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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Hector on one occasion goes berserk; but Norse heroes dords so much oftener. Cambridge University Press In a classification which is transmitted by Artemidorus, Macrobius, and other late writers, but whose origin may lie much further back, three such types are distinguished.

The religious view of dreams was revived by the Stoics, and eventually accepted even by Peripatetics like Cicero’s friend Cratippus. Epic tradition represented the poet as deriving supernormal knowledge from the Muses, but not as falling into ecstasy or being possessed by them. It is irrelevant to ask how long the improvement lasted: Dodds presents an alternate history which demonstrates that, despite the intellectual advancements in the direction of reason, the Greeks particularly Plato of the Golden Age fundamentally retained certain pre-5th century magical read: I feel even worse for my peers who have to read this book for class.

Suggestive in a different way is the barbarous tale of Kronos and Ouranos, which Archaic Greece may have borrowed from a Hittite source. Find it on Scholar. To ask other readers questions about The Greeks and the Irrationalplease sign up. It starts with this extraordinary anecdote which is very meaningful for many readers. Other sections carry with them certain assumptions about the nature of religion which are out of vogue, such as the idea greeis the beliefs of the elite and common people were completely different.

Eric R. Dodds, The Greeks and the Irrational – PhilPapers

It turns out the problem with it is very similar to the problem with that tbe An insane man might go through many ceremonies for many gods and goddesses known orrational cause insanity, and if it didn’t work — why, obviously, they had yet to propitiate the right god.

The Straussians doodds a different approach. Nor is he dishonestly inventing a moral alibi; for the victim of his action takes the same view of it as he does. I must also thank Professor Nock and the Council of the Roman Society for permission to reprint as appendices two articles which appeared respectively in the Harvard Theological Review and the Journal of Roman Studies ; and the Council of the Hellenic Society for permission to reproduce some pages from an article published in the Journal of Hellenic Studies.


The assertion of Liddell and Scott that ate is “mostly sent as the punishment of guilty rashness” is quite untrue teh Homer. We meet him first in Hesiod and Phocylides.

In the early Greek world, motive was not considered a factor in judgement or in regard one took to one’s actions. The book would be much more enjoyable outside greek speaking or scholarly audiences if the non-english quotes were translated in footnotes.

Its an info-dump from the mouth of a howitzer. This is one of the books that made me decide that Classics was worth spending a lifetime on. Jun 15, Fifthwindow rated it really liked it. irratiional

Nevertheless he somehow managed to survive the effects of his own prescriptions’ as Professor Campbell Bonner has said, he must have had the iron constitution of the chronic invalid. In most of their descriptions of dreams, the Homeric poets treat what is seen as if it were “objective fact.

They were certainly not ventriloquists in the modern eodds of the term, as is often assumed. The ancient world relied mainly on incubation, as Greek peasants still do to-day; but traces of some of the other practices are not lacking. When Teucer’s bowstring breaks, he cries out with a shudder of fear that a daemon is thwarting him; but it was in fact Zeus who broke it, as the poet has just told us. Lists with This Book.

The Greeks and the Irrational

But I think they are worth asking. What I have thus far tried to do is to show, by examining one particular type gfeeks religious experience, that behind the term “Homeric religion” there lies something more than an artificial machinery of serio-comic gods and goddesses, and that we shall do it less than justice if we dismiss it as an agreeable interlude of lighthearted buffoonery between the presumed profundities of an Aegean Earth-religion about which we irratiobal little, and those of an “early Orphic movement” about which we know even less.


The hexameter formulae which were the stock-in-trade of the old poets lent themselves easily to the sort of semasiological degeneration which ends by creating a fagon de parler. Nov 09, Jacob van Berkel rated it liked it. For recent enquiries into the dreams of contemporary primitives suggest that, side by side with the familiar anxiety-dreams and wish-fulfilment dreams that are common to humanity, there are others whose manifest content, at any rate, is determined by a local culture-pattern.

A fourth -century Athenian inscription commands an offering of cakes to the holy dogs, and we have Plutarch’s story of the clever temple-dog who detected a thief stealing the votives and was rewarded with dinners at the public expense for the rest of his life.

These are powerful forces in whose grip mankind is helpless; and deity is power. The latter procedure is plainly hazardous: When God has shaken a house, the winds of madness Lash its breed till the breed is done: The Greeks and the Irrational by E.

The Greeks and the Irrational – Eric Robertson Dodds – Google Books

The dreamer does not suppose himself to be anywhere else than in his bed, and in fact irrrational knows himself to be asleep, since the dream-figure is at pains to point this out to him: My interest was always more thd the areas surrounding history — anthropology, psychology, sociology, etc.

These he attributes to the medical clairvoyance exercised by the soul when in sleep it “becomes its own mistress” and is able to survey its bodily dwelling without distraction here the influence of the “Orphic” view is evident. The notion of the “frenzied” poet composing in a state of ecstasy appears not to be traceable further back than the fifth century.

And there are in fact indications that other ways of regarding the dream were becoming more fashionable about this time.