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The Greeks and the Irrational

The Greeks and the Irrational

By E. R. Dodds

340 pp

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About the Book

Originating from a series of lectures given at Berkeley in 1949, The Greeks and the Irrational by E. R. Dodds is rightly considered a classic in its field. Throughout these lectures, Dodds challenges the traditional view of Greek culture as a triumph of rationalism and poses the critical question: "Why should we attribute to the ancient Greeks an immunity from 'primitive' modes of thought which we do not find in any society open to our direct observation?" In response, he employs the fields of anthropology and psychology to aid in understanding the Greek mind. Particular notable is Dodds' tracing of Greek anxieties and a sense of guilt, which he links to the loosening of a family structure that imposed absolute obedience. Praised by contemporary reviewers and still discussed 70 years after its publication, Dodds' book is a landmark in the field of Greek studies.

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