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Some Psychological Terms in Greek Tragedy Author(s): T. B. L. Webster Source: The Journal of Hellenic Studies, Vol.

77, Part 1 (1957), pp. 149-154 Published by: The Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/628648 . Accessed: 04/08/2013 20:48
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SOME PSYCHOLOGICAL TERMS IN GREEK TRAGEDY


THE justification for including this article in a volume dedicated to Sir David Ross must be that the tragic poets reflect the psychological terminology of educated Athenian society during a period which corresponds almost exactly with the life-time of Socrates and includes the first twenty years or so of Plato's life. Of course the tragic poets wrote in a poetic language strongly influenced by Homer and less strongly by lyric poetry, but they were also influenced by contemporary thinkers, doctors, sophists, and philosophers. The present study' is confined to the words psyche, thymos, nous. kardia (and its synonyms), phren/phrenes, It may be useful first to note the range of usage of these words and secondly to point out very briefly the historical development. The range of usages of these words is difficult to define; in fact such definition cannot produce boxes into which instances can be sorted but may usefully mark points on the scale of meaning between which any given instance falls. Of the five words, kardia and phrenesare names for parts of the body, 'heart' and 'diaphragm'.2 It is perhaps rash to identify psyche3and thymoswith the cold/moist and hot/dry components of breath, but certainly in many passages of Homer they have some such physical meaning. Nous, however, is a verbal abstract and verbal abstracts in Greek mean not only a process but also the agent or the result of the process; as a process, it means 'appreciating the situation' in the military sense in which appreciate involves also making a plan; as an agent, it means 'the appreciating mind'; as a result, it means 'the plan or thought' which results from the appreciation. By analogy, I suspect, with nous the other words also can be used for mental processes and results as well as for agents; thymoscan already mean 'thought' in Homer, kardia 'courage' in Archilochos, and phrenes 'intention' in Solon.4 The full possible range of meaning is: (a) part of the body, (b) psychological agent, (c) psychological process, (d) result of psychological process. But these meanings fade into one another and any particular instance may be difficult to classify precisely. A physical part or constituent of the body can be a psychological agent in early Greek just as cornland can be the goddess Demeter, navigable water the god Okeanos, or a growing tree a nymph. Another distinction which had not yet been drawn clearly is the distinction between emotional and intellectual activity. Thus phrenes, thymos, and kradie to a large extent overlap in Homer (although phrenesis more often used in intellectual contexts than the other two), and noos can have an adjective apenesto describe Ajax's 'stubborn way of thinking' (Iliad 23, 484). Psyche, the word with the greatest future, has the least psychological extension in Homer. It is the breath blown out in death, which survives as a shadowy replica of the man. But because its absence means death its presence means life; and Achilles can speak of 'staking psyche' (Iliad 9, 322). So in the seventh century poets psyche is the living soul or life ;5 in the sixth century poets psyche can feel emotion.6 Parallel to this development in poetry we can probably assume that for the Milesians psyche was both life, the source of life, and the source of movement. Still probably in the sixth century psyche develops in two new directions. One is Pythagoras' transmigration of souls; for his use of psyche the slightly younger Xenophanes gives contemporary evidence (B 7); when Pythagoras saw a man beating a puppy, he told him to stop, 'for it is a friend's psyche, which I recognised when I heard its voice'. This psyche is individual because it is recognisable in a new shape, it feels pain, and has control over the voice. Secondly, Heraclitus distinguished not only reason and passions but also knowledge and sense perception: it is the function of psycheto understand the language of the senses (B Io7), and the battle with thymos(the source of desire) is lost at the price of psyche (B 85). Such very briefly is the pre-history. A new addition to fifth-century thought is the empirical is of the doctor. It of and the two doctors influenced by knowledge primarily Diogenes Apollonia him, the authors of Airs, etc., and of SacredDisease, who show some influence on tragedy, and their
1 In its original form this paper was part of a series on the general theme of the 'Relation of language to thought in ancient Greece', and was discussed by my colleagues in University College, London. I should like to express my gratitude for their criticisms and particularly to Mr. D. J. Furley, Mr. E. W. Handley (now published in Rh. Mus.), and Professor E. G. Turner for permission to use their papers on psychological terminology in Homer, the lyric poets, and Aristophanes. I am also much indebted to three dissertations, M. Assmann, Mens

rather for 'lungs'. 3 It is certainly attractive to suppose with R. B. Onians, op. cit., Io8 f., that psychewas very early connected with the cerebro-spinal fluid which was believed to be responsible for procreation. 4 Od. 9, 302; Archilochos 6o D; Solon 3, 2 D (this use but these passages could be otherwise interpreted). 5 E.g. Hesiod, Op. 686-7 (cf. the further development
may be already foreshadowed, Iliad 13, 431, Odyssey2, 117;

