In Euripides’ Suppliants, Theseus praises the god who, in granting to men the use of language as a “messenger of thoughts”, also gave them the means by which to raise themselves above the animals. The discovery of discourse – often hand-in-hand with reason – is frequently cited as the first step along humanity’s path to overcoming its primitive bestial state. In the Politics, Aristotle explicitly emphasizes man’s connection to λόγος; in To Nikokles (2.5), Isocrates states that the word’s ability not only to convince others but also to communicate, in the clearest way, some thoughts from one person to another helped humankind achieve its greatest accomplishments. And yet, no matter what Isocrates claims, clarification is not the language’s only function. Sometimes language deliberately obfuscates. This is the case of riddles, including in their ancient forms, and also of other peculiar patterns of communication between gods and men, namely oracles and dreams.
|Citazione:||Beta, S. (2018). Riddles. In The World through Roman Eyes. Anthropological Approaches to Ancient Culture (pp. 375-395). Cambridge : Cambridge University Press.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||2.1 Contributo in volume (Capitolo o Saggio)|
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