n Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa - Doing justice to Zeus : on texts and commentaries : chairperson's address
|Article Title||Doing justice to Zeus : on texts and commentaries : chairperson's address|
|© Publisher:||Classical Association of South Africa (CASA)|
|Journal||Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa|
|Author||Johan C. Thom|
|Publication Date||Jan 2005|
|Pages||1 - 21|
The Hymn to Zeus by the Stoic philosopher Cleanthes is one of the most intriguing texts to survive from the Hellenistic period, and of great significance for the history of Hellenistic philosophy, the history of Hellenistic and Greco-Roman religions as well as the history of Greek literature. A detailed study of all three these facets - philosophical, religious and literary - is essential for understanding the poem. The Hymn itself is remarkable precisely because it combines different philosophical, religious and literary traditions and sources into a new expression of philosophical religion. Scholars, however, often focus on one aspect of the text without giving due recognition to the integration accomplished in it. To do justice to this text means to understand the way the text itself interprets the traditions it draws upon; it also means to take the Hymn seriously as a text that still has something to say to us.
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