Oedipus and Thyestes among the Philosophers: Incest and Cannibalism in Plato, Diogenes, and Zeno

  title={Oedipus and Thyestes among the Philosophers: Incest and Cannibalism in Plato, Diogenes, and Zeno},
  author={Brian S. Hook},
  journal={Classical Philology},
  pages={17 - 40}
  • Brian S. Hook
  • Published 1 January 2005
  • Psychology
  • Classical Philology
ncest and cannibalism , the “unspeakables” of the tragic stage, appear with a direct and insistent regularity in Cynic and early Stoic writings. Diogenes, Zeno, and Chrysippus put these acts in the same context, as moral exempla of things permissible for the wise man, the one with “right reason.” 1 The reasons behind the philosophers’ choice of these “unspeakables” as paradigms were lost even in antiquity; later Stoics were sometimes embarrassed by Zeno’s Republic, largely because of these… 


The phrase sacra mensae appears in only a select number of instances from the first century a.d. onwards. This paper seeks to demonstrate that references to sacra mensae are not coincidental, and


This seminar will focus on two novels of unquestionable importance separated by just over a century: Goethe's Die Wahlverwandtschaften (Elective Affinities) of 1809 and Kafka's Der Prozess (The

El fenómeno del canibalismo en las fuentes literarias greco-romanas: su mención en la mitología y la filosofía antigua

This article tries to analyze and comment on the greater amount of references regarding the phenomenon of cannibalism that there exists in Greek and Latin literary tradition. After reviewing many of

The Specter of Tantalus: Didactic Latency in De rerum natura

At the end of his third book, Lucretius concludes his arguments against the fear of death and the neurotic desires brought on by this fear with a metaphor that has been difficult for interpreters to

Ancient Readings of Plato's "Phaedo"

Contents List of Contributors Introduction Sylvain Delcomminette, Pieter d'Hoine and Marc-Antoine Gavray Aristote et le Phedon Sylvain Delcomminette Strato of Lampsacus as a Reader of Plato's Phaedo:

Menipo cínico en Luciano de Samósata

Este articulo analiza la figura del cinico Menipo de Gadara en Necromancia , Icaromenipo y Dialogos de los muertos de Luciano de Samosata. Nuestro interes principal es contrastar los personajes y las

Scale in Action

  • R. Netz
  • History
    Scale, Space and Canon in Ancient Literary Culture
  • 2020

A Quantitative Model of Ancient Literary Culture

  • Linguistics
    Scale, Space and Canon in Ancient Literary Culture
  • 2020

Space in Action

Canon: The Evidence

  • Scale, Space and Canon in Ancient Literary Culture
  • 2020



Plato and Aristotle on the denial of tragedy

When Plato's and Aristotle's views on poetry are juxtaposed, it is usually for the purpose of contrast. Nowhere does the contrast seem to be so sharp as in the case of tragedy, by which both

Zeno's Ideal State

  • H. Baldry
  • Art
    The Journal of Hellenic Studies
  • 1959
Although we have more references to the Politela of Zeno of Kition than to any of his other works, our evidence for its character and content is so slight, open to dispute on so many points, and at

Socrates in Hellenistic Philosophy

  • A. Long
  • Philosophy
    The Classical Quarterly
  • 1988
In what sense did the Hellenistic philosophers see themselves as the heirs or critics of Socrates? Was Socrates, in their view, a philosopher on whom Plato was the decisive authority? What doctrines

The Prototypes of Seneca's Tragedies

IN AN article published elsewhere' I have argued that Seneca the dramatist never attempted to be the Roman successor of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, even though he may have borrowed from them

A History of Cynicism - From Diogenes to the 6th Century A.D.

To the student of ancient philosophy Cynicism may seem little more than a debased version of the ethics of Socrates, which exaggerates his austerity to a fanatic asceticism, hardens his irony to

Plato's Ethics

This book expounds and examines Plato's answer to the normative question, 'how ought we to live?' It discusses Plato's conception of the virtues; his views about the connection between these and

Plato and Aristotle on poetry

This book is a guide to the poetics of the two Greek fountainheads of Western literary theory. Part I traces the development of Plato's great themes of inspiration and imitation but makes no attempt

The Republic of Plato

From the Renaissance to the nineteenth century, Latin and Greek were compulsory subjects in almost all European universities, and most early modern scholars published their research and conducted

An Introduction to Plato's Republic

This interpretive introduction provides unique insight into Plato's Republic. Stressing Plato's desire to stimulate philosophical thinking in his readers, Julia Annas here demonstrates the coherence

Cities of the Gods: Communist Utopias in Greek Thought

Cities of the Gods is a historical study of the theory of Utopian communism in ancient Greek thought, identifying and assessing its several currents. The author looks at the reason for the decline of