Houses of Classical Athens by J. Walter Graham

By J. Walter Graham

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Pho. 398). A number of variations on the container metaphor occur in connection with elpis. 74 The main image of this type, however, is that which has elpis as a container for the goals of the agent or the propositional content of the sentiment itself. Since the contents of elpis may be a goal or simply a certain proposition, this image thus encompasses both elpis as hope and elpis as expectation. Accordingly, in Aeschylus’s Agamemnon (998–​1000, already noted above), the Chorus pray that the content of their elpis, their fear that the future will be negative, may prove false: εὔχομαι δ’ ἐξ ἐμᾶς ἐλπίδος ψύθη πεσεῖν ἐς τὸ μὴ τελεσφόρον.

40 Yet the neutral sense can always resurface, as in the Eudemian Ethics (1224b16–​21), where the enkratēs is said to feel pleasure and the akratēs pain ἀπ᾽ ἐλπίδος: in the former case, the anticipation may encompass hope, but not in the latter; ἀπ᾽ ἐλπίδος means something like “prospective” here. 42 40. See the pseudo-​Platonic definition at Def. 416a21, ἐλπὶς προσδοκία ἀγαθοῦ. Cf. Mag. mor. 1191a14–​17. 41. , in the references to the benefits that some seek from certain kinds of philia (Eth. Nic.

1668 (ἐλπίδας σιτουμένους), Soph. Ant. 1246 (ἐλπίσιν δὲ βόσκομαι), and Eur. Bacch. 617 (ἐλπίσιν δ’ ἐβόσκετο), elpis is itself clearly the foodstuff. Elpis is both the foodstuff and the giver of nurture in the Pindaric fragment (214 Maehler) quoted below. In a variant of the “nurture” image at Soph. Ant. 879 it is the person that nourishes elpis.  Eur. Bacch. 617–​18: ταῦτα καὶ καθύβρισ’ αὐτόν, ὅτι με δεσμεύειν δοκῶν | οὔτ’ ἔθιγεν οὔθ’ ἥψαθ’ ἡμῶν, ἐλπίσιν δ’ ἐβόσκετο. 62 Polyxena’s elpides in Euripides’s Hecuba (351) are similarly destined to be disappointed (349–​53): τί γάρ με δεῖ ζῆν; ᾗ πατὴρ μὲν ἦν ἄναξ Φρυγῶν ἁπάντων· τοῦτό μοι πρῶτον βίου.

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