Monday, March 12, 2007

Pausanias' speach about Eros

I just read the 'Symposium' one book in the 'Dialogues of Plato'. In this book, Agathon (one of the dudes of that time ) gives a party. In those days, a party was like, they all meet up, wreath each other, lie around on benches, eat a lot, drink a lot ... a lot like parties these days I guess except the wreathing .... These lot being philosophers and tired from a previous day's party, decided that they will not drink a lot, but sit around and make speeches about Eros the God of love.
All of them make fine speeches ... It's interesting how social values change over a period of time ... In Greece of that time, homosexual love was considered better and more pure than heterosexual love, because it is more of the mind and the soul than the body, and these gay people since they will not be burdened by children and family go on to become politicians and statesmen because they do not have vested interests to take care of !!
Pausanius claims that there should be two Eros, since there are two Aphrodites. One Eros is the daughter of Uranos who is also called Uranian, the other is Pandamus, the daughter of Zeus and Dione.
A good point Pausanius makes is that no action is good or bad on it's own. For e.g. drinking or singing or conversing they are all neither noble nor base .. They become noble or base by how they are done. He claims noble Eros to be the Eros of Uranian and base Eros as the Eros of Pandamus. Pandemian lovers are in love with both women and men and they love bodies and not souls.
He says a lot of other things, a highlight of which is that it is base to love someone for money and it is obviously a dishonour to be cheated if the lover is not rich. But to love someone for the sake of getting wisdom from them is noble and it is no dishonour to be cheated in this respect...

An important thing I would like to sayis that this stuff is not at all hard to read. I dunno if it's only me, but I used to think that these guys are geeks and it's really hard to understand what they think. But it's not so. Their reasoing is clear and simple and the translations are quite modern so the language is not too old.
More later ....

1 comment:

Naren said...

no comments yet:)