Saturday, January 09, 2016


Good God

Eduard Fraenkel (1888-1970), Horace (1957; rpt. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997), p. 440 (on Odes 4.5.1; footnote omitted):
On divis bonis a word must be said. To the modern reader it seems natural, and indeed self-evident, that a god should be good. But this conception is due to the influence of Christianity. A Greek god (speaking of the pre-philosophic period), to prove himself a god, has to be powerful and superior, κρείσσων, but goodness is no primary concern of his, nor of a Roman god either.

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