How can I become a better sycophant

M. Strothmann: Eidinow, Envy, Poison and Death 8 Esther Eidinow: Envy, Poison, and Death. Women on Trial in Classical Athens. Oxford: Oxford UP 2016. XII, 421 p. 2 fig. 70 £. Theoris, Ninon and Phryne, three women in Athens in the 4th century BC BC, shared the same fate. They were brought to trial as defendants. Two of them were sentenced to death and executed, while Phryne was acquitted. The reasons for the accusation were officially based on the use of supernatural powers, but in this volume the author has set herself the task of using the parameters envy, poison and death to search for the actual basis of assessment of the indictment and conviction. Using these three terms, she structures her work, which is generally characterized by sociological discussions on the topic and takes a new approach to social history. The study sees itself as a contribution to gender research and aims to break down rigid categories that are based on male-oriented communication and reception patterns. With concepts and values ​​such as gender, magic, religion and legality, there is a risk of classifying women in these categories and always seeing them ‘in relation to’ and less independently; In addition, descriptions of processes in which women were involved are often given as a by-product or as an effect of a male crime. Here she deliberately takes a look at the communication structure of society and locates emotions as a social phenomenon, with which she succeeds in changing access to the relationship between understanding and emotion. In fact, female characteristics are often connoted as having an emotional impact, and male characteristics are linked to rational considerations. The author, however, assigns emotions a new role by classifying them as cultural models or schemes and understanding them in their creative role to the effect that they help us to organize experiences and classify them individually as well as collectively, thus removing them from the gender-specific context out. In the following, she uses this definition to clarify the concept of envy (phthonos). In most societies, envy has negative connotations; in the Greek environment we hear of the envy of the gods who involuntarily conjure up heroes. Envy is the expression of deeper, often darker emotions that break through in rechen gossip ’(gossip). Gossip is understood here as an extremely influential communicative action that has an impact on social interaction and has also found its way into court proceedings. This is how gossip finds its functional allocation in the public and in the private sector. The author once again separates the role of gossip as a secret. The allocation of envy and gossip under the term poison ’appears to be very original. This poison can also have fatal consequences. The author deals with these consequences in the last major section on death. It explains the political and economic situation in Athens in the 4th century BC. BC, in which forces such as envy and chatter can lead to death, especially when used in court. It is with this framework that the author sets out to investigate judicial processes in Athenian society in the 4th century BC. To understand anew. Especially in court proceedings, the spheres of speech - action, reaction and deed - are concentrated in the form of groups of people who are involved in a special interactive communicative process. This makes the author's research approach, the actual GNOMON 1/93/2021 M. Strothmann: Eidinow, Envy, Poison and Death 9 foundations for reaching a judgment behind the lines of argument in deeper layers of communication and exchange, both promising and complex . First, the author introduces her three protagonists, the accused Theoris, Ninon and Phryne, in detail. Theoris, probably an Athenian citizen, was charged and executed.1 However, the sources disagree on the cause of the charge. Demosthenes writes that she could cure the holy disease, Plutarch assumes in his life of Demosthenes that she was a priestess and 'taught slaves to deceive'.2 Philochorus speaks of a seeress (mantis) who was convicted of Asebie is, 3 a common accusation among the Athenian politicians of the 4th century. Remarkably, this reproach was not brought against the priestess Ninon; she was accused by the young sycophant Menekles of having prepared potions for young men, 4 on the other hand, in the case of Josephus, the charge was an introduction to the mysteries of foreign gods Accused of supernatural powers and killed as a result. The beautiful Aphrodite priestess Phryne, on the other hand, was acquitted in a sensational case - here the charge was also of 'godlessness' (asebeia) - because of her physical beauty.6 In order to examine the accusation of asebeia against women, the author questioned fictional stories like the fables of Aesop. Women who deal with supernatural powers - this is where the concept of magic comes into play, promising to appease the anger of the gods by means of incantations (epoidai), promising