Una preghiera per l'avvenire: la divinazione in sogno di Democrito

Enrico Piergiacomi

Abstract


This paper proposes an interpretation of the Democritean prayer. My central proposal is that its role in ancient atomism was to seek divine visitations during sleep, thus allowing dreams to forecast unlucky or evil events, which remain inaccessible to the rational capacities of waking. In support of this proposal, I will develop three points about the gods in whom Democritus believed: 1) they were seen as real living beings (not as giant and indestructible films), 2) they were omniscient, 3) they expressed love for the wise men who struggled to defend justice, and to expand its sway throughout the polis. The central evidence for this interpretation is to be found in the scientific interpretation of Penelope's dream in Homer's Odyssey; it is here that the philosopher could have acquired his doctrine of divination during sleep.

Full Text: HTML PDF

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


homepageimage_en_us

Creative Commons License

ISSN 2283-7833

The individual contributions are made available Open Access under the Creative Commons General Public License Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-Alike version 4 (CCPL BY-NC-SA).
©
The ILIESI-
CNR have the collected works copyright on the printed issues and digital editions of the Journal.
Periodico iscritto al n. 216/2013 del Registro della Stampa del Tribunale Civile di Roma. Direttore responsabile: Antonio Lamarra - Condirettore: Roberto Palaia