R. B. Onians, Origin of European Thought, 24 f., argues

et animus, Amsterdam I937, E. Harrison, Development of Thymos from Homer to Plato, Oxford I951 (unpublished), B. Meissner, Mythisches und Rationales in der Psychologie der euripideischenTragidie, G6ttingen 951 .

in E. Andr. 4I8). 6 E.g. Hipponax 42 D; Anakreon 4 D.

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work was known in Athens from about 430. Diogenes, according to Aristotle (A 20), equated psyche and air, and 'therefore the psyche has knowledge and can initiate motion'. The author of Sacred Disease (17 ff.) does not use the term psyche (perhaps because of its eschatological colour) and denies intelligence to phrenesand kardia; for him the brain is the essential organ, the centre of sensation, feeling, thought, and movement; it interprets what arises from the air and reports to the understanding (synesis). In Airs, etc., for the first time perhaps, soma and psyche are clearly contrasted as body and soul (23): 'uniformity of climate goes with slackness and variation with endurance both of body and of soul'. Moreover, the qualities of courage, etc., are described by the neuter adjective with the definite article (24) 'the brave and the steadfast would not be in the psyche'. The use is modelled on the similar use of 'the hot, the cold, the sweet, the bitter' by physicists and doctors, and signifies a material constituent for which another could be substituted. This implies a material psyche contrasted with a material soma and uniting psychic activities as the soma unites bodily activities. In the tragedians psychemay mean (a) life or life soul as in Homer.7 Evadne in E. Suppl. (1024) will not betray Kapaneus by her psyche, by going on living.8 Ajax tells his son to 'cherish his young psyche' (559), his whole living person; in the same physical sense the infant Orestes wore away his nurse's psyche (Cho. 749), the adult Orestes, if he fails to obey Apollo, will pay with his own psychehe will be tortured by disease to the end of his life (Cho. 276) 9-and the banqueters in E. Ion ( 170) filled their psyche with good food. Psyche may also mean (b) the soul after life as in Homer.Io Psyche (c) as in the lyric poets can be affected by sorrow, anger, pleasure, joy, love."I Four Euripidean passages are interesting here. Hippolytos (Ioo6) claims 'to have parthenos psyche' a soul unaffected by sexual attraction, and this is an enduring characteristic. Phaedra's psyche is bound to her bed by grief (I6o) and Medea's nurse (Io8) wonders what her psyche 'deeply feeling, hard to check', will do. In both these passages psyche besides feeling emotion stands for the person who feels the emotion; it is not a synonym for Phaedra or Medea but signifies them in their psychological aspect. The contrast between soul and body underlies this use. Similarly, where Pindar (0. I, 58) says simply that Tantalos is astray from happiness, Euripides restricts the verb by an internal accusative and says that the man who has lost his fortune is 'psychicallyastray from his former well-being' (Tro. In these passages psyche means a particular feeling soul. This is 640).12 emphasised by the grammar in S. Phil. 712, where the