Literature and Ethics: Insights from Archeology and Anthropology
Published in humani.philica.com
The relation between ethics and literature goes far before Plato’s account of Socrates and Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. This handcuff dates back to upper Paleolithic period nearly twenty seven thousand years ago in the artwork found in the Caves of Gargas in Southern France. Archeology has recently revealed a document (approximately five thousand years old) by an elderly Egyptian lady expressing a wish as to what should be done to her property after her death. She also gives reasons for her wish revealing a complete structure of the relation between ethics and literature. As per Homer, Greek poetry was meant to delight and entertain but the earliest professional writer in known history; Pindar has a strong moral and ethical element in his writing. He disputes Homer’s account of Tantalus chopping and cooking his own son to feed gods and declares it immoral and even attempts to mend the myth from ethical point of view. There are no known findings about the tradition of writing in Mohanjodaro, Harrapa, Burzhom etc. but the possibilities cannot be ruled out. Around Aristotle’s time, king Ashoka also prepared numerous edicts which are still in existence around many places in India and are, in a way, forerunners for the United Nations declaration of animal rights. There is, therefore, an early relation between literature and ethics in the light of recent findings of archeology and anthropology.
Information about this Observation
This Observation has not yet been peer-reviewed
Published on Sunday 10th February, 2013 at 16:46:51.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.
The full citation for this Observation is:|
Faiq, M. (2013). Literature and Ethics: Insights from Archeology and Anthropology. PHILICA.COM Observation number 76.