How far has the Western intellect come since Homer and the earliest Greek philosophers? Nearly three millennia have passed and in our own eyes we have made enormous progress since those times, especially in the last five centuries. But this, of course, depends on our peculiar way of reading Homer and the first philosophers. We take it for granted that their knowledge of natural science was rudimentary, that it hardly qualified as science. But this book argues that Homer and Parmenides were accomplished astronomers, geographers, physiologists and psychologists. The book bases its argument on the detail of their works and on the testimony of ancient commentators. In the modern context this is a quite new way of reading Homer and Parmenides, but it is also a very old one. Over the last millennium the West has moved from a religion without a natural science to a natural science without a religion. The culture in our era which best united the sciences of nature with the spirit was the ancient Greek. This book considers two of its institutions, the Homeric Odyssey and the Delphic Oracle.
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