a more beautiful life - are always sued for Asebie. The term is more comprehensive than the accusation of pure godlessness, it also includes contact with foreign or unrecognized gods who can benefit the polis, but can also cause damage. The use of pharmaka does not necessarily lead to the accusation of Asebie, as the author elaborates on three examples from the sources, once based on the court speech by Antiphon Against the Stepmother, then from the philosophical field, 7 finally from a biographical story.8 All three accused women, of whom we only know Aretaphila by name through Plutarch's story, were charged with murder and defended themselves by arguing that the result of death after the love potion was unintentional. The damage did not result from the intention to poison a victim, which calls into question the use of supernatural or divine powers. This eliminated the accusation of the Asebie. The creation of pharmaka, even if it led to death as a defined love potion, was not necessarily under the influence of supernatural or divine powers and was therefore not per se punishable. The charges against women can be summarized in the use of supernatural abilities (magic), the introduction of new gods and poisoning, in the social environment they concern illegal gatherings and ––––––––––––––––––– –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– 1 Demosthenes, Aristogeiton 25.79–80 . 2 Plutarch, Demosthenes 14.4. 3 Philochoros, Harpocration, s.v. Theoris (FGrHist 382 F 60). 4 Schol. to Demosthenes 19,281 (485A and B Dilts). 5 Jos. Contra Apionem 2,267-268. 6 Plutarch, Life of the Ten Speakers 849e, and Athenaios, Deipnosophistes 590d – e, report on it. 7 Aristotle, Magna Moralia 1188b35-38. 8 Plutarch, De mul. virt. 256b-c. GNOMON 1/93/2021 M. Strothmann: Eidinow, Envy, Poison and Death 10 contact with slaves. Theoris, however, was not brought before the Areopagus, which makes a murder charge unlikely. In the case of Ninon, too, a further differentiation must be made. The charge of introduction to the mysteries of new gods has several facets. This is immediately reminiscent of Socrates; but does Ninon also mean the introduction of new gods or rather the kind of mysteries to be held, as Dickie judges, 1 thus possibly the profanation of the Eleusinian mysteries? In any case, here too the question arises as to the exact reason for the execution, which the third defendant Phryne is known to have escaped. After considering the specific cases, the author discusses the underlying concepts of envy and gossip in detail. According to the Anthologia Graeca and the definition of Suda, envy is an illness of the soul that is generated by looking at the visible wealth of others. But immaterial things such as birth, relatives, good looks or exemplary morals can also trigger feelings of envy. Envy is not suitable as a social distinctive, it is cross-class up to the envy of the gods, as the author explains with numerous examples. Envy expresses itself intensely and sometimes radically, which raises the question of the genesis of emotions and their definition as a whole. Emotions can be separated into involuntary and learned ones and in any case play a central role in communication. Emotions develop and change, they need a social counterpart and prove to be suitable for the historical approach, since networks can be recognized and exchange can be made visible on a broader level. Cultural schemes and individual experiences can thus be related to one another and social patterns and morals can be compared. The use of emotions can be used strategically in court, for example, whereby the envy conversation has a key function. The social success of others acts as a motor for envy, but it is part of a basic democratic order such as the exchange of gifts in Athens, through which the envy debate can, however, both be sparked and settled. Envy can break reciprocity here and thus have serious consequences for society. Interestingly, for the phenomenon of the envy debate, the author draws on Demosthenes' wreath speech, among other things. Although he presents the price for his success as appropriate - he supports his ally Ctesiphon, who would like to offer him the wreath - he is very hesitant in presenting his achievements in order not to evoke envy, which his personal opponent Aeschines says cherishes against him. In his 20th speech against Leptines, Demosthenes points out the dangers of envy in the dispute over the abolition of the privilege of tax breaks.2 In his 24th speech, Lysias identifies envy as the main reason for the indictment against him, because he is a better citizen Overall, for the context of the court it is clear to what extent the impulse envy functions as an argument. The next larger chapter deals with the concept of poison, here too access is sought again via the Suda. Pharmaceuticals can be used for healing ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– –––––––––––––– 1 M. Dickie, 'Magic and Magicians in the Graeco-Roman World', London 2001, 51f. 2 Demosthenes, Against Leptines 56–57. 