chorus say of Philoctetes: dEAdE'a !vxda, )s3 of wine'. UoS olvoXv'rov 4rfLta-ros gcrq0, 'wretched soul, in that he never even had the pleasure o Change of grammatical person is also found in E. Or. 466: oI, ,J bvX7j 4, r'Atva soul '" Kapoa like Philoctetes dr'dSwK'dLof9 ot Kaads. Here, however, Orestes is not addressing a feeling but a daring or enduring soul. The traditional Homeric address to the enduring soul (kardia, ... avaravE thymos),which continues in the second person, is found in S. Trach. 1260: w "vXb cTKA7pav -qo4v. Psyche (d) as the organ of daring, courage, and endurance perhaps takes its origin from such Homeric phrases as 'staking psyche' which implies the possession of these qualities; then Tyrtaeus (9, I8) speaks of 'staking psyche and enduring thymos'; then psycheis equated with and substituted for 'enduring thymos', and is commonly so used in tragedy, Pindar, and prose.'3 So Haimon (S. Ant. 707) contrasts 'having psyche'with 'having a tongue' and 'being wise'. Iphitos in E. Suppl. I102 says that nothing is pleasanter for an old father than a daughter, 'men's psychai are greater but less gentle in endearments'. The great psychaiof the sons are enduring, daring, etc. The daughters' psychai have an intellectual element (e) which thinks out how to please their fathers. This sense is not found in Aeschylus although we have noted it already in Heraclitus. But the guard in S. Ant. 227 is addressed by his psyche, which places alternatives before him. Odysseus instructs Neoptolemos to deceive the psycheof Philoctetes with fictions (55), and Philoctetes describes Odysseus' training of Neoptolemos: 'your evil psyche always looking through peepholes taught him'. Psyche here is not a feeling or an enduring soul but a soul with a capacity for conceiving or apprehending plans.I4 Odysseus' psyche uses intellectual power to gratify a desire. The control of desire is equally possible: 'a wise psyche with just thoughts is a better planner than any
7 (i) A. Eum. I14 = S. OT. 94 E. Or. 847, cf. Hdt. I, 112, 3; Thuc. 3, 39, 8; Lysias 22, 20 (origin Iliad 22, I63). (ii) A. Ag. 965 (to Agamemnon); E. Tro. I 134 Hdt. 4, I90, cf. Thuc. I, 136, 4; Antiphon 5, 82; Pindar N. I, 47. 8 So Wecklein. The Bud6 translation 'jamais en mon cceur je ne t'aurai trahi' finds a possible parallel in Tro. 640. 9Cf . Bacchylides 5, 15 . -o E.g. A. Pers. 630, Ag. 965 (to the audience); S. OC. 998; E. Or. 674. 1 E.g. A. Pers. 841; S. Ant. 930; El. 218; E. Alc. io8, etc. Cf. Pindar P. 4, 122; Hdt. 3, 40, 4; Isocrates, Hel. 55n2 S. O T. 727 Obvzxi trAd'vrqjla is similar, there of amazement. Cf. also E. fr. 1038 N. 13 E.g. A. Pers. 442, Ag. I643; E. Hec. 580; HF. 626, 1366; Pindar, P I, 48; N9, 39; Hdt. 3, 14, I; Thuc. 2,. 40, 3; Lysias 20, 24. In Antiphon 5, 93, Lysias 24, this meaning is combined with the soul/body antithesis:3 the enduring soul saves or heals the tired or crippled body. '4 Cf. S. El. 903; E. Andr. 159; IT. Tro. I I71; 88I; and with S. Phil. 1014 particularly Hdt. 7, I6, a 2. Cf. also Ar. Nub. 319. E. R. Dodds, The Greeks and the Irrational, 138 f. seems to me to underrate these passages which are partly omitted, partly misinterpreted by Burnet in PBA 1915-I6, 253 f.

