David Auerbach on literature, tech, film, etc.

Aeneid Psychology

And Nisus says: “Euryalus, is it
the gods who put this fire in our minds,
or is it that each man’s relentless longing
becomes a god to him? Long has my heart
been keen for battle or some mighty act;
it cannot be content with peace or rest.

(Aeneid IX 243-247, tr. Mandelbaum)

Strikingly modern, that.


  1. Very short answer: psychological. It reads as though Plato’s tripartite soul has been reconstructed in a conscious/unconscious context.

    I’m reading into it, but it’s still quite remarkable.

  2. ‘Tis. Something like a reversal of Diotima’s allegory of the daemons. Its de-allgorization.

  3. Does he talk to active effect is my question. Is Action or Divinity the focus of thought there?

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