Contrarily to most traditional accounts on the foundation of the Republic, Dionysius describes the passage from the Tarquins’ monarchy to the Republic as a lawful constitutional reform, in which L. Junius Brutus played a pivotal role. In my paper I analyze the speech that Brutus delivers to the Roman patricians to endorse the establishment of a new government in Rome. The new constitution, although remaining essentially monarchical, will keep its autocratic nature concealed from the people. Throughout this paper, I show how Dionysius in his presentation of Brutus picked up elements both related to the senatorial propaganda against M. Junius Brutus — Caesar’s murderer, who claimed descent from L. Brutus and the tyrannicide Ahala — and, at the same time, the character of Augustus’s newly-founded government. This account may thus be regarded as Dionysius’ own elaboration of Augustus’s constitutional reform.
By presenting the hero Theseus and his mythic Athens Euripides created a model of heroism in “Supplices”. Theseus' polis has some prominent features which are strongly suggestive of the real 5th century polis democracy. There is no doubt that the poet tends to show Athens in a favourable light, but there are considerably critical issues, too. “Supplices” covers a broad spectrum of success and failure, exceeding politics and visions of a peaceful solution which, however, have no chance. The tragic consequences have to be borne by the suppliant Argive mothers who have lost their sons at war.
mythical Athens has to face a serious challenge when Heracles' persecuted
children seek help. Producing conditionswhich
remarkably resemblecontemporary Athens Euripides succeeds in presenting
characteristic elements of the 5th century polis democracy. There is light and
shade in a tragicplot where we see
humanity confronted with hard consequences. The play, presumably performed in
the beginnings of the Peloponnesian War, realizes considerable achievements of
a free polis without overlooking questionable actions.
The present paper examines the crucial passages in Lucanus, Valerius Flaccus, Statius and Sily concerning suicide. Lucanus presents a fanatical eulogy of suicide, Valerius Flaccus a rather calculated approach which is guided by almost philosophical considerations resembling those given by the philosopher Seneca, Statius focuses on the problem of self determination and tyranny. Sily’s account of the Saguntine suicide combines and modifies different elements of the literary tradition, which sometimes makes it difficult to ascertain the value judgement his narrative is meant to convey to his readers.
Pindar composed splendid victory odes for Sicilian tyrants, but his statement “I disapprove of the fate of tyrannies” tells us nothing about his attitude towards Hieron or Theron. In its context in the 11th Pythian, it is a comment on the fate of Agamemnon, Klytaimestra and Aigisthos. The poet supplied what his clients commissioned and paid for - it was essentially a business relationship. Pindar’s praise for Hieron und Theron is measured, not flattery; they were not power-greedy despots like Hieron II, Dionysios or Agathokles, let alone the dictators of the 20th and 21st centuries.
In or. 25 Demosthenes compares Aristogeiton to a watchdog who, instead of defending the sheeps, attacks and tears them to pieces. This picture seems not to be common in Attic rhetoric, but is occurs in Plat. Rep. 416a, where Socrates warns about the danger that the most popular orators, in betrayal of their former task, assault the demos and eventually become tyrants. This platonic passage confers a new meaning to the Demosthenic statement and suggests the possibility that Aristogeiton aimed at tyranny. Hence the nomos, which only can control physis, protects society from the worst human vices (poneria, hybris and anaideia), and represents the most effective defence of democracy.
My intention is to
reexamine some of the documents of the Hungarian revolution that contain
statements by Hungarian writers. On October 26 a two-page pamphlet appeared.
Its title - 'Immovably' - referred to Vörösmarty's 'Appeal'. The poems by
István Sinka and Ferenc Jankovich, as well as the short essay by the
Transylvanian-born author Áron Tamási represented the values of the 'Populist'
movement of the interwar period. The texts of the November issue of 'Literary
Newsletter' were by a wider range of writers. While most of the poems had been
composed in the early 1950s, including 'One Sentence on Tyranny' by Gyula
Illyés and 'The Dictator' by Lajos Kassák, the essays by Tibor Déry, László
Németh, and Lőrinc Szabó were inspired by the uprising. The third document I wish
to examine is the collective statement issued by the Writers' Association on
December 28th. Since my paper will focus not on aesthetic values but on
political views, I will not exclude texts by mediocre writers. The question I
wish to ask is whether any difference can be seen between the positions taken
by former communists and those who expressed anti-communist views before 1945.
The facts of Gogol's appeal to the models of classical forms of myth and ritual are interesting not only by themselves but also in the aspect of their relationship with the arsenal of Christian mythology. The fundamental point here is that in light of the historical interpretation of the myth and the Revelation by F. W. J. Schelling, the mythology since its initial stage organically developed to Christianity, to the truths of Revelation (as the historical movement “flowed” into them).
The symbolic complex of the story Vij, interlacing with Eros and Thanatos, allows parallels to the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice since in the case of the story Vij and in the case of myth, the motive of prohibition on sight also holds. The philosopher (i.e. the poet in the archaic and romantic notion) Homa Brut comes into contact with the world of death not of his own free will, besides, the panicle Eurydice died because of him. Orpheus partakes of the Dionysian sacraments. A visit to Orpheus of hell equated him, in Christian understanding, with Christ. In Gogol's story Vij, Dionysus and Christ have implicitly come together.
The motive of the story Vij for blindness is related to Oedipus's self-blindness motive. Mythological Erinnes, persecuted by Oedipus, are old women, which correlates with one of the chthonic incarnations of the plaque, thereby drawing closer to the goddesses of revenge, punishment, and remorse of conscience. The fact of the final recognition of Oedipus as “holy” is reflected in the potential Christian semantics of the image of Homa as a martyr and passion-bearer.
As the winner of the witch, the deliverer of people from her misfortunes and the passion bearer Homa is a Christian ascetic. Against the background of Christian parallels, the second stay of Homa on the farm becomes as if his “second coming”, symbolically comparable to the expected second coming of Christ, who is coming all the time.
The terrible glance of Vij and pannochka certainly reminds of the slaying glance of Medusa Gorgon, which forced all living things to petrify.
There is pathos of fighting tyranny in ridding the farm from the witch by Homa. Although Homa defends himself first of all in the beating scene, the general social meaning of his action is obvious. The power of the pannochka (she is the daughter of a wealthy sotnik), who for some reason considers himself pious, is not only socio-political but, in the main, existential-anthropological, this domination over man as a species, over man as such.
The motives of ancient Greek and in general pagan mythology are closely intertwined in Gogol's story with Christian motives, which formed the unique spiritual and aesthetic synthesis of the story Vij.