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SOME PSYCHOLOGICAL

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Alternatively intelligence may be called a constituent of the psyche: Orestes sophist' (S. fr. IoiP).'5 knows that Electra's psychepossesses i- avV'Erdv (E. Or. i I8o). E. Harrison in his above-mentioned dissertation adds the similar use of 'the frightened' in Bacchae 1268. This is the terminology of the doctors and implies a psyche made up of a number of different constituents, intellectual, moral, and emotional. The right balance of these constituents can be achieved and maintained by philosophy just as the right balance of constituents in the body can be achieved and maintained by medicine.'6 The balance may immediately affect the body: 'when the body has given up, psychesaves it, willing to endure because conscious of innocence', writes Antiphon about 415. This planning soul may also be the traditional life-soul so that Antiphon earlier could appeal to a jury 'to deprive the accused of the psychewhich planned the crime'.'7 The belief that the living soul survived after death to be rewarded for its virtues or punished' for its crimes accounts for a further meaning, (f) the most precious part of the personality, in Pindar's second Olympian(68) : 'all who persevered . . . to keep their psychefrom injustice, took Zeus' road to Kronos' palace'. But the meaning is found in Sophocles and Euripides in contexts free of any such eschatological allusion, when for instance Kreon accuses the guard of 'selling his psyche for money' (Ant. 322) or Theseus tells Hippolytos that he shall 'never master' Theseus' psyche (Hipp. Io40).18 The same phrase, however, used by Oedipus (OC. 1207) when he has been persuaded to see Polyneikes has the further meaning: dispose of me in life and death. Near this meaning, too, is the curious line in the Antigone (317), where the guard asks Kreon whether the news of Polyneikes' burial bites his ears or his psyche and explains that the doer angers his phrenes and the messenger his ears. Phrenesand psyche are here equated as the part affected by genuine as distinct from superficial anger; so also when Kreon says 'you shall not buy my phren' (i063), the expression is exactly parallel to his earlier 'you have sold your psyche' (322). We have noted several instances where psyche means a particular soul, feeling, enduring, or planning and so stands for the person in his psychical aspects, distinguished from his physical aspects or body. But in Sophocles and Euripides psyche may also simply mean (g) a person without any further emphasis on the soul as distinct from the body than the implied recognition that the soul controls the body. The blind Oedipus, asking Ismene to sacrifice to the Eumenides for him, says (OC. 498): 'one psyche performing these rites, if well disposed, is as good as a myriad men'.'9 Finally (h) psyche, like the other words, and presumably by analogy with them, comes to mean a mental process or state. Thus in the Antigone (176) Kreon couples it with phronema and gnomeand the three