terça-feira, 16 de agosto de 2016
Victory and its Discontents:
Is it worth competing for a ‘bit of celery or olive or pine’?
Dept of Greek Philology / Democritean University of Thrace & Harvard University
Center for Hellenic Studies-Greece
Quarta-feira, dia 17/8, de 11 às 13 h.
Auditório 2003 FALE/UFMG
Procad/CAPES - Leituras e releituras da Filosofia Antiga na Antiguidade
Agradecimento e apoio:
Prof. Roberto de Brose
Coordenador do Programa de Pós-graduação em Estudos da Tradução (POET | UFC)
Universidade Federal do Ceará.
To extrapolate from Jacob Burckhardt’s famous lecture, ‘The Agonal Age’, published over a century ago: if you put two (ancient) Greeks together in a room—or rather, an open space—you get an agon, a competition or even (as G. Nagy has shown) a ‘fight to the death’. Although Burkhardt’s valorization of Greek competitiveness has been challenged by some scholars, it seems to be borne out in the main. J. K. Campbell’s study (1964) of the Sarakatsans and their competitiveness might be read as virtually a companion-piece to Burckhardt, and K. J. Dover’s brief survey (1974) of the vocabulary of honour and victory—φιλοτιμία and φιλονικία-- lends insight into the ‘anxiety for victory’ and the pangs of coming second or third in the classical period. According to Aristotle (Rhetoric 1389a 6) the (athletic) young were especially φιλότιμοι and φιλόνικοι. Yet members of the Greek thinking class sometimes cast doubt on the ‘love of victory’ in general, and particularly in sport. In some cases the term φιλονικίαshaded into denoting destabilizing ‘contentiousness’ and ‘factiousness’ rather than commendable ‘healthy love of victory’.
In this paper I shall touch on the vocabulary of victory and briefly examine instances, starting with (arguably) Odyssey 8.62-255 (the athletic contests in Phaiakia), in which success in sport is problematized in the light of other more inwardly and socially constructive values: Xenophanes fr. 2, Euripides, Autolykos fr. 282, and Dio Chrysostom 8.4-6, 9-12, 26, 36.
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