How Does the View of Ethical Cause and Effect in History in Works and Days Compare With the View in Eumenides?

Ancient Greek literature usually contained tales regarding the Greek deities or the supernatural, which gave these stories a sense of ethical cause and effect. Two examples of ancient Greek literature are: Works and Days, by Hesiod, and Eumenides, by Aeschylus. Both of these pieces of literature revolve around an ethical debate, which involves the supernatural, also because both of these stories revolve around some form of an ethical debate both have views on ethical cause and effect in history. But how do these separate views from these two pieces of literature compare with each other?

Works and Days, by Hesiod was written by Hesiod to his brother Perses, after his brother had won in a legal case over their father’s will, and had received the whole said inheritance. Hesiod explained to his brother the importance of good, how to turn his life around, and other advice, including advice on who to marry, or how important hard work is. This piece of literature is Hesiod’s way of scolding his brother for “stealing,” his inheritance, but also providing “useful,” lessons for his brother, to heed to. It explains how Perses can live a better life.

Eumenides is the third of a series of tragic plays by Aeschylus. Eumenides tells the tale of the aftermath of Orestes murdering his mother and avenging his father’s death. The first play of this series Agamemnon, is where this whole conflict begins, with Agamemnon, Orestes’ father sacrificing his own daughter, this lead to him being murdered by his wife. In the second play, Libation Bearers, Orestes returns home from exile just in time for his father’s funeral; he and his sister Electra decide to avenge their father’s death, after being told to do so by Apollo. Orestes ends up killing his mother and her lover who was also involved in the killing of his father. In Eumenides, after killing his mother Orestes is being pursued by the Furies. The Furies were Greek mythological creatures that the Greeks feared; they all punished crime doers in one form or another. These Furies wanted Orestes to pay for killing his mother.

Orestes turns to Apollo, who was the one who had told him to do the deed. Orestes thus goes to the temple of Athena; Athena aids him by calling on a court case in Athens that was made up of mortals. The Furies had caught up to him and Orestes was in deep trouble, but he did end up winning the case and his set free from the torment of the Furies. The Furies are appeased by Athena granting them sacrifices, and rituals done in their favor. The Furies in this story are the givers of negative sanctions, they punish crimes. 

Now that there is a clear summary of both pieces of literature, how does the view of ethical cause and effect in history in Works and Days’, Compare with the Furies View in Eumenides? In Works and Days, Hesiod explains to his brother on how to live a good life, and how to make the right decisions; to work hard. He shows examples of cause and effect with examples of what would happen if Perses his brother was to do the right thing or the bad one. The view of the Furies in Eumenides, is that of punishment or negative sanctions; that if one does a bad deed such as killing their mother they must pay for it, which is their view of cause and effect.

Ethics, sanctions, and cause and effect are three things I have noticed quite prevalent in the ancient Greek literature pieces I have read so far in my life, and Eumenides is no exception. The Furies in this ancient Greek play inflicts the negative sanctions, which is why they play an important role in the cause and effect of the story. The story Works and Days, though much different, contains its own view of cause and effect. Thus one may be able to compare the two views and see how different and similar they are.

What Would Have Been Orestes Proper Course of Action, had He Been Alive Today?

Orestes, the son of Agamemnon, is the main character of the ancient Greek play, Libation Bearers, which was written by a man named Aeschylus. This play was the sequel to the play Agamemnon. This play recounts the events after the tragic end of Agamemnon in the previous play. To recap Agamemnon had sacrificed his own daughter to be able to sail to Troy, this in turn led his wife to murder him after he returned home from Troy. Orestes at the time was exiled, but does return home to visit his father’s grave; there he reunites with his sister Electra. This leads to a course of events which leaves the question: what would have been Orestes proper course of action, had he been alive today in the modern world?

After this reunion Orestes and Electra both relate greatly over their resentment towards their mother, and her lover. They both decide to avenge their father’s death, by murdering their mother, and her lover who also happened to be their grandfather on their father’s side. Also to note Orestes did not really have a choice when it came to this plot since the Oracle of Delphi told him that if he did not do this he himself would face judgment for his father’s death. To do so Orestes disguises as someone else and Electra behaves as though nothing has happened. This ends up being a success and Orestes kills his mother and grandfather. 

