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Single Idea 5845

[catalogued under 22. Metaethics / B. Value / 2. Values / h. Fine deeds]

Full Idea

Niceratus said that his father, because he was concerned to make him a good man, made him learn the whole works of Homer, and he could still repeat by heart the entire 'Iliad' and 'Odyssey'.

Gist of Idea

Niceratus learnt the whole of Homer by heart, as a guide to goodness


Xenophon (Symposium [c.391 BCE], 3.5)

Book Reference

Xenophon: 'Conversations of Socrates', ed/tr. Waterfield,R/Tredennick,H. [Penguin 1990], p.236

A Reaction

This clearly shows the status which Homer had in the teaching of morality in the time of Socrates, and it is precisely this acceptance of authority which he was challenging, in his attempts to analyse the true basis of virtue