The Logos and the poets. Some thoughts on theology in Early Greek literature

Arnd Kerkhecker

Summary: 1. Introduction. 2. Homer. 3. Aeschylus. 4. After Aeschylus. 5. Conclusion.

Abstract: The paper shows the existence of a true reflection on the logos before philosophy. It proposes to look at the pre-philosophical tradition in Greek literature, and esp. in Greek poetry, from Homer to the time of Socrates, to find the presence of a kind of rational theology even before the properly philosophical one. From this perspective, Homer and Hesiod are regarded as the fathers of Greek theology not only for the contents of their narratives, but also for the form of their argumentations. For them logos was a guiding principle. Through the analysis of two specific examples, from Homer's and in Aeschylus' works, the presence of logos is shown at the very level of the interconnection and the discussions among different positions. The interest of this analysis for contemporary time is manifest through the epistemological impasse in Thucydides' relativistic and sceptical approach.

Keywords: Logos, Poetry, Rational Theology, Relativism, Homer, Aeschylus, Thucydides.