Untitled (2011)

Privileged Dreamers

In Athenian democracy the dream experience of a High King was more trustworthy than that of an ordinary man.
A later Greek view was that only the privileged received the significant dream.
This corresponds to the special status as dreamer accorded by primitives to the medicine man. Some of Jung’s patients also reported dreams in which oracular voices were heard, either disembodied or proceeding “from an authoritative figure”.
It is these figures of authority who shared the supreme positions in the hierarchies of State and Law.
The legalized magic of the Laws (Plato) were harnessed to dispense justice.
An animal, or even an inanimate object, which caused the death of a man, could be tried, condemned and banished beyond the frontiers of the state, because it carried a “miasma” or pollution.
In Athenian democracy, as in the Olympian order, criminal law preceded civil law, and the primary function of the state was coercive.
The proverbial saying in that age was that “all virtue is comprehended by justice”.
There was little room for pity and only mortals mourned.
The horses of Achilles mourned their charioteer.

E.R. Dodds, The Greeks and the Irrational
Arnaldo Momigliano, Freedom of Speech in Antiquity

Recently acquired

for the collection

labyrinthnook: Wow! How stunning is that? While I reckon we’re... 2014