3 Lysias 24.3. GNOMON 1/93/2021 M. Strothmann: Eidinow, Envy, Poison and Death 11 and ominous effects are used. Like magic words, they can unfold with the use of supernatural powers. Gossip can be considered poison from this point of view. Its effects can also be fatal. The author takes three approaches to illuminate the role of gossip as a kind of poison, first the language and location of gossip, then inscriptions as a transmitter of gossip. You are professing and individual. Using the secret, she tries to establish a connection between gossip and magic words. Gossip creates identity, but according to Laura McClure it can also act as an instrument of resistance.1 According to David Cohen, gossip filters information that flows very densely in face-to-face societies. Here gossip fulfills the function of social control, 2 it also served to obtain information in court; in complex and dynamic interaction with forensic speech, it can even contribute to clarification and judgment in the form of defamation. The persistent and personal impact of gossip can be demonstrated using grave inscriptions. The deceased often speak to posterity through their epitaphs, relatives are included, negative emotions are captured. In this way, epitaphs and escape signs can be understood as an individual call for justice. The power of the word, to which the power of action was ascribed, is particularly effective with the escape signs. This became visible, for example, in the use of binding and loosening power, the binding of a figurine tied its power of action, it was not a symbolic or persuasive act, as Derek Collins states.3 Punishing by binding is possible on a metaphorical or physical level, whereby the The physical level turns out to be more threatening, since the metaphorical punishment, in contrast to the physical, is reversible. This pattern can be transferred to the effect of magic words. In the communicatively controlled interaction, magic words merge with the court speech and thus form a level that has both real and transcendent characteristics. The space created in this way offers space for several even subliminal narratives that resonate, even if they remain unsaid. Exactly this function of the magic words is fulfilled by gossip. It indicates unspoken suspicions that can in fact coagulate into an argument like a secret that can influence the formation of judgment through its very existence, completely independent of its content. For the three specific cases of Theoris, Ninon and Phryne, the author draws the following conclusion: What makes the trial speeches so powerful against women is the connection between gossip in the street and in the family with the slander in court, which is the argument of the Condemnation will. Defamation is not viewed negatively here, but rather understood as a filter of information. That leads to the last big question, what makes the respective defendants so suitable to be brought to court as targets. The women ------------------------------------------------ –––––––––––– 1 Laura McClure, 'Spoken Like a Woman: Speech and Gender in Athenian Drama', Princeton (NJ) 1999, 56. 2 David Cohen, 'Law, Sexuality and Society: The Enforcement of Morals in Classical Athens', Cambridge 1991, 50. 3 Derek Collins, 'Nature, Cause and Agency in Greek Magic', in: TAPA 133 (2003), 43. GNOMON 1/93/2021 M. Strothmann: Eidinow, Envy, Poison and Death 12 did not play a significant public role, but what makes them worthy of prosecution anyway? In order to fathom the causes here, the author takes a look at the historical context in the last major chapter and mainly deals with the consequences of the military conflict, especially in the Peloponnesian War, as well as the phenomenon of violent death as a whole. To take stock of the political and social situation, she particularly draws on the Areopagiticus of Isocrates, in which the old bourgeois ideals were propagated as a yardstick, which, as reflected in the sharp conflicts, receded in favor of a competitive policy geared towards economic gain and security. The decimation of the male population in the course of the war developed its own dynamic and had a massive impact on the social role of women. The restrictive civil rights policy and the immigration offensives also changed the status of non-Athenian women. The situation favored a high degree of mobility as a result of violence and repression, parts of families or entire families emigrated in order to take advantage of opportunities to improve their economic situation. Women certainly often guaranteed the survival of the families, but of course there were also more orphans to be registered. The unstable constellations created new room for maneuver for women and assigned them new tasks within the social fabric. Women increasingly worked in the army supply and thus gained independence. This fueled insecurity and fears about women who erupted in gossip and subliminal hostility. Here the speech in court, which was carried by