Stefan Stenudd
Stefan Stenudd
About me
I'm a Swedish writer of fiction and non-fiction books in both Swedish and English. I'm also an artist, a historian of ideas and an aikido instructor.



THE GREEK PHILOSOPHERS

Introduction

Thales

Anaximander

Anaximenes

Pherecydes of Syros

Pythagoras

Xenophanes

Theagenes

Hecataeus

Heraclitus

Pindar

Parmenides

Anaxagoras

Empedocles

Herodotus

Gorgias

Melissus

Protagoras

Euripides

Prodicus of Ceos

Leucippus

Democritus

Critias

Antisthenes

Diagoras of Melos

Plato

Aristotle

Epicurus

Euhemerus

Table of the Greek Philosophers

Literature

The book


ARISTOTLE

Aristotle - life and work

Aristotle's Poetics

Aristotle's Cosmology


Life Energy Encyclopedia, by Stefan Stenudd.

Life Energy Encyclopedia
by Stefan Stenudd. Qi, prana, spirit, and other life forces around the world explained and compared. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.


Tao Te Ching - The Taoism of Lao Tzu Explained, by Stefan Stenudd.
Tao Te Ching
The Taoism of Lao Tzu Explained. The great Chinese classic, translated and extensively commented by Stefan Stenudd. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.





Stenudd's Blog





Cosmos of the Ancients

Comsos of the Ancients

The Greek Philosophers on Myth and Cosmology



Euripides


E uripides (480-406 BC) cannot be grouped among the philosophers, but in his plays some parts are serving well to illustrate by this one example, how questions on the gods and the myths of them could be treated by the writers of drama. He did, of course, allow discussions on cosmology and such to enter his plays through the mouths of their characters. That certainly does not imply their views being identical with his own, suffice it here to use him as example of in what manner these questions were discussed in his time.



Euripides      He lets one of his cha­racters reason in Bacchae: "The goddess Demeter, - she is earth, call her by whichever name you wish." In the same monologue, the legend of Dionysos being sewn into the thigh of Zeus is explained as a change of word through time. Not that what Euri­pides regards as the authen­tic version is any less fabu­lous: "Having broken off a part of the air of heaven that encircles the earth, he gave this as a hostage, removing Diony­sos from quarrels with Hera."

     Another view, downright atheist in its reasoning along the lines repeated innumerable times in the Christian era - according to Euripides old already at his time, questioning how a benevolent god could allow injustice, is expressed in Bellerophon, a drama remaining only in fragments:
     Does someone say that there are gods in heaven?
     There are not, there are not, if a man will
     not in folly rely on the old argument.
     Consider it yourselves; do not build your opinion
     on my words. I say that a tyranny
     kills many men and deprives them of their possessions,
     and breaking oaths destroys cities;
     and doing this they are more happy
     than those who live each day in pious peace.
     And I know of small cities that honor the gods
     which obey greater and more impious ones,
     overcome by the greater number of spears.


Literature
Euripides, Bacchae, translated by Richard Seaford, Warminster 1996.
Barnes, Jonathan, The Presocratic Philosophers, volume 2, London 1979.

© Stefan Stenudd 2000


Cosmos of the Ancients, by Stefan Stenudd.

Cosmos of the Ancients - the Book

The material on this website about the Greek philosophers and what they thought about cosmology, myth, and the gods, is now a book. It can be ordered at the Internet bookstores - printed or as a Kindle ebook. Both contain the footnotes with additional explanations as well as literary sources. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.



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