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Tag Archives: Sophocles

The Ages of Ancient Greece

By Ben Potter Archaic. Classical. Hellenistic. These terms are often (and quite naturally) conflated together under the generic heading of ‘classical’, or, at the very least, ‘old’. It appears that organizing history into clear, distinct eras can be a tricky business. This, of course, is more true for the Greeks than for the Romans. This

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Women in Antiquity

By Ben Potter The idea that women in antiquity were housebound is obviously ridiculous… and, paradoxically, true. That is to say, the ‘ideal’, in ancient Athens certainly, is that a woman should be neither seen nor heard, but pervade an aura of feminine invisibility. For example, Pericles (reported by Thucydides) addressed the women of Athens

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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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Aristotle’s De Interpretatione: Fate Or Free Will?

The miserable King Oedipus of Thebes and his woeful story is a rather significant thought experiment for those of us struggling with this “fate or free will” problem. Known primarily through the ancient plays of the Athenian, Sophocles, Oedipus is a mythical Greek King who, despite his attempts to avoid it, is destined to kill

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Wine in Ancient Greece

While the ancient philosophers were attempting to unearth truth through intellectual discourse, they were often doing so with a cup of wine in hand and plenty more waiting in a nearby carafe. These “symposia” were intellectual gatherings where the philosophers of ancient Greece would collect around a table and allow the conversation and wine to

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Electra – Powerful or Pathetic?

It was the fifth century Athenian tragedians who recognised the brutal power of the Electra story. Despite being little more than a footnote to Homer, this torrid tale of a sister and brother (Orestes) taking revenge their mother (Clytemnestra) for the murder of their father (Agamemnon) is rich in dramatic content. In particular, Electra herself

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