Cover: The Greek Concept of Justice: From Its Shadow in Homer to Its Substance in Plato, from Harvard University PressCover: The Greek Concept of Justice in E-DITION

The Greek Concept of Justice

From Its Shadow in Homer to Its Substance in Plato

Available from De Gruyter »

Product Details

E-DITION

$65.00 • €48.00

ISBN 9780674183513

Publication Date: 09/18/1978

382 pages

World

Harvard University Press has partnered with De Gruyter to make available for sale worldwide virtually all in-copyright HUP books that had become unavailable since their original publication. The 2,800 titles in the “e-ditions” program can be purchased individually as PDF eBooks or as hardcover reprint (“print-on-demand”) editions via the “Available from De Gruyter” link above. They are also available to institutions in ten separate subject-area packages that reflect the entire spectrum of the Press’s catalog. More about the E-ditions Program »

In this book, Eric Havelock presents a challenging account of the development of the idea of justice in early Greece, and particularly of the way justice changed as Greek oral tradition gradually gave way to the written word in a literate society.

He begins by examining the educational functions of poets in preliterate Greece, showing how they conserved and transmitted the traditions of society, a thesis adumbrated in his earlier book Preface to Plato. Homer, he demonstrates, has much to say about justice, but since that idea is nowhere in the epics directly stated or expressed, it must be deduced from the speech and actions of the characters. Havelock’s careful reading of the Iliad and the Odyssey is original and revealing; it sheds light both on Homeric notions of justice and on the Archaic Greek society depicted in the poems.

As Havelock continues his inquiry from Hesiod to Aeschylus, his findings become more complex. The oral Greek world shades into a literate one. Words lose some kinds of meanings, gain others, and steadily become more suited to the conceptualization that Plato strove for and achieved. This evolution of language itself, Havelock shows, was one of the principal accomplishments of the Greek world.

Lucidly written and forcefully argued, this book is a major contribution to our knowledge of ancient Greece—its politics, philosophy, and literature, from Homer to Plato.

Recent News

From Our Blog

Photo of Lucia Jacobs as a child sitting next to Oaky

How to Plant a Forest

For this week’s University Press Week Blog Tour, Lucia Jacobs offers us a glimpse of environmental stewardship as seen through the activities of the ubiquitous squirrel, a species native to the Americas, Africa, and Eurasia from the Eocene Epoch onward. Lucia Jacobs is Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library (loebclassics.com) extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.