Plato, Dumezil, et al.

thompson at thompson at
Thu May 2 00:04:04 UTC 1996

Lars Martin Fosse is right to distinguish between inherited ideas and
borrowed ones.  I do not think that Filliozat was concerned with inherited
ideas [I don't recall mention of Dumezil, for example].  Instead, as I
recall, he asserted the possibility of more or less direct borrowing, just
as the French Iranist Duchesne-Guillemin argued that direct borrowing by
Greek philosophers [like Heraclitus] from Iran was not out of the question.
What I am interested in is the notion of a *borrowing*.  Borrowing, of
course, is difficult to prove, and I don't imagine that many classicists
have been persuaded by such arguments [often vague and general] as have
been offered so far.  For example, I know that in the case of
Duchesne-Guillemin, the classicist M.L. West has expressed skepticism [and
I think reasonable skepticism!].  Burkert, on the other hand [and a
classicist!], in discussing Near Eastern influences on archaic Greece, has
noted a great deal of resistence from Classicists ....  The ramifications
are interesting....

George Thompson

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