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Book Reviews Persephone. Three Essays on Religion and Thought in Magna Graecia. By Giinther Zuntz. (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1971. Pp. xiii + 425, mad 30 Plates. $29) This is a full-length archaeological, philological, and interpretative study of the development and .universalization of the goddess Persephone by the Western Greeks in contact with the cults of the ancient Sicilians, and in relation to Aphrodite and Demeter. The discussion covers among other subjects the originality of the Lokrian contribution to this development, and the place of Malta in the cults of Magua Graecia. Part II consists of a rehabilitation of the fragments of Empedocles' Katharmoi and its Hesiodic message of the sacredness of human life, with some attempt to relate this work to Empedocles' own physics, as well as to Pindar, Pythagoras and Plato. Part III tentatively re-interprets the so-called "Orphic Gold Leaves" kept in the Museums of Naples and London, and relates them both to Pythagorean belief and practice and to Persephone and the afterlife. One consequence of this study worth mentioning to the student of philosophy, is that the editions of these fragments found in H. Diels, O. Kern, and even Olivieri are to be used only with care and scepticism in a philosophical consideration of this component of ancient Greek religion. This student now has something more usable and definitive in Zuntz's edition of, and commentary on, the text of both the Empedoclean Katharmoi and the Gold Leaves fragments. V. TEJ~RA SUNY at Stony Brook Dialog und Dialektik: zur Struktur des platonischen Dialogs. By Hermann Gundert. (Amsterdam: Verlag B. R. Griiner, 1971. Pp. 166. DFL 35) This is the initial volume of a new series of publications devoted to classical philology and philosophy as cooperative methods of research. Here Hermann Gundert presents in book form, with some re-editing, his systematic examination of the dialectical structure of sixteen of the major dialogues which lend themselves to such analysis; of special significance is the detailed analysis of The Republic. (These researches had been published in 1968 in Studium Generale by Springer, Heidelberg.) Here are brought together with great precision and detail the results not only of his own studies but also of the studies of many other scholars who have recognized the value of Plato's Dialogues as classics of dialectical art. His list (pp. 160-161) of the major contributions that have been made in this field since Schleiermacher first called attention to it is indeed impressive; it might well have included the very recent works of Randall and Ryle. With great skill Gundert shows the development of the art by Plato from the early "Socratic" dialogues, through the elaboration of the Phaedo and the Republic among the "middle" dialogues, to the culmination of dialectic as the fundamental method of knowledge in the Parmenides, Theaetetus, Sophist, and Statesman. There is fortunately no attempt to interpret the Symposium as a dialectic structure, but there is a reference to Diotima's "ladder of love" as a dialectical progression. However, neither Diotima nor Socrates presents this "ladder" as anything but the "mystery" of the discipline of love as it strives toward pure beauty. But if such an ascent of Platonic love is interpreted also as the dialectical ascent of philosophy to [540] BOOK REVIEWS 541 wisdom, the culmination of the art is to be found in the "trilogy" of The Sophist, The Statesman, and The Philosopher. The third member of this projected trilogy was never written, for reasons which are excellent material for speculation without knowledge. A sophist can exploit dialectic world-without-end. A statesman must renounce his attempt to endure the "sunlight" and return to the Cave in the hope that he may possibly enlighten his fellowmen dwelling in the realm of shadows. A philosopher, however , must face the sunlight until it reveals to him the wisdom of the Ultimate Idea. But if he finds it, he is in a difficult dialectical position. Gundert~ who explores this difficulty with admirable skill, thinks that possibly Plato's awareness of this predicament may have dissuaded him from writing The Philosopher. Gundert's analysis of this culminating difficulty should be presented in his own concluding words: An entscheidenden...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 540-541
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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