Hatillo Travel

Hatillo Travel on In this connexion (if Euripides be disallowed as too much under the influence of philosophical speculation) we find the only other hint known to me that the belief was popular and widespread in the fifth century. In the Peace of Aristophanes, the hero Trygaios flies up to heaven on an enormous dung-beetle to persuade the gods to give back Peace to Greece. On his return from this adventurous journey, his slave eagerly questions him about what he has seen, and one of his questions is: Isn’t it true then what they say, that we become stars in the sky when we die?1 When I spoke in an earlier chapter of the airy or aetherial nature of the soul as being a doctrine of the materialistic science of the fifth century, I pointed out that it only meant the reappearance in rational dress of an age-old popular belief. Where science and primitive belief are thus united in their conclusions, it would obviously be difficult to say which was responsible for the prevalence of a specific idea at this advanced stage of civilization. I think myself that if this particular idea was widespread in the fifth century, as perhaps the Potidaean epitaph shows, then its diffusion is most likely to have been due to the influence of popular science. It may well be the scientists themselves whom Aristophanes is parodying as he frequently does elsewhere. Euripides was certainly one of their followers, and if we are to be strict we must say that our epitaph remains, for its age, a solitary witness to the popular spread of the belief. Hatillo Travel 2016.

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