Cosmos of the Ancients
The Greek Philosophers on Myth and Cosmology
In this book I present the Greek philosophers and what they thought about cosmology, the myths, and the gods. Click the image to see the book at Amazon (paid link).
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:
LiteratureEuripides, Bacchae, translated by Richard Seaford, Warminster 1996.
Barnes, Jonathan, The Presocratic Philosophers, volume 2, London 1979.
© Stefan Stenudd 2000
The Greek Philosophers
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I'm a Swedish author of fiction and non-fiction books in both Swedish and English. I'm also an artist, an historian of ideas and a 7 dan Aikikai Shihan aikido instructor. Click the header to read my full bio.