mean 'courage and wisdom and eloquence',2o whereas Haimon in the parallel passage (70o8) quoted above, couples psychewith the organ glossa. Tyndareus asks Orestes (E. Or. 526) : 'what psyche had you then, when your mother showed you her breast in supplication?' what was your state of mind that you could endure her prayers without being moved by them. This is also found in Lysias.21 This meaning is not found in Aeschylus nor does he use psychefor the psychological as distinct from the physical side of the personality (the seeming exception (Sept. 1034) comes from the false end of the Septem). Where psyche comes nearest to meaning personality, it is still physical personality, but to some extent, as we shall see, the other words fill its place. Thymosonce in Aeschylus has its Homeric meaning of life-breath (Ag. 1388); in all the tragedians it can mean mind;zz it can feel fear, joy, elation, love and other emotions;23 particularly it is the source of courage ;24 it can also mean courage, desire, or anger.25 The boundary between courage and source of courage, between desire or anger and that which feels desire or anger, is not clearly marked and we may not always be certain which is meant: for instance, when Medea says, /4) S7-a, 6OvLd, aov y' 'pycda it is certainly -rc8E (I056), Homeric parallels suggest that she is addressing her angry soul, butp) arguable that she is addressing a personified Anger-the Anger which later she calls 'the cause of the greatest human ills' and 'stronger than her reasoning' (lo79).z6 In the latter passage, whether in implied criticism of Socrates or not,27 intellect expressed in
Ss Cf. S. fr. 472 P; E. fr. 388 N; Isocrates 13, 17. I6 Democritus B 31; Isocrates II, 22; 13, 8. Both perhaps dependent on Socrates, but the idea in its simplest form that the words of a friend can cure wounded feelings is found A. PV 380 (cf. G. Thomson ad loc.). '7 Antiphon 5, 93; 4, a 7. On the chronology see K. J. Dover, CQ. 44 (1950), 44 f. 18 Cf. S. Ant. 559; E. Bacch. 75 (with Dodds ad loc.); Lysias I, 33. '9 Cf. S. Aj. 154; Ant. Io69; E. Hec. 87; Med. 247; Hipp. 259; Phoen. 1297, 1552. 20o phronema and psyche are similarly parallel in E. Heracl. 926. 21 E.g. Lysias 6, 23; 32, 12. 22 E.g. A. PV. 706 = S. OT. 975 = Hdt. I, 84, 4; S. Ant. 493; E. El. 577.
23 E.g. A. Suppl. 566; PV. 539; S. OT. 914; Aj. 955; E. Med. 8; Hipp. I 14. Cf. Antiphon 4, y 2; Hdt. 7, 39, I (which is a variation on the theme of S. Ant. 3I7 f.). 24 E.g. E. IA. 919; HF. 121o. Cf. Hdt. I, 120, 3; 8, I30, 3; Andocides 3, 31. z5 Courage: A. Sept. 507; S. El. 26. Cf. Thuc. I, 49, 3. desire: S. El. 1318; E. Med. 3Io0. Cf. Hdt. I, I, 4; Parmenides B I, I. anger: A. Suppl. 448; S. OC. 1197; E. Med. 1079, etc. Cf. Hdt. I, 137, Thuc. 2, 11, 7. I; 26 Cf. also E. Med. 310 (desire or desiring soul), S. El. 26 (courage or courageous soul). 27 Cf. E. R. Dodds, op. cit., 186. B. Snell, Philologus, 97 (i948), 134 suggests that these lines caused Socrates to assert that virtue is knowledge. I think E. may allude to Socrates' questioning of acknowledged authorities in Med. 300-I.

