By A. W H Adkins
Greek society constructed extra quickly than did its values or the presuppositions on which the values have been dependent. by means of the top of the 5th century the Greeks confronted critical difficulties, now not simply because they'd deserted conventional values to which they had to be recalled, yet simply because they retained them in a scenario a ways varied from that during which the values had built and have been appropriate.
during this publication, Professor Adkins undertakes an exam of sure key value-words within the interval among Homer and the tip of the 5th century. The habit of those phrases either affected and was once tormented by the character of the society within which their utilization built. the writer indicates how in simple terms with a whole knowing of the results and importance of those value-words can the essence of the Greeks and their society be grasped.
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Additional info for Moral Values and Political Behaviour in Ancient Greece: From Homer to the End of the Fifth Century
C. T Y R T A E U S : Arete A N D T H E WARRIOR For Hesiod, the problems of life are economic; a n d consequently arete in his eyes commends, of the whole Homeric complex, predominantly wealth and its concomitant leisure. Tyrtaeus, the seventh-century Spartan war-poet, a n d traditionally the Spartan general in the second Messenian war, finds his society in a situation that makes different demands, and simplifies Homeric arete in a different manner. ) that he would not reckon a m a n as of any account because of the arete of his feet, or for wrestling, or for a n u m b e r of other qualities which were aretai in the customary evalualion of the day.
Iwcn this competition, as Hesiod realises, sets m a n against man; but he seems unconcerned. T h e nature of 'good strife' seems clear; but what of bad strife? ) Perses' litigation is a n example of it; and deris is not simply 'war'. Odyssey X X I V , 513 ff. is illuminating. Laertes, Odysseus' father, is delighted by Telemachus 5 assurance to 33 MORAL VALUES & POLITICAL BEHAVIOUR Odysseus t h a t he will not shame, kataischunein, the family by fighting inadequately in the coming struggle with the parents of the suitors whom they have killed: W h a t a day is this, dear gods!
Philein requires action a n d results rather than emotions or intentions: a familiar situation in Homeric society. T r u e , the essence of the philo^-relationship is co-operation, not competition, so that on the basis of what was said in the first chapter we might expect intentions to be relevant; 1 but philotes is co-operation to meet the harsh demands of Homeric life. Take the case of the m a n who is away from his own oikos. H e has, as has been said, no rights qua h u m a n being, merely those he is guaranteed by some member of the new society into which he has come.