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Chapter Summary

In regard to mythology one may think of Hesiod and Aeschylus, who tell how Prometheus provided mankind with intelligence and numerous other benefits including fire. In the Laws, Plato sets aside the idealism of the Republic and focuses on a second best city-state: one that takes account of human nature and the realities of human community. The fullest example of Theophrastus' interest in firsts is found not in the fragments of his work On Discoveries, they are woefully few, but in the fragments of his work On Piety, which are found in Porphyry's work On Abstinence from Eating Animals. One learns that Theophrastus not only criticized animal sacrifice but also advanced a developmental account of sacrificial practices. The development ends with human and animal sacrifice, which is condemned. It involves a clear idea of developments prompted by changes in man's situation, both environmental and social/civic.

Keywords: Aeschylus; Hesiod; human community; Laws; Porphyry's work; Theophrastus' interest; Titan Prometheus



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