The Rise of the Greek Epic by Gilbert Murray

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By Gilbert Murray

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And called my attention to much recent foreign literature which I should otherwise -iii- have neglected. The debt which I owe to her Prolegomena, also, will be visible on many of the ensuing pages. In subjects such as these the conclusions reached by any writer can often be neither certain nor precise. Yet they may none the less be interesting and even valuable. If our evidence is incomplete, that is no reason for not using it as far as it goes. I have tried throughout the book never to think about making a debating case, or taking up the positions most easy to defend; but always to set out honestly and with much reflection what really seems to me to be most like the truth.

But here a further question suggests itself. I feel that many among my hearers, especially perhaps among those who care most for art and for poetry, will protest against regarding poetry from this point of view at all. Science, they will say, progresses: but poetry does not. When we call a poem immortal, we mean that it is never superseded: and that implies that poetry itself does not progress. This doctrine, when rigidly held, is apt, I think, to neglect the very complex nature of most of the concrete works of poetry.

The Dark Age; the Walled City 56 -57 Religion of the Polis 57 -58 II. THE CHAOS OF THE MIGRATIONS AND THE ELEMENT OF REGENERATION [Lecture III] A. The wreck of institutions. 59 -80 1. Agricultural sanctions; the ox 59 -65 2. Tribal Gods: the breaking up of tribes 65 -68 3. Heroes, oracles, the dead 68 -73 4. The local Korai, or Earth-Maidens 73 -74 5. The family, patriarchal and pre-patriarchal 74 -78 Hesiod's Fifth age and the survival of Aidôs and Nemesis 78 -80 B. Aidôs and Nemesis 80 -90 The meaning of the words 80 -84 Hesiod's five deadly sins 85 The sanctity of the helpless 85 -87 Small importance of Aidôs in later Greek philosophy: Reasons 87 -89 Effect of this early anarchy on Greek civilization as a whole 89 -90 B.

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