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bouleumatais the victim of her passion, expressed in thymos. Such moments of decision had particularly interested Aeschylus also and he used a variety of images to express them. These must be examined together although they contain kardia and phren as well as thymos. In the Persae (767) Here thymosis a ship Dareios says of one of the Persian kings qp'ves yap av3o1 OvpvUcwaKOUrrpdo'ovv. steered by phrenes, intellect; thymosis the feelings. (The nautical metaphor recurs in a contemporary poem of Bacchylides 17, 23 &oaov PEvCOvOv?"dV,which I take to KVBEpva q 7rav urW 03KE mean 'the feelings within your breast you no longer control and therefore they are unscrupulous'; the metaphor is weaker and phrenesis a part of the body.) The ship may be diverted or propelled by a wind: Io in the Prometheus(883) is carried off her course by the mad wind of frenzy. In Cho. 39028 the wind is 'bitter thymos,wrathful hatred' blowing 'before the prow of the heart'; kardia here takes the place of thymosin Persae 767; phrenesin the preceding line seems to be the imagination which foresees vengeance, but the exact reading is uncertain. In the moment of decision in the Agamemnon, Agamemnon (187) is first described as 'breathing with the sudden disaster'; as E. Fraenkel says, he let himself be carried in the same direction; then he takes the decision to sacrifice Iphigeneia In both passages it is Agamemnon who 'breathes' because KTA. (218). 7-po7ralaV q~pEV0s9 7Y'dow 8vU'Eg3his responsibility; in the second his impious desire is Aeschylus stresses gpow7rac because it takes place in the phren (i.e. the soul as a whole), just as Antigone is heldqpEv' by gusts of bvX-qdvE'/yov 'soul-winds' (S. Ant. 929). The ship is a further elaboration which introduces the possibility of conflict and control into the traditional Homeric idea of courage breathed into a man by a god or wrath which he breathes out.29 A racing chariot may be substituted for the ship. When Orestes feels himself going mad in the Choephori(1022), he develops the chariot image of Anacreon: 'you are the charioteer of my psyche'. He says: 'I am driving my chariot off the course. I am being overcome and carried away by my phrenesbeyond control. Fear is ready to sing to my heart, and my heart to dance to the tune of wrath.' Phrenes here is diseased intellect, the power of control which has become itself uncontrollable. The imagery then changes from driving to music; fear (of Klytemnestra's Furies) will serenade his heart, and his heart will dance to the tune played by Klytemnestra's Furies (the Wrath of 1025 is expanded in o1054 to 'my mother's wrathful hounds'). This will drive him off the course of sanity. The dance is also, as Thomson says, a heightened synonym for the physical throbbing of the heart; so when Io is carried off her course by the wind of frenzy, she says 'my heart kicks at my breast in fear and my eyes roll'. We must not therefore follow Fraenkel in rejecting entirely the physical interpretation in a very difficult chorus of the Agamemnon(988 f.) : I observe Agamemnon's return with my eyes; but my thymosself-taught sings a Fury's dirge; man's inward parts are not deceived, the heart circling in conclusive motion against the just breast. Observation of Agamemnon's return should give rise to joy; instead it gives rise to fear. This is one conflict; thymos,the feelings, reacts in its own way instead of agreeing with the eyes; it sings a Fury's dirge much as Orestes kardia listens to the song of Fear. The second conflict is, as it were, superposed on the physical heartbeats, much as Orestes' heart dances to the Furies; the heart feels certain foreboding and therefore its motion is 'conclusive'; it beats against the breast (cf. Io), which being mind (phrenes)knows that justice will be done. I have lingered over these passages because Aeschylus is concerned to express as exactly as possible by imagery and description what happens in these moments of psychological stress. Such stresses have their physical concomitants, quickened breathing and beating heart;30 therefore he locates them in the chest. The victim feels that he is going off his course. Thymosor kardiafeel the desire or fear or anger like winds or music. Phrenes,the hard midriff which can be thought of as withstanding the panting and throbbing, is the mind which only loses control completely in madness. We can then pass on to other instances of kardia and phrenes. Kardia very commonly feels emotion:3' in the Hecuba ( 1129) Agamemnon tells Polymestor to cast 'the barbarous' out of his heart: 'the barbarous' is a constituent of his heart, as 'the intelligent' is a constituent of Electra's psyche (Or. I I80). Medea, like Odysseus in the Odyssey, appeals to her heart when she needs courage.32 The heart can also see, hear, understand, and even speak; but probably only performs these intellectual operations when emotion is involved;33 in particular 'to speak from the heart' is to speak the truth undeterred by fear.34 Like the other words, kardia can also mean a mental process or its result: Kreon, when persuaded to bury Polyneikes, says, 'I abandon my cherished
Cf. Lesky, Sitzb. Ak. Wiss. Wien, 221 (I943), 3, 70 f. 29 Cf. Becker, 'Bild des Weges', Hermes, Einzelschriften, 4 (1937), I68 ff. 3o For kardia in this psycho-physical sense, cf. also Ag. 1121, Cho. 183; E. Bacch. I288. In prose kardia is only used of the physical organ and the author of the Sacred Disease (17 ff.) denies it intelligence. 3' E.g. A. Ag. 592 (KWap); Sept. 781; S. Ant. io85; E. Med. 245, 433.
z8 32 Cf. S. OT. 688; E. Alc. 837; HF. 833 (cf. 626 with psyche instead of kardia). 33 A. Ag. 179, 977, 996; 1028; Eum. Io3; Suppl. 466; E. Hipp. 912. 34 E. IA. 475; fr. 412 N. Cf. A. Eum. 679; S. fr. 393 P 'to open the closed gate of the psyche'. (The distinction between 'ears' and psyche/phren in S. Ant. 317 f. is not unlike this.)

