By Eric Robertson Dodds
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Extra info for The Greeks and the irrational
And of the word daemon. If we do so, we shall find that in some respects the epic tradition is reproduced with remarkable fidelity. , on hearing that Phaedra won't eat, the Chorus enquires whether this is due to ale or to a suicidal purpose. s' But there are also important developments. In the first place, ale is often, though not always, moralised, by being represented as a punishment; this appears once only in Homerin Iliad ~and next in Hesiod, who makes ale the penalty of hubris and observes with relish that "not even a nobleman" can escape it.
For the dangers of happiness cf. Murray's remark that "It is a bad look-aut for any one in Greek poetry when he is called 'a happy man'" (deschylus, 193). d. 1089-1097· •s /I. ; cf. Od. 280. " • 6 I I. 38 5 ff. ; but we need not call the lines an "interpolation" (cf. j. Rei. 259). •1 See Arthur Platt, "Homer's Similes," J. Phi/. 24 (1896) 28 ff. ), with a concern for justice as such . •, Od. 283 f. Contrast the fate of Lycaon, 11. 74 ff. •o Od. 207 f. 11 Od. 32 ff. On the significance of this much-discussed passage see most recently K.
57 Like other supernatural punishments, it will fall on the sinner's descendants if the "evil debt" is not paid in his lifetime. 51 Out of this conception of ale as punishment grows a wide extension of the word's meaning. It is applied not only to the sinner's state of mind, but to the objective disasters resulting from it: thus the Persians at Salamis experience "marine alai," and the slaughtered sheep are the ale of Ajax. " Distinct from this vaguer development is the precise theological interpretation which makes of ale not merely a punishment leading to physical disasters, but a deliberate deception From Shame-Culture to Guilt-Culture 39 which draws the victim on to fresh error, intellectual or moral, whereby he hastens his own ruin-the grim doctrine that quem de us vult perdere, prius demenlal.
The Greeks and the irrational by Eric Robertson Dodds