German classicist's monumental study of the origins of European thought in Greek literature and philosophy. Brilliant, widely influential. Includes "Homer's View of Man," "The Olympian Gods," "The Rise of the Individual in the Early Greek Lyric," "Pindar's Hymn to Zeus," "Myth and Reality in Greek Tragedy," and "Aristophanes and Aesthetic Criticism.".
European thought begins with the Greeks. Scientific and philosophic thinking--the pursuit of truth and the grasping of unchanging principles of life--is a historical development, an achievement; and, as Bruno Snell writes in The Discovery of the Mind, nothing less than a revolution. The Greeks did not take mental resources already at their disposal and merely map out new subjects for discussion and investigation. In poetry, drama, and philosophy they in fact discovered the human mind. The stages in man's gradual understanding (...) of himself are revealed in the course of ancient literature from Homer to Virgil. A rational view of the nature of man slowly established itself in the creations of epic and lyric poetry, tragedy and literary criticism, pre-Socratic thought, and early Greek ethics all the way to the discovery of humanitas and the spiritual landscape of Virgil's Arcadia. The Discovery of the Mind is a landmark work in tracing this evolution of consciousness--one of the distinguishing characteristics of the history of man. (shrink)
English summary: Snell's magnum opus The Discovery of the Mind was in 1946 important for the reorientation of the postwar generation wrote DIE ZEIT upon Bruno Snell's 90th birthday in 1986. His continuously expanded compilations, dealing with studies on the formation of the European spirit by the Greeks, have since been translated into many world languages. Sixty years after their, first publication they have not lost inspiration. For his student Walter Jens, The Discovery of the Mind is the work of (...) a Hellenist, who is also an excellent writer. German description: Snells Hauptwerk Die Entdeckung des Geistes war 1946 wichtig fur die Neuorientierung der Nachkriegsgeneration, befand DIE ZEIT zu Bruno Snells 90. Geburtstag 1986. Seine in diesem Buch zusammengestellten und immer wieder erweiterten Studien zur Entstehung des europaischen Geistes bei den Griechen sind seither in alle Weltsprachen ubersetzt worden. Sie haben auch sechzig Jahre nach ihrer Erstveroffentlichung nichts von ihrer Inspiration verloren. Fur seinen Schuler Walter Jens ist Die Entdeckung des Geistes das Buch eines Grazisten, der ein vorzuglicher Schriftsteller ist. Die hier vorliegende 9. Auflage ist gegenuber der 8. Auflage unverandert. (shrink)