Download Ancient Greek ideas on speech, language, and civilization by Deborah Levine Gera PDF

By Deborah Levine Gera

The resource and nature of earliest speech and civilization are puzzles that experience intrigued humans for plenty of centuries. This e-book surveys old Greek perspectives on those questions. It discusses the harmonious language of the golden age, the ability in which language was once first invented, and a few historical "linguists" defined through Homer and Herodotus.

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And see Clark 1975, 33-5 3 7-8, 1 0 1 -2,. lhcclo 1995. '5-6. 62. "im; Dierauer 1977, 1 ', 3 '-4. 1 25-8. 2)4-6 . 2 6 8-70. Now too �he senes of ancient etymologies (collected by Dickerman 1909. as n. tueh derIVe the very word UV(JpCdffor from the faculty o f articulate �ptech. e ,R'. Ety",. MGI" . •. W"'�Y. g. Rhet. 2. 37 for� ho�seh l s nd civic communities. en ables men to . v yap . . , which does nothmg 1 253'9) � peech, wi h Ari �totle argues, so as to allow t en dow ed men . and unjust, good and bad• The 8harmg (KO'Vw v{a) of these moral Judgements, expressed through langu leads to the creation of households and a polis, the philosopher tends.

4�3 is . re poem. ' � u Perry 1 96�. 3 1 4, notes that the fahle is not attrtbuted to Af'SOP elsew'heft. i$appeared. Ph ilo � acquainted with the Hebrew BiWt. while Callimnhus. it seems sa ft" to say, is l'Iot. 2. 3a Language in the Go/den Age for a release from old age ing that the god's rule is unjust and asking (as in Philo). The god then takes away the animals' speech and bestows it upon men. Presumably these ammals all spoke one lan­ guage, but in their different, individual voices, for Zeus gives one person the voice of a dog, another that of a donkey, etc.

Perhaps it is not a coincidence that the animals have their speech taken away and are reduced from virtually human status to a more beast-like state because of their audacity in requesting a divine quality, eternal youth. The animals in Callimachus' tale complain about Zeus' lack ofjustice and their subsequent punishment brings to mind Hesiod's famous description of how Zeus has given justice to men, while ani­ mals, who are without justice, eat one another (Erga 276-8; see above, Sect. 3) . Presumably Callimachus' speechless animals now become altogether unjust and begin to eat one another: the golden age has ended '" Utopian Languages It is not only in depictions of the golden age, comic or otherwise, that we find exceptional linguistic conditions.

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