By E. R. Dodds
Those essays signify the whole variety of Dodds' literary and philosophical pursuits, and his skill to mix profound scholarship with the lucid humanity of a instructor confident of the worth of Greek stories to the trendy international.
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Extra resources for Ancient Concept of Progress and Other Essays on Greek Literature and Belief
2. I6). 2 Cf. Ath. Trib. Lists, iii. 32 I n. 88 : 'Very possibly lines 295-6 will refer to some sort of trouble in Pallene, and this would surely mean Poteidaia. G. 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.
232 .. 3 Clara M. S. ; Dover, op. cit. 236. Cf. also A. A. 42 (1940), 2g8f. 4 Cf. L. ; A. -W. v. 'Orestes', cols. ; P. Amandry, Mel. Gregoire (1949), 37· 2 Morals and Politics in the Oresteia 51 (237), but this is not due to the unaided efforts of the Ka8apTat. Time has also done his part (286) : Orestes has 'rubbed off' his pollution on the cities and roads of the world (238-9), so that now 'the blood is getting sleepy and fading from his hand' (280). ) Orestes is in fact noticeably vague about the efficacy of pig's blood.
Aeschylus' phrase, €yp7Jyopos 4>povp'YJJLa yfj~, is most naturally taken as referring to the same powers. And if that is right, the play is no more propaganda for Pericles than it is propaganda for Cimon. €aov-which Aeschylus put so oddly into the mouth of the Erinyes (530)-might in fact be taken, not as a political catchword of Right or Left, or even as 'recommending a reflective attitude to politics', 1 but as an honest and correct description of the author's own position. z I add a word about the theory of Miss Smertenko, tentatively revived by Dover,J that the curse of the Pelopidae should be seen as a mythological prototype of the curse of Cylon, and Apollo's purification of Orestes as a prototype of his purification of the Alcmaeonids.
Ancient Concept of Progress and Other Essays on Greek Literature and Belief by E. R. Dodds