The Greeks and the Irrational (Sather Classical Lectures) 2nd Edition, Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
Dodds's chapters (originally lectures) are roughly chronological and thematic, starting (as one must) with Homer's use of "ate" and working down through the increasing rationality of classical Greece to the Hellenistic Return to Irrationality. En route, he deals with perceived shamanistic influences, the notion of divine inspiration, the question of whether man has a soul, etc.
_The Greeks and the Irrational_ is great in itself and may have value, as Dodds indicates in his closing chapter, to moderns seeking to understand their own relationship with Irrationality. It is also enlightening background reading for any student of the classics generally, in particular providing useful commentary on Homer, Plato (lots on Plato) and the tragedians. Because each chapter was originally a lecture, Dodds' style is eloquent and also readable. Each chapter is buttressed with an impressive clump of endnotes (about a quarter of the book must be notes) for further research.