« PrejšnjaNaprej »
THERE are many books, German, French, and English, on the objective side of old Greek life-upon the religion, the laws, the feasts, the furniture of the Greeks; but there are very few on the subjective side, on the feelings of the Greeks in their temples and their assemblies, in their homes, and their wanderings.
It is on this side that I offer the present volume as a contribution. It is, of course, very incomplete; but, were I able to remedy this defect, the book must become unserviceable to the general reader, for whom it is intended. The materials are so vast and so fragmentary, that any systematic treatment must result in a mere dictionary-a mosaic of references, and not in a work fit for ordinary perusal. It is, moreover, generally true that no work is so disappointing as that which professes completeness.
In my treatment of the subject, I have endeavoured to take homely and common sense views, and have thus arrived at many results opposed to what I
consider sentimentalism or pedantry.
These results are in all cases supported by direct references to the Greek texts themselves, on which I have relied in preference to modern authority. I hope my readers will adopt the same method in judging me, and will thus be brought into contact with the great originals, which are too often studied at second hand.
Wherever modern writers have suggested to me interesting views or quotations, I trust I have fully acknowledged my obligations. I cannot do so adequately to my old pupils, Mr. H. B. Leech, of Caius College, Cambridge, and Mr. Oscar Wilde, of Magdalen College, Oxford, who have made improvements and corrections all through the book. I am likewise indebted to Mr. J. G. Butcher, of Trinity College, Cambridge, for reading the proof sheets and making many valuable criticisms.
TRINITY COLLEGE, DUBLIN,
November 4, 1874.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Modern complexion of Greek life, page 1.
Defects in the current
literature on the subject, 3. Plan of the present volume, 4. Political
lessons to be drawn from Greek culture, 5. Gradual development of
The Greeks of the Homeric Age.
The Homeric controversy not here in question, 9. Exceptional atti-
tude of Hesiod, 10. His evidence is truer than Homer's ideal pictures,
11. Improbabilities in Homer, 12. Mr. Grote's estimate criticised, 13.
Difficulties about Hesiod-chiefly textual, 14. Fragments of pre-
Homeric history, 15.
Modern English Homerists criticised, 19. Analysis of the Homeric
Loyalty, 34. Causes of these features, 37. Homer's Pallas Athene, as
The Greeks of the Homeric Age (continued).
Homer's society an exclusive caste society,42; which was refined and
courteous, 43-in feasting, 44; and conversation, 45; but showing slight
decay in hospitality, 46. Examples of Menelaus and Alcinous, 49.
Treatment of women, 50; of servants, 54; of domestic animals, 56; of
those beyond the caste, and its dependents, 58. Evidence of Hesiod, 60.
Love of money-universal in Greek life, 63. Hesiod's domestic rude-
Contrasts to Homer's idealism; Lyric realism, 70.
cowardice in the fragments, 71. Thucydidean features of the lyric
poets, 74. They sustain the attitude of Hesiod, 75. Unjust estimates of
the tyrants by modern critics, 76. Example at Athens; Solon and
Peisistratus, 77. Classification of the lyric poets; free aristocrats, and
court poets, 82; their religion, 84; ethics, 87; Violent party feelings,
89; Modern parallel in Ireland, 90. General estimate, 92. Advance
in social refinement, 93. Wine drinking and feasting, 95. Attitude of
women in-Simonides of Ceos, 99; Sappho, 100; and Simonides of
Amorgos, 101. Strong sentiment of love, 104. Points of direct suc-
cession to Homeric Greece, 106. Hatred of old age, 110; causes of
this feeling, 111. Selfishness, 113. Hospitality, 115. Points of con-
trast with Homeric Greece; the feeling of love; the objects of love,
Division of subject: authorities, 124. Attic patriotism, 126. Coarse-
ness of Attic relaxations, 127. General decay of letters throughout
Greece, 128; Causes of the exception at Athens, 129; Estimate of Peri-
cles, 131. Position of women, 133; its causes, 136. Examination of
our authorities, viz. Eschylus: his characters, 140; Herodotus: his
characters 145; their meanness, 147; justice, 150; benevolence, 153;
The Greeks of the Attic Age (continued).
Thucydides, 162; cruelty described in his history, 164; strictures on
his pictures of Greek life, 166; his mistake rectified on psychological
grounds, 168. Sophocles and Eschylus: inferiority of Sophocles, 171.
Euripides, his attitude, 174; his contrast to Sophocles, 176; his philo-
sophy, 177; example in his Electra, 180; his great female characters-
Alcestis, Macaria, Iphigenia, 186; injustice of the critics, 193.