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Inner Purity and Pollution in Greek ReligionVolume I: Early Greek Religion$
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Andrej Petrovic and Ivana Petrovic

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198768043

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198768043.001.0001

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The Theognidea on Straight Minds and Moral Purity

The Theognidea on Straight Minds and Moral Purity

(p.115) 6 The Theognidea on Straight Minds and Moral Purity
Inner Purity and Pollution in Greek Religion

Andrej Petrovic

Ivana Petrovic

Oxford University Press

Chapter 6 looks at poetry ascribed to Theognis, which displays a keen interest in discussing moral goodness and badness. In the Theognidea the noun nous denotes the seat of moral character, and the adjective katharos is used in a markedly moral sense. The chapter discusses the request to Apollo to ‘straighten the tongue and mind’ in the context of the sympotic prayer (vv. 757–64), and argues that it amounts to a request for euphemia and inner purification. For Theognis, religious and social behaviour are intrinsically entangled, which is evident in further passages in which he refers to a true friend’s pure mind, katharos nous (v. 89), and to inner purity as a permanent state resistant to outward pollutants (vv. 447–52).

Keywords:   Theognidea, pure mind, nous, Apollo, straightness, kakoi, justice, moral purity, prayer, agathoi

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