Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Repentance and Remorse Again

The generalization that Greeks of the classical period regarded repentance and remorse as "evidence of inconstancy and moral weakness and a sign of the unsuccessful individual" is too sweeping, as numerous passages from classical Greek literature can be adduced which suggest the opposite, viz. that repentance and remorse can be desirable and admirable, depending on circumstances.

See, e.g., Democritus, fragment B 43 (tr. Kathleen Freeman):
Repentance for shameful deeds is salvation in life.

μεταμέλεια ἐπ᾿ αἰσχροῖσιν ἔργμασι βίου σωτηρίη.
There are more examples and discussion in Hat tip: Professor David Whitehead.

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