Download Did the Greeks Believe in Their Myths?: Essay on the by Paul Veyne PDF

By Paul Veyne

"[Veyne's] current ebook has a few kinship along with his sprightly theoretical paintings Comment on ecrit l'histoire; and he broadcasts that its goal was once to impress mirrored image at the means our notion of fact is outfitted up and alterations over the centuries. . . . the fashion is marvelous and exhilarating."—Jasper Griffin, Times Literary Supplement

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S imilarly, in Greece there existed a domain, the supernatural , where everything was to be learned from people who knew. It was composed of events , not abstract truths against which the listener could oppose his own reason . The facts were specific: heroes ' names and patronyms were always indicated, and the location of the action was equally precise (Pelion , Cithaeron, Titaresius . . place names have a music in Greek mythology) . This state of affairs may have lasted more than a thousand years .

There is no such thing as a sense of the real . Furthermore , there is no reason-quite the contrary-for representing what is past or foreign as analogous to what i s current or near. The content of myth was situated in a noble and platonic temporality , as foreign to individual experience and individual interests as are government proclamations or esoteric theories learned at school and accepted at face value . formation obt�ined from someone else . This was the primary attitude of the Greeks toward rriyth ; -In thi s modality of belief they were depending on someone else ' s word .

This is not a subjective question; modalities of belief are related to the ways in which truth is possessed . Throughout the ages a plurality of programs of truth has existed , and it is these programs , involving different distributions of knowledge , that explain the subjective degrees of intensity of beliefs , the bad faith , and the contradictions that coexist in the same individual . 44 We agree w ith Michel Foucault on this point . The history of ideas truly begins with the historicization of the philosophical idea of truth .

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