Did the Greeks Believe in Their Myths: An Essay on the by Paul Veyne

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By Paul Veyne

"[Veyne's] current e-book has a few kinship together with his sprightly theoretical paintings touch upon ecrit l'histoire; and he publicizes that its goal was once to impress mirrored image at the means our perception of fact is outfitted up and adjustments over the centuries. . . . the fashion is very good and exhilarating."

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And, since there is a watchdog, it is less urgent to understand the forger's motives than to identify him. Who is the author of mythology? Who made up this mass of far-fetched and, even worse, indecent legends, from which nursing children derive a false idea of the gods? Who attributed to the gods a conduct unworthy of their holiness? Not too much was known. No one knew the name of the inventor of mythology. "105 They invented some myths, at least. And then, who invented the lies, if not the professionals in mendacious invention?

Ln I am not sure whether he has fulfilled his promises in the De usu partiurn, where he demonstrates the finality of each of the organs of the human body by analogy to machines built by men. Claims to rigor and even deduction according to the Aristotelian ideal ordinarily amount to an ethical attitude (one wishes to be serious, one will not say just anything) and to a certain relationship to others. One will make a distinction between demonstration and persuasion and refuse to play on the readers' sensibilities, as rhetoric does.

But in the next sentence they will be very definite concerning another point of the same legend. These shifts between daring and reserve owe nothing to chance. They follow three rules: state no opinion on the marvelous and the supernatural, admit a historical basis, and take exception to the details. One example will suffice. Narrating Pompey's flight toward Brinidisi and Durazzo after Caesar had crossed the Rubicon, Appian speaks of the origins of the town of Durazzo, the ancient Dyrrachium, on the Ionian Sea.

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