By G. E. R. Lloyd
This unique and full of life ebook makes use of texts from historical medication, epic, lyric, tragedy, historiography, philosophy, and faith to discover the impression of Greek rules on overall healthiness and illness on Greek notion. basic concerns are deeply implicated: causation and accountability, purification and pollutants, the mind-body courting and gender adjustments, authority and the professional, truth and appearances, strong govt, and strong and evil themselves.
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Additional info for In the Grip of Disease: Studies in the Greek Imagination
There are levels and levels of understanding, in other words. This whole epic is what the poet has from the Muses, gifted in an analogous way with special knowledge: Hesiod in the Theogony (38) uses a very similar expression of them as the one that Homer used of Calchas. The theme that gods are responsible for diseases and for relief from them is thus strongly developed in the most prominent position in the best known text of Greek literature. Yet we should be careful to note what the ﬁrst book of the Iliad does not say as much as what it does.
AÛtar dex3menoß Òte d¶ kakÏn e”c’, ƒnÎhsen. 2 Homer, Odyssey 4. 219–32 Then Helen, daughter of Zeus, had another plan. Straightway she put into the wine which they were drinking a drug to quiet all pain and anger and bring forgetfulness of every evil. Whoever should drink this down, when mixed in the bowl, would not in the course of that day let fall a tear on his cheeks, not even if his mother and father died, or his brother or dear son were killed by the sword and his own eyes saw it. The daughter of Zeus had such cunning drugs, excellent ones, that the Egyptian woman Polydamna, the wife of Thon, gave her, for there the earth, the giver of grain, bears the most drugs, many that are good, when mixed, and many that are baneful.
As we shall see, however, that claim, so often made, was just as often contested. The trouble about Masters of Truth was: could you believe them? There were rather a lot of them and they came in diﬀerent guises. While the claims they made for themselves— or that were made for them—were that they had special powers, their being special immediately posed problems: what was the origin of these powers? Was it entirely benign? How could they be understood? Could they indeed be believed? We shall see these themes return in our next study.
In the Grip of Disease: Studies in the Greek Imagination by G. E. R. Lloyd