By Silvia Montiglio
Compliment for Silvia Montiglio "[A] significant and significant e-book. . . . "---Journal of faith, on Silence within the Land of trademarks "[A]n invigorating reevaluation of either the traditional symbolic panorama and our preconceptions of it."---American magazine of Philology, on Wandering in historic Greek Culture Best identified for his adventures in the course of his homeward trip as narrated in Homer's Odyssey, Odysseus remained a tremendous determine and a resource of proposal in later literature, from Greek tragedy to Dante's Inferno to Joyce's Ulysses. much less mostly identified, yet both fascinating, are Odysseus' "wanderings" in historic philosophy: Odysseus turns into a version of knowledge for Socrates and his fans, Cynics and Stoics, in addition to for later Platonic thinkers. From Villain to Hero: Odysseus in historic proposal follows those wanderings on the earth of historic Greek and Roman philosophy, retracing the stairs that led the crafty hero of Homeric epic and the villain of Attic tragedy to develop into a paradigm of the clever guy. From Villain to Hero explores the reception of Odysseus in philosophy, an issue that to this point has been handled in basic terms in tangential or constrained methods. Diverging from earlier reports, Montiglio outlines the philosophers' Odysseus around the spectrum, from the Socratics to the center Platonists. by means of the early centuries CE, Odysseus' credentials as a smart guy are firmly confirmed, and the beginning of Odysseus' rehabilitation through philosophers demanding situations present perceptions of him as a villain. greater than simply a learn in old philosophy, From Villain to Hero seeks to appreciate the articulations among philosophical readings of Odysseus and nonphilosophical ones, with a watch to the bigger cultural contexts of either. whereas this ebook is the paintings of a classicist, it's going to even be of curiosity to scholars of philosophy, comparative literature, and reception experiences.
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Extra info for From Villain to Hero: Odysseus in Ancient Thought
69 Undoubtedly Odysseus is practically minded: his wisdom here again consists in the adaptability to a variety of situations and in the power 34 from villain to hero to control them. His skepticism (he does not trust lovers or the unknown), firmly grounded in his Homeric watchfulness, characterizes him as a man knowledgeable of the world and its catches. 70 Odysseus leaves Calypso to prove his ἀρετή, by means of which alone a wise man can hope to earn immortality. Odysseus’ concern with excellence foreshadows Cynic-Stoic readings of him with their similar emphasis on the interdependency between his ἀρετή and his deeds.
In Ovid’s version of the contest Odysseus, as befits the deft speaker he is, repeatedly addresses the judges, even with endearing names such as “fellow-citizens” (Met. 262) or “nobles” (ibid. 370); involves them in Ajax’s accusation against him (306–8); and ends his peroration with a moving appeal to them (370–81). In contrast, Antisthenes’ character after only fifteen lines disregards the jury to fire di- “Odysseus was not . ” 25 rectly at Ajax (“you,” σύ, substitutes “you all,” ὑμεῖς), and he keeps charging at his opponent to the very end of the speech.
Like the Cynic, who is alone but acts for others, Odysseus emphasizes that the missions he undertook were pro bono publico but that he was alone in pursuing them (cf. 44 It is surely possible to object that Odysseus, contrary to the Cynic watcher, is not the savior of humanity but the defender of his people. Antisthenes’ hero makes a distinction between “friends,” whom he saves by keeping watch, and “enemies,” whom he destroys by the same means, whereas the Cynic ἐπίσκοπος orients toward the same target, humanity at large, the two goals of the watch that Antisthenes’ hero keeps separate.