Aristeia: A Philosophical Ideal as the Basic of Ancient Greek Physical Preparation and Valiant Behaviour on the Battlefields



Year of publication 2020
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

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Description This presentation deals with the ancient Greek system of ideals and ethical, military and sports values, which created ancient Greek society and played a greatly important role in Greek history. The presentation is focused mainly on aristeia – a philosophical ideal related to warfare and sport (above all the physical preparation). In ordinary life, aristeia was a Greek term for unusually valiant behaviour in battle, heroism, valour, derring-do, and rare proof of courage. From this ideal, other ideals were derived, especially aristeíon (heroism) and also honour, reward, and the victorious prize for the greatest valour in battle). Poetically (according to the classicist W. Jaeger), aristeia could be understood as the adventure of the epic hero. This ideal showed the value of a warrior and his andreia (bravery), the value of a man (citizen) and his timé (honour). Also, aristeia reflected areté, kalokagathia, etc. and it has made many differences – distinctions between hippeis and hoplítes, but also between a brave man, an ordinary man or a coward. This investigation into ancient culture and society examines the importance of the Greek value system, without which the Greeks would not have achieved their world significance.
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