Moral Values and Political Behaviour in Ancient Greece: From by A. W H Adkins

By A. W H Adkins

Greek society built extra quickly than did its values or the presuppositions on which the values have been established. by means of the top of the 5th century the Greeks confronted severe difficulties, now not simply because that they had deserted conventional values to which they had to be recalled, yet simply because they retained them in a state of affairs a long way diverse from that during which the values had built and have been appropriate.

during this publication, Professor Adkins undertakes an exam of sure key value-words within the interval among Homer and the tip of the 5th century. The habit of those phrases either affected and was once tormented by the character of the society within which their utilization built. the writer exhibits how simply with a whole knowing of the results and value of those value-words can the essence of the Greeks and their society be grasped.

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Extra info for Moral Values and Political Behaviour in Ancient Greece: From Homer to the End of the Fifth Century (Ancient Culture and Society)

Example text

Hesiod's advice—the ethical advice, in particular—is then not directed to those who had always been h u m b l e 1 Hesiod may have invented the dispute (and Perses) as a convenient means of presenting his ideas; but the wider situation with which he is concerned is evidently real. 2 The court was held in the agora, the 'place of assembly'. 24 FROM HESIOD TO THE SIXTH CENTURY peasants, for these can surely never have needed to be told (hat 'Workis no disgrace; it is idleness that is a disgrace' (311).

Below. Ate spans 'blindness* and disaster because, in a results-culture, a condition and its consequences are not distinguished. 2 I shall discuss below the relationship between hubris and injustice. See pp. 84 ff. 28 FROM HESIOD TO THE SIXTH CENTURY But for those who practise hubris and harsh deeds, Zeus . . ordains a punishment. Often even a whole city surfers because of a kakos who does wrong a n d contrives atasthala ('presumptuous' deeds). U p o n the people the son of Cronos sends a mighty woe, plague and famine together; and the people perish, a n d their wives do not bear children, a n d their oikoi waste away, at the will of Olympian Zeus.

That one is m u c h more likely to be killed while running away t h a n while fighting bravely. Thus far there are few problems of values: one must fight on behalf of the city, for if the whole city falls the lot of each citizen is terrible; a n d it is kalon to risk death in such a cause. But if the agathos risks his life on behalf of the larger unit in this manner, then the inhabitants of the larger unit, the citizens in general, must surely recognize his services in some way if he fights bravely, displays arete, does what is kalon and is not killed, but lives.

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