The Greeks and the Irrational (Sather Classical Lectures) Paperback – 22 Jun 2004
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"An exciting and fundamental subject; profound learning illuminated by imaginative insight and controlled by a modest and balanced judgment; a literary style of exceptional clarity, vigour, and elegance; the combination of these ingrediants produces a book which it would be difficult to over-praise."--"Oxford Magazine"
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Top Customer Reviews
One caveat for the general reader: there is a profusion of learned notes and untranslated Greek terms which can be off-putting. But the text itself is clear and not over-stuffed with jargon, as is too often the case with more modern academic writing.
I would also recommend Georg Luck's "Arcana Mundi" (Amazon ASIN: 0801825482), which collects many relevant texts on these subjects in new English translations.
I very much hope it does that, but a word or two would probably be in place regarding what to expect and what not to expect to find in the book. The author's preface warns us not to look in the book for a history of Greek religion, and more pertinently recognises that modern scholarship is a worlds of specialists, and Dodds reiterates right at the end that he is 'a simple professor of Greek'. Amateurs, dilettantes and bluffers will find plenty of material to suit them I don't doubt, but Dodds is not one of their number. This work is best read as a standard piece of classical scholarship, not as breaking down any moulds or enclosures. The most casual glance at the daunting catalogue of references in the notes appended to each chapter will show what a vast amount of writing on the topics covered here was in situ before Dodds, and how could it be otherwise? Any commentary on, say, Plato or Empedocles or Greek history by and large had to do its best with issues of religion and trends in thought. There are numerous references to other cultures, and Dodds is certainly better versed in such matters than other classics dons that I knew. By my standards he shows wide reading and deep interest in anthropology and human behaviour.Read more ›
When you've read this book, you can't forget it - for the Irrational of the Greeks is with us still, not so very far below the surface.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've just bought the Kindle edition, and I regret it. Two specific problems:
1) The book has a very large number of footnotes (over 100 in one chapter) and some of them... Read more
"The Greeks and the Irrational" takes the reader back to the 1950s and a time when classical Greek math was reported as taking large steps to improve older Egyptian mathematics. Read morePublished on 16 Jan. 2014 by Milo