Cookies Policy
X

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

The Jealous God of Ancient Greece: Interpreting the Classical Greek Notion of Φθόνος Θεῶν between Renaissance Humanism and Altertumswissenschaft

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Erudition and the Republic of Letters

The description of god as phthoneros (‘envious’, ‘jealous’, ‘grudging’) in the works of Pindar, Aeschylus, and Herodotus has played an important role in the later understanding of archaic and classical Greek religion. This paper explores the genesis and development of several interpretations of the Greek concept of φθόνος θεῶν that have arisen since the Renaissance, and how these relate to wider debates on the relationship between Christianity and ‘paganism’, including the ‘jealous God’ of Scripture. I outline three principal approaches to the topic. First, a Platonizing or Christianizing interpretation whereby divine phthonos is god’s moral disapproval of human ‘hubris’, impiety, or arrogance and thus a form of ‘divine justice’; second, a ‘Paganizing’ interpretation, whereby divine phthonos is an immoral resentment of human success or simply a hostility towards humanity, and represents an essential difference between the ‘moral’ theology of Christianity and ‘amoral’ pagan theology; third, a ‘developmental’ explanation posited in the late Enlightenment (and later popularized in a different form by anthropologists and philologists) as part of a thesis for the religious development of mankind as a whole. In this third view, divine phthonos was initially an ‘amoral’ emotion, felt by the gods of ‘primitive’ religious systems, but the concept was ‘purified’ in the course of the Greeks’ theological development, so that divine phthonos became a ‘moral’ response to hybris. By exploring the intellectual climate which gave rise to each of these interpretations, I trace the origins of the tacit but total disagreement over the meaning of ‘divine phthonos’ in classical scholarship today, and encourage a return to the long-standing debates about a theme at the heart of Herodotus’s Histories and our understanding of Greek religion more generally.

Affiliations: 1: Institut für Klassische Philologie, Bern University, Länggassstrasse 49, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland, anthony.ellis@kps.unibe.ch

10.1163/24055069-00201001
/content/journals/10.1163/24055069-00201001
dcterms_title,pub_keyword,dcterms_description,pub_author
10
5
Loading
Loading

Full text loading...

/content/journals/10.1163/24055069-00201001
Loading

Data & Media loading...

http://brill.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1163/24055069-00201001
Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1163/24055069-00201001
2017-12-10
2017-11-20

Sign-in

Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
     
    Erudition and the Republic of Letters — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation