Gallery: Gods and Heroes at the Louvre

Plato, Socrates. Marble. (100-200CE).Louvre.

We don’t have to wait until after we die to meet Gods and Heroes of Ancient Greece.

We may read poetry, prose, tragedy, or admire sculptures, vases or paintings.

I’ll quote Aristotle and Plato from the Sourcebook[1]:

Both understanding and wonder are, for the most part, pleasurable. In wonder there is the desire to understand… . Since both understanding and wonder are pleasurable, it is necessary that a work of mimesis also be pleasurable, like painting, sculpture, poetry, and everything that is well represented [mimeîsthai], even if the thing represented [mimeîsthai] is not in itself pleasurable. For it is not there that the pleasure lies, but in the inference “this is that.” What happens as a result is that we understand something.

Sourcebook, Aristotle Rhetoric 1371a31-b10 (Mimesis)

What would not a man give if he might converse with Orpheus and Musaeus and Hesiod and Homer? No, if this be true [alēthēs], let me die again and again.

[41b] I, too, shall have a wonderful interest in a place where I can converse with Palamedes, and Ajax the son of Telamon, and other heroes of old, who have suffered death through an unjust [non-dikaios] judgment [krisis]; and there will be no small pleasure, as I think, in comparing my own sufferings

What would not a man give, O judges, to be able to examine the leader of the great Trojan expedition; [41c] or Odysseus or Sisyphus, or numberless others, men and women too! What infinite delight would there be in conversing with them and asking them questions! For in that world they do not put a man to death for this; certainly not. For besides being happier in that world than in this, they will be immortal, if what is said is true [alēthēs].

Sourcebook, Plato The Apology of Socrates

Going through the “Cour Puget” , the “Cour Marly” and many other rooms, several gods and heroes greet us at the Louvre.

[1] Sourcebook: The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours Sourcebook of Original Greek Texts Translated into English, Gregory Nagy, General Editor.

Helene Emeriaud is a retired teacher. A Community TA for HeroesX in v3, she enjoys being a participant in Hour 25. 

Photos: H.Emeriaud