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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 price of Greek stories to the trendy international.

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Additional resources for Ancient Concept of Progress and Other Essays on Greek Literature and Belief

Sample text

2 i. 32, and B. D. ), and it is possible that the trouble began earlier. Morals and Politics in the Oresteia a political point here; but after a century of controversy there is still no agreement on what the point is. I believe myself that this is exactly what the poet would have wished : he was writing a political play, yes; but a propagandist play, no. It is very difficult to suppose with K. 0. Muller and Blass that he was fighting a conservative rearguard action. That view is virtually excluded by his three emphatic references to the Argive alliance; on this subject I have nothing to add to Dover's careful discussion.

More than forty years have passed since the publication of that book. They have been years of swift growth and even swifter destruction. ' has descended on us with a vengeance. And at this moment as we emerge, still a little breathless, from our second World War it is inevitable that we should ask ourselves what future there is for those studies of Classical Antiquity to which Dill gave his life. Ought they indeed to have any future? Can we afford it? Beset as we are with the pressing problems of this new Age of Violence, feeling as many of us do that nothing less W 1 Since this lecture is firmly tied to its situation in time, has circulated in manuscript, and has been utilized by some later writers on the subject (LloydJones, Rose, Fitton-Brown), I have not attempted to bring it up to date but reproduce it here virtually as it stands in my original draft.

An obvious example is the complete restatement of the Homeric problem, partly in the light of Aegean archaeology, partly through the comparative study of oral poetry, which enables us to see not so much that Wolf and his successors gave the wrong answers as that they asked the wrong questions. But it can also happen without the stimulus of sensational discoveries, through a change in the focus of the scholar's eye. What we find in any document depends on what we are looking for, and what we look for depends on our own interests, which in turn are determined, at least in part, by the intellectual climate of our own age.

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