Greek Ideals: A Study of Social Life

By C. Delisle Burns | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
THE ANTHESTERIA

THE traditional conception in Athens of the nature and tendencies of group life may be understood by reference to four great festivals: the Anthesteria, the Panathenaia, the Dionysia, and the Eleusinia. Our purpose here is not to give the full details of the ritual, nor to discuss the many points of historical interest which are still far from clear. We must depend chiefly upon the broad effects of the ceremonies used and endeavour to show, first, how they express what the Greek meant by society, and, secondly, how they influence the moral and intellectual standards of the ordinary Athenian and through him of the philosopher. In these two points the reference to Athenian religion is necessary for interpreting Athenian ideals. The polis, in all the force of its original growth, appears in the four great festivals: the conceptions of individuality, and the admiration for beauty, harmony or intelligence, arise under the influence of these periodical gatherings of all members of the community. Even the philosopher does not make his theory of individual and society, or of the ideal state and the ideal man, except by reference to the actual life of Athens in which he shared.

-13-

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Greek Ideals: A Study of Social Life
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Greek Ideals i
  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents xi
  • Greek Ideals 1
  • Chapter II - The Anthesteria 13
  • Chapter III The Panathenaia 22
  • Chapter IV The Dionysia 39
  • Chapter V The Eleusinia 51
  • Chapter VI Politics 72
  • Chapter VII 98
  • Chapter VIII The Fifth Century 115
  • Chapter IX The Old School 132
  • Chapter X Socrates 162
  • Chapter XI The Philosophers 192
  • Chapter XII Plato on Right Action 200
  • Chapter XIII Plato on the Ideal Man 213
  • Chapter XIV Plato on Education 230
  • Chapter XV Plato on the Ideal Society 241
  • Chapter XVII The Afterglow 293
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