Volume 2 Issue 1
1. S. Kolšovský, “Σωκρατικοί λόγοι as a literary genre and a way of life” (2014) Vol. 2, Iss. 1, pp. 1-13
The author’s main objective is to show that it is possible to interpret the ‘Σωκρατικοι λογοι’ not only as literary representations of Socrates’ figure, but also as the resources for reconstruction of the Socratic philosophical conception of leading an examined life. Aristotle considers as ‘Σωκρατικοι λογοι’ only literary texts imitating Socrates explicitly and defines this genre’s distinctive features, but the author of this paper supposes that despite the absence of Socrates’ direct representation in the works of other Socratics (mostly those of Aristophanes, Xenophon and Plato), their texts are marked by Socrates’ influence too. The author of this paper also argues that it is not precisely this literary form of Socratic dialogue as such what makes Plato share the common Socratic heritage with the other Socratics. It is rather the conception of examining one’s true ethical character (ἦθος) which we find in his early dialogue Laches.
2. D. Karadimas, “Alexandria and the Second Sophistic” (2014) Vol. 2, Iss. 1, pp. 14-36
Alexandria was theoretically an ideal place to become a center of sophistic activity during the period of the Second Sophistic (c. middle of the first century to the beginning of the third century AD). The fact is, however, that the centers of this cultural, educational, and intellectual activity were to be found in various cities of Asia Minor and Greece (e.g. Athens, Smyrna, Ephesus), while Alexandria is not mentioned among them. Philostratus, who gives a panoramic view of the sophistic movement of this period, does not include any sophists from Alexandria in his list, while the city itself is not mentioned at all. Moreover, Philostratus mentions four sophists from the neighbouring Naucratis, and gives the impression of a certain sophistic activity there, but not in Alexandria. Then, the questions that arise here are whether the sophistic movement had also developed in Alexandria and, if so, why Philostratus does not regard any of its sophists worthy of mention. The existing evidence shows that there was a significant development of the sophistic culture in Alexandria already from the early first century AD. As to the second question, I maintain that there was a clear incompatibility between Philostratus’ political ideas and the way he understood the role of the sophists, on the one hand, and the general tenets and practices of Alexandrians and Alexandrian sophists, on the other. I argue that this incompatibility was the main reason for Philostratus’ silence.
3. R. Duris – M. Porubjak, “Ηomer and “Big Five”” (2014) Vol. 2, Iss. 1, pp. 37-54
Drawing from the models of contemporary personality psychology, this qualitative study analyses the characters of Greek mythological heroes as depicted in Homer’s Illiad. First, it summarizes the current personality research as well as what psychodiagnostic methods there are for measuring different personality variables. In the next part, the authors describe the procedure they used for the verification of historical and intercultural validity of the personality models outlined earlier. Here they also present the results of their analysis with the conclusion that ancient Greek accounts testify to the universality of human nature throughout ages and cultures. At this point, the study also shows the hypothesized personality profiles of two major heroes, Achilles and Agamemnon. The following part of the article is dedicated to yet another psychological discourse: specifically how and why their motives and behavioural tendencies might cause clashes in their interaction, and also what occupational options they would probably face nowadays. Interdisciplinary in its nature, the paper finishes with the implications of the results for philosophy.
4. J. Hamada, “”The Alexandrians don’t Need a Guidebook to their City”: Literary Nostalgia in Harry Tzalas’ Seven Days at the Cecil” (2014) Vol. 2, Iss. 1, pp. 55-74
This paper seeks to examine Harry Tzalas’ Seven Days at the Cecil (2009) as a specimen of nostalgic writing, highlighting the way subjective recollections are transformed into a shared collective experience; a rendering of an intangibly fleeting past into a work of art. Nostalgic literary works may thus be regarded as not only a means of preserving personal memories, but also as a means of vivifying places, historical eras, anecdotes and figures. What unfolds throughout the novel is a nostalgic revisiting of the past; of an Alexandria that had once accommodated the characters, but is now in the realm of the distant, the inaccessible and the vanishing. Their remembering of the past is not elegiac; rather it is life-giving and self-defining. By a fortuitous meeting, a varied cast of characters find themselves entangled with each other. Each day, for a period of seven days, they visit different places in the city of their childhood; places of yesteryear that are still alive in their memories, though some of which could not withstand the ravages of time. The locus of their encounter is the Cecil Hotel. Arriving there acts like opening a floodgate of reminiscences through which Tzalas probes into the nature of nostalgia and the whole gamut of human emotions it invokes. The choice of the Cecil Hotel is particularly apt, for despite the renovations it has witnessed, it is still coloured in hues of the past, very much like the city itself. It thus serves as a causeway between the past and the present. To the author and his characters, Alexandria is not a symbolic homeland or an ecological niche, nor is it a relic of the past; rather it is a sensuous city, vibrant with scents, tastes, colours, tactile sensations, audible sounds, and the lithe rippling of the sea waves – all of which remain alive in their memories. As it has occurred to them, the grip of their Alexandria is too tenacious to let go of them, and this leads the narrator to contend at the end of the novel: “The Alexandrians don’t need a guidebook to their city, they carry her in their soul”.