Herodotean Inquiries by Seth Benardete

By Seth Benardete

Herodotus' Inquiries could be considered as our greatest and such a lot entire record for pre-Socratic philosophy. with out being a piece of philosophy, its plan and goal can't be understood except philosophy. right here an try out is made to discover Herodotus' plan and goal and to hyperlink them with their philosophic roots. This test calls for that Herodotus' approach of telling a narrative be tested, for Herodotus essentially unearths himself within the tales themselves and never within the ethical he occasionally attracts from them. as soon as one sees the significance Herodotus himself locations in his personal Inquiries, his account of Egypt, which has lengthy been a stumbling block on any interpretation, should be liked; and Egypt in flip offers the foundation for realizing e-book II on Persia and IV on Scythia and Libya. those 3 books turn out to be the middle of the Inquiries, for they identify the mandatory stipulations for either Greekness and the knowledge of Greekness, and accordingly for the next 5 books at the Persian Wars.

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By Seth Benardete

Herodotus' Inquiries could be considered as our greatest and such a lot entire record for pre-Socratic philosophy. with out being a piece of philosophy, its plan and goal can't be understood except philosophy. right here an try out is made to discover Herodotus' plan and goal and to hyperlink them with their philosophic roots. This test calls for that Herodotus' approach of telling a narrative be tested, for Herodotus essentially unearths himself within the tales themselves and never within the ethical he occasionally attracts from them. as soon as one sees the significance Herodotus himself locations in his personal Inquiries, his account of Egypt, which has lengthy been a stumbling block on any interpretation, should be liked; and Egypt in flip offers the foundation for realizing e-book II on Persia and IV on Scythia and Libya. those 3 books turn out to be the middle of the Inquiries, for they identify the mandatory stipulations for either Greekness and the knowledge of Greekness, and accordingly for the next 5 books at the Persian Wars.

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Herodotean Inquiries

Herodotus' Inquiries could be considered as our greatest and so much whole record for pre-Socratic philosophy. with no being a piece of philosophy, its plan and goal can't be understood except philosophy. the following an try is made to discover Herodotus' plan and purpose and to hyperlink them with their philosophic roots.

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The prayer and vow apparently worked, and Amasis had no more trouble in sleeping with her. If each country were truly sui generis, then a man and woman of different people could not generate. A god would be necessary to overcome their natural incompatibility. 1) are the perfect representatives of this view. 3). 19 Cf. 39-42. EGYPT 39 As long as Herodotus discusses the nature of the land, his observation suffices; it has a certain “look,” black and friable, equally unlike the reddish, sandy soil of Libya and the clay-like, stony subsoil of Syria and Arabia.

Cf. he, dcpocvkt; tov piuOov aveveixdc*; with ic, Tcofojaiv eaevebcaaOai, (23); cf. III. 1. For the second account, see Iliad III. 4. 22 23 EGYPT 41 He knows nothing of the sources of the Nile. 5). Its source, according to him, is two mountains between Syene and Elephan­ tine, where Psammetichus could not plumb its depths, though he played out many thousand fathoms of line. Psammetichus’ failure recalls his other ex­ periment, in which he tried to discover the original language (Cf. 4). In both cases we can sense an attempt to go back to the beginnings; to dis­ cover the single source for what appears in fact as an infinite variety of phenomena: either the whole set of different languages or Egypt itself, with its great number of customs and monuments.

1; cf. 182). When we say that the Greek gods are anthropomorphic, we are usually unaware that the term is ambiguous but assume that the Greek gods are like men because the Greeks are men. It could be, however, that the Greeks are men because their gods are anthropomorphic. Their gods might have been the cause of the Greeks’ becoming human beings. What especially excites Herodotus’ disgust is the practice of almost all men except the Greeks and Egyptians of having intercourse in sanctuaries. Their reason is that if the gods did not approve of it, they would not allow animals to copulate in their sanctuaries (64; cf.

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