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New PDF release: Feminist Politics and Human Nature (Philosophy and Society)

By Alison M. Jaggar

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6–7): Shall I trace the descent (genos) of each [of the dead]? To do so would, I think, be foolish. Granted, when praising certain other men who, though originating in various different locales, gathered together to live in a single polis, each one contributing his own bloodline (genos), one must trace each man’s separate genealogy. But in making speeches concerning Athenian men, autochthonous and sharing in common a lineage of unsurpassed nobility, I believe that to praise ancestry on an individual level is unnecessary.

For this point, see Isaac 2004, passim, and Sassi 2001, 24 n. 102. For environmental theories elsewhere in Greek literature, see Plat. Leg. 747d–e; Tim. 24a; Arist. Pol. 1285ab, 1295a; for Herodotus’ presentation of the theory, see Isaac 2004, 69–74; Sassi 2001, 111–20; Thomas 2000, 104–14. Diller 1937, 16. Theories of individual inheritance were developed in medical and scientific circles to account for sex difference and the resemblance of parents to children (Dean-Jones 1994, 148– 62; Lloyd 1983, 86–94; Lonie 1981, passim; Sassi 2001, 82–3).

Ziolkowski (1981, 13) points out that it is not clear whether an actual oration accompanied the early public funerals. 63 In the wake of the Persian Wars, autochthony gave the Athenians a way to conceptualize their identity as citizens that retrospectively explained their remarkable military successes. That is to say, the Athenians could account for their victories by pointing to the innate martial prowess that autochthonous ancestry was thought to provide. 64 According to the myth, when seeking to rape the goddess Athena, the god Hephaestus accidentally ejaculated on her thigh.

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