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SOME PSYCHOLOGICAL TERMS IN GREEK TRAGEDY

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desire (kardia), so as to do it' (S. Ant. i 105) and Medea says (1042), 'my heart (i.e. my courage) is gone', when she sees her children.35 Phrenes may simply be the physical midriff.36 The psycho-physical use in conjunction with kardia seems to be confined to Aeschylus (see above). But in Sophocles phreneshave a relation to the body: Oedipus has not even grown wits in old age (OC. 804). So in Herodotos (3, I34, 3) phrenesincreases as the body increases and grows old with it as it grows old. A yet more direct connection is shown by his statement about Kambyses: 'if the body is greatly diseased it is natural that the phrenes also should be unhealthy' (3, 33). This is the view of the author on the Sacred Disease, but he speaks of the brain and denies intelligence to the phrenes. The commonest meaning, mind, need only be illustrated in certain special uses. (a) In a number of passages emotion may disturb, damage, or destroy phren without causing complete madness as in the case of Orestes (see above): when Helen saw Paris she was driven out of her wits by his beauty.37 (b) Various relations between phren and the senses are mentioned. The division may merely be between reception by the senses and understanding with a view to contemplation and action: Agamemnon's majesty performed its will through the ears and the phrenesof the people.38 Similarly the eyes may be the outward expression of the phren: Ajax' twisted eye and twisted phrenes departed from his plan (Aj. 447), and Oedipus made his charge against Kreon with level eye and level mind (0 T. 528). Or the words heard or spoken may be at variance with the feeling or thought which they cause or express. We have already noticed the distinction in the Antigone(317 f.) between superficial anger felt in the ears and genuine anger felt in the phrenesor psyche. A similar contrast underlies Hippolytos' famous line (612) : 'my tongue has sworn, but my phrenis unsworn'. (c) Without this contrast with expressed thought, phren, like kardia,can be the source of genuine, sincere utterance: 'I will lay bare my phren to my husband', and so can have moral epithets-true, good, pious, etc.39 Phren can feel fear, joy, or anger without thereby losing its intellectual balance, and so perform the same function as kardia, etc.40 The nurse in the Medea (Io3) speaks of the 'wild character and hateful nature of (Medea's) stubborn phren' five lines before she speaks of her psyche, deeply feeling, hard to check: there is no distinction between the words. Phrenesalso, like kardia and psyche, can have constituents expressed by the article and the neuter adjective: 'the scowling and contracted' (Alc. 797), 'the irritable and the tyrannical' (Bacch. 670), 'the swift and the nimble' (fr. Io32 N), 'the proud' (Suppl. 217), 'the noble' (Hipp. 1390), 'the modest' (Andr. 365), 'the loyal' Eros lives iv 7~fr. (S. OC. 1488). KcKtarUT 7irv ?pEvwv (E. It is not always easy to distinguish mind from thinking 1054). and still harder to distinguish thinking from thought. When Hyllos prays that Deianira may get better phrenesthan her present phrenes, phrenes means way of thinking.4' Phrenes can also mean 'right way of thinking'; Fraenkel so in A. Ag. 175. Herodotos uses the phrase: interprets rTEdvEraEL qpEv v r 7Tav -w65vbpEv&Wv, 'You have sailed out of right thinking'; the metaphor of the ship survives fromdE'17TAwoas Aeschylus.42 When, however, Teiresias tells Kreon (Ant. o1015) that the city is suffering from his phren,phrenmeans something like 'plan',43 and in this meaning phren can have an adjective: 'unhappy ones, you came to the idea of single combat' tzovotcdXovEl q'p'va (E. Phoen. 1299). In the meanings 'thinking' and 'right way of thinking' nous and phrenes are identical:44 thus Herodotos speaks once of people 'sailing out of their nous' (6, 12, 3) and Euripides in the Bacchae(269) having said there are no phrenesin Pentheus' words continues, he is a bad citizen who has no nous ('to have nous'in the sense of to think sensibly is common in prose). Nous meaning 'way of thinking' can also be juxtaposed with phrenesmeaning 'mind' (E. fr. 212 N), and this is probably the explanation of the difficult 7ovvov 7' da/Ellwo r16vqOpevw^V in S. Ant. 0o9o, 'the thinking of his mind'. Further nous 'expressed thought' can be contrasted with nous 'right thinking': 'this particular sense is senseless' In the Antigone passage 'better nous in his phrenes'would, according to Teiresias, prevent Kreon pouring out his thymos; the contrast between phren and thymoshas already been noted in Aeschylus; here nous 'right thinking' is contrasted with thymos 'anger'. In the Oedipus Coloneus (659) threats are made in anger (Ovey), but when nous gains control of itself, the threats are gone-i.e. when mind controls its own thinking. Nous can traditionally feel emotion although such passages are
Cf E. Hec. 1027; IA. I173. 36 A. PV. 361; S. Trach. 931. 37 E. Tro. 992. Cf. A. Cho. 21I; 233; S. OT. 727; Trach. 538; E. Hipp. 283. 38 A. Cho. 55, cf. 45I; Ag. I052; Sept. 25; S. Aj. I6. Cf. also the dialogue in Democritus B 125 between phren and the senses. 39 E. Tro. 662. Cf. S. OT. 528 (already quoted); E. Med. 661; Hipp. 926; 1454; fr. 212 N. 4o E.g. A. Suppl. 379; Pers. I 5; Eum. 301; S. Trach. 217; OT. I53; E. Hec. 85; Phoen. I284; IA. I580.
35
42 The normal prose phrase is given by Lysias fr. 90 rrapaAAaTTetv Cov bpeSVCov. Cf. E. Bacch. 269, etc. 43 Cf. A. Pers. 472; PV 34; Suppl. 1050; S. Ant. 993; E. Hipp. 685. Mr. E. W. Handley pointed out to me that Pindar, P. 5, 19 is especially like S. Ant. 1015. 44 E.g. A. PV. 392; S. OT. 1347; El. 1023, 1027; E. Hipp. 920; fr. 25/4 N.

(E. IA. 1139).

