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2890Re: Odysseus in the myth of Er

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  • vaeringjar
    Dec 1, 2009
      --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, leslie greenhill <neoplatonist2000@...> wrote:
      >
      > We have discussed Penelope weaving.  Anyone have any thoughts about the following passage from the myth of Er in the Republic?
      >  
      > And it so happened that it fell to the soul of Odysseus to choose last of all.  The memory of his former sufferings had cured him of all ambition and he looked round for a long time to find the uneventful life of an ordinary man; at last he found it lying neglected by the others, and when he saw it he chose it with joy and said that had his lot fallen first he would have made the same choice. 
      >  
      >  
      > Les
      >

      If nothing else, it sounds to me rather typically ancient Greek, if I can generalize in that manner - like the choice of Achilles of a long boring life or a short one full of greatness, or even the common notion that it was better to have lived not at all.

      There's a wonderfully written article by Michael Allen on Ficino's take on the myth of Er in this collection, mostly viewable online at Google Books - aside from the content, including a really nice retelling of the myth itself, his style I think in this article is really admirable. Scholarly writing doesn't have to be dry as dust:

      http://books.google.com/books?id=CX06dsbZ_JIC&pg=PA194&dq=ficino+moerbeke#PPP1

      "Life as a Dead Platonist" is the title - very clever too.

      Dennis Clark
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