Circa 410 BC, The Greek philosopher Socrates (469 – 399 BC) teaches his doctrines to the young Athenians whilst awaiting his execution. Original Artwork: An engraving after a painting by Pinelli. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
This series is produced in collaboration with The Conversation.
We kickoff our series on truth – how we use it, how we abuse it, what it means and what it’s worth to us.
Beth Daley, editor and general manager of The Conversation U.S. (@BethBDaley)
Joel Christensen, a professor of classical studies at Brandeis University. Author of “The Many-Minded Man: The Odyssey, Psychology and the Therapy of Epic.” (@sentantiq)
On the ancient Greek view of truth, and the poetry of Homer and Hesiod
Joel Christensen: “From the beginning, there’s this connection between divinity and truth that has poetry as its mediator, which I think is critical. One of the things we often fail to understand about the ancient world is that poetry was the language of law and science, as well as what we might now called literature and religion. So if you went to the Oracle to get a prophecy, she would other the same meter as Homeric or hesiodic poetry, and they would record laws in the same way. And so there is not this sort of divide between poetry, creative arts and science — or logic and philosophy — that you would think of in the modern day.