Hannah Arendt and the Will of Zeus10-01-2015
On a recent trip to the Hannah Arendt Collection housed in Bard College's Stevenson Library, we came across this copy of Springfellow Barr's The Will of Zeus: A History of Greece from the Origins of the Hellenic Culture to the Death of Alexander:
Hannah Arendt made several annotations to her copy of this book. For example, on pages 154 and 155, she placed vertical lines adjacent to four passages, one of which includes some underlining.
- Among many other things, the Oedipus recalled Solon's commandment, "Know thyself." It suggested strongly that this commandment was hardest to obey for those who wielded power, since power tended to blind.
- It was in the context of Aeschylus's tragic vision of the will of Zeus and the will of other gods fulfilling itself through the free choices of men;....
- Like Solon, he [Pericles] was a man of both thought and action, and this at a moment in Athenian history when war and violence more and more threatened the marriage of thought and action.
- He [Pericles] was learned in mathematics and medicine; he speculated in natural philosophy; and he taught the doctrine that neither air, nor fire, nor earth, nor water had originated our universe but that this universe had been made out of such elements by Nous--that is, by mind, intellect.
It should be noted that the underlinings in the fourth passage are Arendt's. Additionally, adjacent to the vertical line she made signifying this passage's importance is placed a question mark.
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