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Tag Archives: Achilles

A Tradition of Thumos

1. What Is Thumos? The first thing we should point out is that there is not an exact translation for thumos. The general understanding of the word is that it refers to “spirit” or “spiritedness”. However the implications of this term are far more important and far more complicated than what is suggested by such

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Ajax The Lesser

The first mistake many make when discussing the hero Ajax and his role in the Trojan war, is that they fail to realize that there are actually two men named Ajax. We are undoubtedly familiar with Telamonian Ajax, king of Salamis who would throw himself on his sword whilst under the weight of public shame. He

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The Glory and the Tragedy of Achilles

The hero of The Iliad, Achilles is the central character and fiercest warrior in Homer’s epic. He is portrayed as being hot-headed, ferocious, and often filled with grief. Achilles as the mournful warrior is a theme that Homer recounts several times during the course of The Iliad. Combining the nature of a grieving Achilles with

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The Woman of Phthia

by A.P. David Unlike Socrates, Plato wrote—and wrote and wrote. This was a man who said, on a rare occasion in the first person, that his theories could not be expressed in writing. Just as inner contradiction is a key to effective drama, where we call it ‘conflict’, contradiction appears to be the fount and

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Homer the Poet and Fate – Part One

by A. P. David What is the role of ‘fate’ in Homer’s Iliad? My late teacher David Grene used to say that fate in ancient Greek usage was only ever about 95{4bbaa3f7fb53ef70ccd4c15050030176e310cee5f8f4a0b9db4276a824dd3e40} certain. That is to say, there was always that little bit of wiggle room, and hence a feeling of possibility and choice. Without

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Homer and the Soul

by A.P. David There is no ‘soul’ in Homer. The Ancient Greek ψυχή  is usually translated as ‘soul’. The Ancient Greeks, however, never asked the question, ‘does the ψυχή exist?’ And when you really think about it, we don’t have such a question nowadays either.  It amounts to asking ‘does life exist?’ not ‘does the

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