Nowadays this situation would be completely different. For example in ancient Greece there was no law enforcement like it is today. If Orestes was around today he would have probably gone to the authorities to report his mother and his grandfather, for his father’s murder, if he found the proper evidence. Instead of going ahead and murdering them Orestes most likely will look for evidence against his mother and grandfather. But if he did choose to kill his mother and grandfather which would be a pretty unlikely situation today, that would be much harder than it would have been in ancient Greece, since there would be the law enforcement to worry about and covering up the murder, so not to be caught. Overall I believe a modern Orestes would most likely report his mother instead of murdering her, since that is the more logical and appropriate action to take.

Ancient Greek plays are a unique area of literature with rather insane, absurd story lines, and mythological tales; the play Libation Bearers, is no exception. The main character of Libation Bearers, Orestes, if he was a man of today would have behaved much differently in handling the situation of his father’s murder. Thus, this would have most likely been Orestes proper course of action had he been alive today.

What was Aeschylus’ View of the Trojan War?

Aeschylus was an ancient Greek playwright who wrote numerous plays, including one known as Agamemnon. Sadly only seven of his plays have survived today. His tragic play Agamemnon is about a king named Agamemnon who goes off to fight in the Trojan war, which was a war between the Trojans and the Greeks. Because Agamemnon revolves around the Trojan war, what was Aeschylus’ personal view of the Trojan war?

The Trojan War is rather a mystery since we do not know if it really took place or not, but regardless tales of the war are seen throughout the genre of ancient Greek literature. The Trojan war began when Helen, who was the wife of King Menelaus, was kidnapped by Paris of Troy. King Menelaus asked his brother Agamemnon to aid him in rescuing Helen. This was the start of a ten year long war in which at the end Troy is defeated. Agamemnon on the journey to Troy had to sacrifice his own daughter to the Greek goddess of Artemis who had stopped the wind which prevented Agamemnon from continuing his journey. 

The Trojan war itself was full of death and tragedy, but in the end the Greeks were victorious. Agamemnon starts the journey home; this journey is without bumps in the road. But he returns home mostly unscathed with a prisionar, a woman named Cassandra who is a prophet and princess of Troy. Upon returning home Cassandra sees a prophecy that she and Agamemnon would be killed by Agamemnon’s wife Clytemnestra(who was very angry over his sacrifice of their daughter). In the end Agamemnon is murdered by his wife.

The play of Agamemnon portrays the Trojan war as just being tragic, full of loss and tragedy. It was a long war which began for a reason that did not exactly justify the amount of lives lost. Also the characters did terrible and tragic things throughout the story which all had to do with the war itself. For example with Agamemnon sacrificing his own daughter to continue on the journey to Troy, which influenced Clytemnestra to kill Agamemnon and Cassandra. Which in turn is why I believe that Aeschylus’ view was that the Trojan war was a waste, tragedy, and unnecessary. This view is seen pretty clearly throughout the play, especially in the most tragic details of it. Though the Greeks were victorious they paid a heavy price before, during, and after the Trojan war, which he showed through Agamemnon. But regardless of his seeming view he still wrote a play about the war.

The Trojan war is a common backdrop in ancient Greek literary pieces, for example in the Iliad, and the play Agamemnon by Aeschylus. Aeschylus portrayed the Trojan war as a tragic and wasteful war which was caused by something that was not justifiable for all the bloodshed caused. Thus why I believe that Aeschylus viewed the Trojan war as a tragic waste, which paid a heavy price on the parties involved.

What was Hesiod’s View of Mankind’s Past and Future

Hesiod was an ancient Greek poet who wrote the works, Theogony, and Works and Days. For the past week I have been studying and reading his work, Works and Days, which was directed to Hesiod’s brother who had won a legal battle against him, that was related to their father’s inheritance. The piece of literature itself contains many interesting messages which are related to the gods but are directed to Hesiod’s brother. An interesting aspect of this piece of literature is the fact that it shares the author’s(Hesiod’s),view of mankind’s past and future. Exactly what was Hesiod’s view of mankind’s past and future?

