Tag Archives: human society

A Terrible Love of War

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews A Terrible Love of War by James Hillman.

James Hillman A Terrible Love of War

Neo-Jungian (“archetypal”) psychologist Hillman wrote this meditation on the place of war in human society in the awareness that it would probably be his final book. Just as Freud (in Moses and Monotheism) and Jung (in Answer to Job) used their last books to criticize and reimagine religious history, Hillman trains the fourth of his four essays in this book on the martial element in Christianity and its hypocritical concealment.

While I was as sympathetic to Hillman’s views and arguments as ever, I didn’t find this to be one of his more effective books. It was somewhat scattered and meandering. By his own admitted lights, it should have had a powerful, martial drive, but I didn’t find that there. My hope that this book would inspire me in appreciating my connection with the martial aspect of the Lord of the Aeon was thus disappointed. Still, there were some valuable ideas scattered through what is really a quick read, ending on a note of perplexed aspiration. [via]

The Anger of Achilles

The Anger of Achilles: Mênis in Greek Epic by Leonard Muellner, a 1995 paperback in the Myth and Poetics series edited by Gregory Nagy from Cornell University Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Leonard Muellner The Anger of Achilles from Cornell University Press

“Leonard Muellner’s goal is to restore the Greek word for the anger of Achilles, mênis, to its social, mythical, and poetic contexts. His point of departure is the anthropology of emotions. He believes that notions of anger vary between cultures and that the particular meaning of a word such as mênis needs to emerge from a close study of Greek epic. Mênis means more than an individual’s emotional response. on the basis of the epic exemplifications of the word, Muellner defines the term as a cosmic sanction against behavior that violates the most basic rules of human society. To understand the way mênis functions, Muellner stresses both the power and the danger that accrue to a person who violates such rules. Transgressive behavior has both a creative and destructive aspect.” — back cover