The critical limits of human condition, between hybris and aristeia

Resultado de pesquisarevisão de pares


The inevitability of death and the fragility while facing the imponderables of nature and the conflicts of coexistence have marked human life from its origins, turning it into a constant crisis and thwarting the persistent yearning for happiness. That is why the struggle to transcend the horizons of mortal limitations and attain the eternal bliss of the gods, or at least a glorious memory, constitutes an essential theme of the Homeric Poems, the first literary documents of the West. Their narrative deals with the fundamental dilemma of heroes like Achilles or Odysseus: the need to overcome mortality, in the memory of the living, through aristeia, versus the risk of exceeding, through hybris, the limits imposed on their own share of happiness. The symbolic spectre of fratricidal wars, already present in archaic poetry, is intensified by Greek tragedy, and later by Roman epics, because of the terrible experiences of the Peloponnesian War and the bella ciuilia at the end of the Roman Republic. After the glorious and patriotic spolia opima of the historic Marcellus, disconcerting shadows are projected by Virgil on the fictional hero Aeneas, and a total subversion of the concept of aristeia dominates Lucan's epic poem on the civil war between Caesar and Pompey: the bellica uirtus that immortalises the name of the warrior becomes a scelus nefandum, the soldiers are mere instruments and anonymous targets for slaughter, and the few named embody the supreme hybris of the parricides. Other poets and philosophers tried to find a positive balance, suggesting aurea mediocritas and the control of emotions, thus enriching the humanistic heritage of the ancient world.
Idioma originalEnglish
Título da publicação do anfitriãoHumanistic perspectives in happiness research
EditoresLuísa Magalhães, Maria José Ferreira Lopes, Bruno Lopes, João Carlos Onofre Pinto
EditoraSpringer International Publishing
ISBN (eletrónico)9783031386008
ISBN (impresso)9783031385995, 9783031386022
Estado da publicaçãoPublicado - 16 abr. 2024

Série de publicação

NomeHappiness Studies Book Series
EditoraSpringer Cham
ISSN (impresso)2213-7513
ISSN (eletrónico)2213-7521

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