Hesiod in Works and Days, stated that there were four races of man before our race of man. The first race of man was called “the golden race,” which was created by Greek deities. This race of man lived similarly to the gods and had no troubles, but due to them being mortal they died off and a new race of man was created. The second race of man was known as the “silver race,” which was very pathetic and poor minded, which Hesiod blamed on the fact that they were raised by their mothers.

After the “silver race” died off another race was created which in turn became known as the “bronze race,” which was a race that loved war and violence. This race was very strong, but like the last two races they too died off. The fourth race and the last before our race of man was known as the “demigods,” which was a noble race of man; but like the rest of the races they too began to die off from war, but those who survived were gifted by Zeus to live in a special place where they lived without sorrow.

The final race of man, the race of man that Hesiod was a part of had no break from hardship and sorrow, but also they had moments of joy and happiness. The final race of man is known as the “iron race,” and Hesiod in his own words stated quite frankly that this race of man too like the rest would eventually die out, thanks to the race being unrighteous; which in turn will lead Zeus to destroy them. But other than that Hesiod also stated that this race was not a completely bad one.

Hesiod’s view of mankind’s past and future is a unique one. Instead of perceiving the past and the future in the way that us people do today, Hesiod instead sees it in cycles of different races of man. These races of man all in the end have the same end, they all die off in the end and a new race is thus created by Zeus to replace the old race. Hesiod sees man kind as destructive beings who in the end somehow manage to destroy themselves through violence and dishonoring others, and that they were always like this in the past and that they will continue to be like this in the future. Which makes one wonder why Hesiod thought in this way.

What are the Main Differences Between Genesis 1 and Theogony

Genesis 1 is in the book of Genesis which is contained in the Old Testament. It tells the story of how God created everything in seven days, and how the world came into existence. Theogony on the other hand is an ancient Greek piece of literature written by a man named Hesiod. Theogony tells the story of how the world came into existence in regard to the ancient Greek gods. Both pieces of literature sound very different just by these descriptions, but what are these main differences between Genesis 1 and Theogony by Hesiod?

Genesis 1 like I stated above tells the story of how God created everything in seven days, and how the world came into existence. This telling explains what God created on each of those seven days: for example on the first day of creation God created light. This story in my opinion is quite organized and easy to understand; it clearly explains how everything was created by God.

Theogony on the other hand tells the story of how the world came into existence in regard to the ancient Greek gods. This story goes something like this: the world began in Chaos, which created earth. Earth, also known as Gaia goes on to create Heaven, and together they create the first gods, which in turn created more gods. This in turn created a very large, complex, and dramatic family of gods or deities. 

The first main difference between these two stories is that of the creators. In Genesis there is only one creator, God, who created everything. In Theogony there were many creators involved, for example Chaos created earth, earth, Gaia created Heaven and the first of the Greek gods, and those Greek gods went on and created more gods. There is more than one creator involved in the story of Theogony, unlike the one creator in Genesis, God.

The second main difference is that of how the creators are portrayed. In Theogony the gods are portrayed with human emotions and behave in many ways like humans with supernatural abilities. God in Genesis is portrayed above this, and behaves as a sovereign God. Another key important difference is that to do with sovereignty. The Greek gods are not sovereign; they are not fully in control; they still are able to get tricked by other gods, to have conflicts with other gods, etc. God in Genesis is sovereign and is in control, which is very unlike the gods in Theogony.

Genesis 1 and Theogony are two unique stories that both contain the telling of a creation account. Both of these creation accounts are quite different; for example the creation account in Genesis 1 tells the story of how one sovereign God created everything in the course of seven days. The creation account in Theogony involves many creators, for example Chaos(which created earth or Gaia), Gaia(who created heaven), and they in turn created the first gods, who in turn created more gods. But regardless of the differences of both accounts I recommend reading both pieces of literature: Genesis and Theogony, especially Genesis.

What is the View of the Biblical Materials on the Role of Ethics in the Development of History?

Ethics is a very important thing, without ethics civilizations would not last. Without having some sort of ethical standard as an individual human being life would be confusing, since you would not have a standard of life. Many religions have a set of ethics in which a person who follows that religion must follow; Christianity is a great example of this. But what is the view of the Biblical materials on the role of ethics in the development of history?