41 S. Trach. 736; cf. E. Bacch. 1270.

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T. B. L. WEBSTER

not very common in tragedy.45 Two are interesting. 'The young nous suffers much when grieved' (Ant. 767); here Sophocles expresses the same idea that we have noticed in the Oedipus Coloneus should increase with age.46 A different relation between mind and body is the (804)-wisdom contrast between the slave's body (or name) and his free nous.47 The second passage of particular interest is Hekabe's accusation of Helen in the Trojan Women (987). 'My son was surpassingly beautiful. Your nous having seen him was made into Kypris. For any folly is Aphrodite in men's views . . . You were driven out of your wits' (phrenes:cf. above). Nous receives and operates on a visual impression: so the difficult line in the Helen (122) where Teucer answers Helen's doubts: 'I saw her with my eyes and nous sees' (i.e. recognition follows sensation), and more relevantly in a passage which similarly rates virtue above beauty, 'the criterion is not the eyes but the mind' (fr. 909/6 N). Helen, instead of so interpreting her sensation, was driven out of her wits; her nous became passion instead of reason, or more subtly 'was made into Kypris': like other weak mortals she claimed that Aphrodite had conquered her. We have seen that Hippolytos' 'unsworn phren' denotes the organ of his private as distinct from his public behaviour. Nous already in Homer meant an organ of private or mental as distinct from public or bodily behaviour.48 So in the Trachiniae (272) Iphitos' eye is on one thing but his nous is elsewhere, and in the Ion (251) Kreousa is in Delphi but her nous returns to Athens some eighteen years before.49 Finally, in Hekabe's prayer in the Trojan Women (886), 'nous of men' is one of the alternative definitions of Zeus; the allusion is probably to Diogenes of Apollonia, whose air is both god and human noesis. So in the Helen (1014) 'the nous of the dead does not continue living but has immortal power (gnome: the decision which guides the world, cf. Diogenes B 3), merged in the immortal aither'. In the Supplices (532) the terminology is even nearer Diogenes: 'the pneumato the aither, the body to earth'. Pneumais breath, the air of Diogenes. The epitaph on the fallen at Poteidaia (432 B.c.) substitutes psychefor pneuma: 'aither received their psychai, earth their bodies'.5o Psyche is perhaps a slightly easier word for a public monument since the allusion to philosophy is not quite so clear and it would be possible to think of the souls becoming stars, as in Aristophanes's Peace (832). In two passages of Sophocles, where there is no allusion to any such doctrine, nous is nevertheless used as the equivalent of psyche in the sense of particular determining soul: Phil. 12o8, 'my nous is bent on blood now, seeking my father', El. 913, 'my mother's nous is not wont to do such things nor would she have done it unseen'. The great overlap of meanings is partly due to the convenience of poetry, partly to the traditional use of the same words for mental functions which were in Plato's time differentiated. They can all mean feelings or mind, but only psyche, thymos,kardia can mean the source of courage and courage as a state of mind; only phrenesand nous can mean mind as distinct from the senses, or the organ of private as distinct from public behaviour (in the sense defined above), and only they have the secondary meaning 'way of thinking' or 'right way of thinking'. Because psyche means life, living soul, and immortal soul (whatever kind of immortality is supposed for it), it can most easily be substituted for the person, particularly when the person is described as feeling, daring, or thinking, when his mental activities are distinguished from his bodily activities or are regarded as the most precious part of his personality; occasionally phren and nous, as we have seen, come near to these uses of psyche. These interesting extensions of psyche are post-Aeschylean. With them we see also the new conception of the mind (psyche, kardia, phren) as composed of constituents described by a neuter adjective and the conception of the mind (nous) as physically composed of air, which will ultimately rejoin the air-mind of the world. The earlier Aeschylean psychology can truly be called psycho-physical because it is based on the physical phrenesrestraining beating kardia and panting thymos, physically registering the emotions which are restrained by reason. This is a satisfactory description of the divided personality at moments of decision and in its description of conflict between phrenesand thymos/kardia foreshadows the Platonic description of the divided soul. The localisation of all psychological functions in the brain made the physical side of this interpretation impossible, and the conflict was transferred in the second half of the fifth century to a psyche, which some doctors located in the brain and some thinkers identified with air; it was physical because it was still as always responsible for life; it was material because it was composed of 'the loyal', 'the barbarous', etc. But it was nevertheless essentially the soul in distinction from the body. T. B. L. WEBSTER. UniversityCollege,London.
47 S. fr. 940 P; E. Hel. 730 (where E. uses phrenes instead of nous in the next line; cf. fr. 83 1 N). 48 E.g. Odyssey 2, 92 (cf. Hdt. 3, 100, 3); I, 347; Iliad 15, 80. 49 Cf. 1370o. In Hec. 603 nous is responsible for
45 E.g. A. Cho. 742; PV. I63. 46 Cf. A. Sept. 622.

generalisations as distinct from what is needed at the In spite of its Homeric ancestry the freedom of moment. nous to range apart from the body was apparently interesting and surprising in the fifth century, cf. Ar. Ach. 396 ff. 5s IG, I, 442 = Kaibel, Epigr. gr., 21. E. fr. IoI8 is sometimes quoted in this connection but means rather 'nous is an uncanny powerful thing like a god'.

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