allusions and slander, gained new weight, the allegations referred to specific unnamed backgrounds and prejudices were conveyed. As an example, the author cites the prostitute file from Isaios' 6th speech, which, by means of pharmaka, won the heart of the euctemon who completely neglected his own family. The sacrilege also acquired a religious connotation, as it was said that she had seen things in the thesmophoria that she should not have seen. Insinuations were used to evoke certain responses. The collection of examples is almost inevitably rounded off with the fall of Neaira (p.317–319), who, although she and her daughter Phano used supernatural powers, committed sacrilege and broke the law, nevertheless escaped her punishment. Cases like that of Neaira are certainly oversubscribed, but this is precisely what makes them relevant. Marriage in particular was certainly a weapon that women used, as family interests could hit the nerve of society. "Dangerous women" could endanger the entire polis with their actions. This was communicated through the ‘poison’ of indirectly conducted envy debates, which were reflected in gossip and slander, and gained a reality of their own in the mirror of the court speeches. This is what the trials against Theoris, Ninon and Phryne stand for. The strengths of the study lie in its source-oriented approach and the sociologically oriented perspective from which the source certificates are questioned. By dividing the study into large subject areas such as envy and gossip, poison and death, the author succeeds in making its argumentation diachronically and thus comparing phenomena directly. The extraordinary abundance of the examples mentioned in the individual chapters GNOMON 1/93/2021 M. Strothmann: Eidinow, Envy, Poison and Death 13, however, does not always contribute to good readability, and the author unfortunately largely dispenses with a concrete application of the ones they have developed Results on the three initial cases, in that their conclusions - the final observations on the large chapters - are limited to about two pages each. Overall, contrary to the reader's expectation, she only applied her results selectively to women in court. The author has, however, submitted a study that calls for further discussion of the subject and offers new perspectives. Because through the intensive preoccupation with the sociological discourse on the role of gossip, the reasons for envy and above all its important contribution to the clarification of the said in the not said ’in the context of communication in court proceedings in Athens in the 4th century BC. BC she presented a workable set of instruments, on the basis of which she presented new impulses, which will hopefully find their way into further research. It is certainly to the merit of the study to explain the motives and the success of the highly emotional discussions held in court and to make the content of what has not been said visible in order to reveal its influence on the decision-making process. The mechanisms with which rhetorical means and the use of certain terms work successfully on the emotional level are clearly demonstrated. In a methodically savvy manner, the author analyzes the close entanglement between what is said, including the extraordinary range of subliminal information communicated, and the interpretation filtered by the listener, which can lead to a judgment. Although this judgment is not based on a chain of logical arguments, it is often more persuasive due to a complex system of associations and emotions. With this knowledge, the author has to understand the communicative strategy of Athenian court speeches from the 4th century BC. BC contributed decisively. A comprehensive bibliography of almost 40 pages as well as a detailed overall index and a careful register of sources round off the volume. Bochum Meret Strothmann * James Miller (Ed.): Lives of the eminent philosophers. Diogenes Laertius. Translated by Pamela Mensch. New York: Oxford UP 2018. XXI, 676 p. Numerous. Partly color illus. L'iniziativa di J. M (iller) di proporre una nuova traduzione in inglese delle Vite dei filosofi illustri di Diogene Laerzio (terzo sec. dC), annotata e accompagnata da un serie di saggi complementari, è quantomai opportuna non solo per gli studiosi dell'Antichità, ma anche per un pubblico colto più vasto curioso di dettagli biografici degli innumerevoli pensatori della Grecia o di aspetti delle loro dottrine. La traduzione, condotta da Pamela Mensch sul testo greco della mia edizione uscita a Cambridge nel 2013, è chiara e accessibile e nello stesso tempo aderente al modello originario. In attesa della ‘edited translation’ by Stephen White di imminente pubblicazione a Cambridge, fondata anch’essa sulla mia edizione, quella della Mensch rimpiazza per i lettori anglofoni la traduzione di R.D. Hicks (Cambridge, Mass.-London 1925. Ristampata a più riprese e dal 1972 con una introduzione e aggiornamenti di H.S. Long) per la Loeb Classical Library ’, GNOMON 1/93/2021