Throughout history people have been making choices; no matter if that person was not considered as well known or important as another. These choices that were made by people throughout history could either be negative or positive choices, which in turn brought forth an outcome. No matter how big those choices were there were still outcomes to them which influenced history. For example look at the story of Adam and Eve, and how their choice to go against God affected history; or how the choice of more modern politicians has affected the course of history. The majority of these choices that were made during history were based one way or another on ethics, and I mean not necessarily Christian ethics, but just ethics in general. The reason why I believe that most of these choices were based around certain ethics is because a lot of these choices either goes along with a certain ethical view or goes against an ethical view.

But how does all this relate to the question: what is the view of the biblical materials on the role of ethics in the development of history? Well first of all the Bible in many ways is a guide to life; it provides an ethical or moral standard to follow, along with the reasons why one must follow these standards, and what would occur if one does or not follow these standards. It shows many great examples on what happens when one chooses to go against the ethical standard and God. In general the Bible is a very important piece of literature that has guided and still guides many people today. Because the Bible is a guide to life and provides an ethical standard to follow, and many people followed the teachings of God which is contained in the Bible throughout history, choices were made throughout history that revolved around the ethical standards contained in the Bible, either in the form of following or disobeying those standards.

Because the course of history is connected to choices that people make, the view of the Biblical materials on the role of ethics in the development of history is that of guiding us humans into making the right choices, to follow God, and be on the right path. Our choices as individual human beings can actually affect the course of history no matter how small that choice may be.

To conclude, ethics are the base to most choices that are made by individuals; either that choice goes against an ethical principle or goes with that principle. Choices are an important part of the course of history, outcomes are based on choices. The Bible is a guide book to life, and contains an ethical standard, which can influence the choices one makes, which in turn influences the course of history. This in turn is the view of Biblical materials on the role of ethics in the development of history.

The Relationship Between Ethics and Sanctions in Proverbs 1-7

The book of Proverbs was written primarily by Solomon, and was directed towards his son. This book in particular is full of advice and is designed in my opinion to help guide people through life. Because of the book’s design it focuses very strongly on morality and ethics; but what is the relationship between ethics and sanctions in Proverbs 1-7?

Before answering the question one must know what the words ethics, and sanctions means. Ethics means moral principles, and sanctions means permission(it also means penalty), this is in relation to the Proverbs.  In Proverbs 1-7, Solomon warns his son of the people he should not associate with or avoid to associate with. He tells his son to search for wisdom and understanding, and gives other important life advice. But how does all this come into relation with ethics and sanctions? Well for every action there is a consequence, for example if you steal you will most likely be caught or feel guilt after doing so. Consequences do not necessarily have to be negative though. So there will always be consequences for one’s actions, even though it may not seem so.

The Proverbs provides ethics, it is in many ways a book of ethics, as individuals we can choose to follow them or not. In the Proverbs it shows examples of good and bad ethics; ethics one should not follow, and ethics one should follow. But what about sanctions? How does it come into the picture? Well like I stated, sanctions at least how I perceived it to mean in the context of the Proverbs is permission, or permission from a higher power or ruler, who is God. As humans we have free will, we can make our own decisions, bad or not, but that does not mean that God does not disapprove or approve of these decisions. In the Proverbs there are many examples of God disapproving of one’s actions, or approving of one’s actions. 

Which is why I believe that the relationship between ethics and sanctions in Proverbs 1-7 is that of teaching lessons, instead of active punishment. Also this relationship is quite important, without ethics there are no sanctions. 

In conclusion, the relationship between ethics and sanctions in Proverbs 1-7 is that of lesson teaching, and it is also an important relationship. Ethics is an important concept throughout the Bible, and so is the concept of sanctions. Without ethics there can’t be sanctions, or without moral values there cannot be moral standards.

Some of the Reasons Offered in the Psalms for Long-Term Optimism

There are over a hundred Psalms in the book of Psalm in the Bible, and all of these Psalms cover a variety of topics including faith. A common trend that I have seen while reading Psalms is how they portray a specific person praising God, going through hardships, asking for guidance from God, etc. But what are some of the reasons offered in the Psalms for long-term optimism or optimism for the future?

Optimism in definition means, hopefulness and confidence about the future. Our futures are unknown as humans, but having hope in our futures, and putting our faith in God there is optimism. Some reasons offered in the Psalms for long-term optimism is how the Psalms reveal God’s ability to save, His love, and blessings.

