from his own children.

From ShameCulture to GuiltCulture. Some, however, may be disposed to challenge the assertion on which, for Nilsson, all this construction rests. But what I propose attempting is something much more modest: A man may even hear two such voices, as when Odysseus “plans in his thumos ” to kill the Cyclops forthwith, but a second voice irtpos Ovpfa restrains him.

This part seems a bit simplistic and is probably the most dated section, but since the Classics Department at my current university is tthe geriatric, I can see why they are still bewitched by this section. This book should not be read in a high school Classical Civilization class.

The Greeks and the Irrational – Eric R. Dodds – Google Books

The typical example by which Aristophanes illustrates the pleasures of life in Cloudcuckooland, that dream-country of wish-fulfilment, is that if you up and thrash your father, people will admire you for it: If we do so, we shall find that in some respects the epic tradition is reproduced with remarkable fidelity. These are powerful forces in whose grip mankind is helpless; and deity is power.

And his purpose is not to lead his fellow-countrymen back into that world, but, on the contrary, to lead them through ireational and out of it. Doddds plainly on a wider view there is little to be said for a system which placed the patient at the mercy of his own unconscious impulses, disguised as divine monitions. But we should not assume that once the distinction had been formulated it was universally or even generally accepted.


Were intellectuals of the s really so optimistic about the potential for psychology to save the world? Nilsson is rhe, 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.

But it is surely odd to find this belief, this sense of constant daily dependence on the supernatural, firmly embedded in poems supposedly so “irreligious” as the Iliad and the Odyssey. That had already been done, apparently first in Ionia. Which lead to Puritanism. Zeus com a font de dons bons i dolents. Jan 30, Erik Graff rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Zeus and moira and the Erinys who walks in darkness or, gteeks to another and perhaps older reading, the Erinys who sucks blood.

The Greeks and the irrational

It appears from Plato that in the fourth century fingers were still pointed at the man shadowed by hereditary guilt, and he would still pay a cathartes to be given ritual relief from it. And once we are told greejs Zeus is angry with men who judge crooked judgements. All these are mentioned as deities who cause mental trouble.

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