Phronēsis in Antisthenes’ Ajax and Odysseus

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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to read Antisthenes’ speeches Ajax and Odysseus from the perspective of “Socratic discourses”, that is as a text which could represent an alternative form of the search for a good life. The putative theme of the speeches is the contest for the arms of Achilles. But readers can find at a deeper level another subject: Ajax and Odysseus show two moral characters involved in the debate over the correct meaning of excellence (aretē) or practical wisdom (phronēsis).

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