One of the most important writers of the Psalms is David. David himself goes through difficult times, and in the Psalms, he shows how God delivered him. Psalms show how God promises David kindness and blessings for his heirs in the future, which shows His promise of the future. One of my favorite Psalms, which is Psalm 23, is a very good example of how Psalms offer reasons for long-term optimism. Psalm 23 itself, states that God is like a shepherd who is guiding and protecting David. David in this Psalm is walking through great danger, but he does not fear since God is with him. 

If one believes and follows God, they will be saved; this is also stated in the Psalms. This is another reason which offers long-term optimism from the Psalms. But there are many other examples from the Psalms that offer reasons for long-term optimism, but in my opinion, the ones I mentioned above are key examples.

In this essay I covered some of the reasons offered in the Psalms for long-term optimism. The reasons I dove into, in this essay are: God’s ability to save, His love, blessings, and the truth that if one follows His word, and believes in Him, they shall be saved. All of these are offered reasons in the book of Psalm.

How Important is the Concept of Historical Sanctions in the Psalms

The Christian Bible itself contains many smaller books; one of the most famous and read of these smaller books in the Bible is the book of Psalms. Psalms are song-like and poetic; all the Psalms contain praises toward the Lord, and there is quite an emphasis on this, and by design are to help guide Christians on their journey of faith. A lot of Psalms were written by David, and a lot of the Psalms revolve around him. The Psalms cover many important concepts, including sanctions. But exactly how important is the concept of historical sanction in the Psalms?

To begin with, the Psalms do in a sense describe what God states is wrong and right. For example God blesses people who follow him with eternal life and punishes people who do not follow. There are many examples in the Psalms of God bringing forth judgement to those who are not righteous. The Psalms are all tied to ethics. David through the Psalms show how much God despises sin. It is also seen in the Psalms that David himself is saddened to see those who go against God. David himself did sin, which caused him misery and grief, thus asking God for forgiveness. Showing that if one goes against God and His laws, there are consequences or sanctions. That there will be judgement to those who are unrighteous and decide to remain so.

The importance of the concept of historical sanctions is seen throughout the Psalms. Psalms emphasis greatly on how important it is to follow God and His Laws. That negative consequences or sanctions occur when one does not follow His laws. Look at the example above when David himself sinned, and the consequences that occurred as an outcome of that. 

In conclusion, the importance of the concept of historical sanctions is seen throughout Psalms. Even though sanctions is not the main concept covered in the Psalms it still is a pretty important one, with many examples throughout the book. 

What was the Importance of Ethics and Sanctions in the Story Noah and the Flood

God created laws, which have sanctions if one chooses to follow or not follow these laws. In the story of Noah and the Flood(which is in Genesis 6-9), the sanctions of disobeying God are clearly shown. But what was the Importance of Ethics and Sanctions in the story Noah and the Flood?

Before the flood itself man had grown to disobey God’s word; instead of following God and His word, instead they followed their heart. God saw all the sin and evil that was being done by man; this grieved Him. Because of the evils that were done by man he sent a judgement, which was the flood. The flood would destroy the whole world. God decided to spare the only righteous man in the world, Noah, and his family(which includes his wife, sons, and his sons’ wives). Noah was instructed by God to build a giant Ark(which is a giant boat). After this Ark was completed Noah was thus instructed to get a pair of each species(one female and one male), of animals on earth, and take them into his Ark. 

After the doors of the Ark were shut, the flood began. It rained for forty days and forty nights; the water reached mountainous heights. It took over a year for Noah, his family, and all the animals to be able to leave the Ark. After the flood God made a covenant to Noah that He would never again send a flood to destroy the world again. The sign of this that God gave was a rainbow.

When it comes to the importance of ethics and sanctions in the story of Noah and the Flood, I see that the ethics before the flood itself of man were quite low. Man at the time had a low standard for morality, which grieved God. As a judgement or punishment God sent a flood which would destroy the world, and kill all humans except for Noah and his family. The flood is the negative sanction which was a sanction to the sinfulness of man.

In conclusion this is my explanation of the importance of ethics and sanctions in the story Noah and the Flood.