THE BODY IN EARLY GREEK AND HEBREW LIFE
Modern literature tends toward a description of mental states; it regards the body as an instrument of the mind. In Homer the body is a basic and integral part of the personality. Individuals are recognized by their feet and knees. Instead of Agamemnon saying to Nestor, "while I live," he says, "while my breath abides in my breast and my knees move." The body in Homer is not a dead tool of the soul; it is a living thing. Anger, courage, despair, are in the heart, are in the breast. When a man dies he gasps out, he breathes out, his life. A man experiences fear because fear seizes his limbs. The soul doesn't leave the body at death; it is literally "torn from the limbs."
Characters in Homer having perfect bodily qualities are thought of as divine. "Priam marvelled at Achilles to see how great he was and how goodly, for he was like a god to look upon." Over and over again Homer speaks of the soul as being torn from the limbs, thereby expressing a closer unity of soul and body than exists in the modern mind. There was no incompatibility between spirit and body in early Greek life. The gods on the frieze of the Par-