Marc Domingo Gygax

An excerpt from Marc Domingo Gygax’s entry, Benefaction and Rewards in the Ancient Greek City: The Origins of Euergetism

3. Proleptic Honors

Let us return to our initial question: how is it possible that at Hippucome and other Greek poleis significant honors were granted to individuals who had only promised contributions to public projects and had not yet accomplished them? Put another way: How can we explain the paradox of public subscriptions? An initial answer is that euergetism was a form of gift-exchange, and that in this typically Greek practice it was normal to outdo oneself, whether intentionally or not, in the counter-gift, to the extent of indebting the initial giver and forcing him to reciprocate with a new gift.

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An excerpt from The Edinburgh History of the Greeks, 1453 to 1768: The Ottoman Empire by Molly Greene

Thessaly Thessaly is not a destination in today’s Greece. A hot and humid plain for much of the year, with undistinguished provincial towns, it lacks the attractions that other parts of the country possess in abundance. But it is in Thessaly that we will begin our story, for two reasons. First, it was there that, … Read more

An excerpt from Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World by Tim Whitmarsh

Tragedy responded to the sophists in subtler ways, projecting the issues onto a mythical canvas, so that the connections with contemporary culture become suggestive rather than explicit. One of the greatest examples of Greek tragedy, Sophocles’ Oedipus the King, seems to be a case in point. The date is not certain, but 428 or so seems likely; this would place it precisely in the eye of the sophistic storm. Sophocles has often been thought to be the most religiously-minded of the three major tragedians, but Oedipus the King paints a more complex, challenging picture than this. Oedipus is centrally about divine prophecy, and humans’ attempts to assert control over lives that have already been predestined.

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