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“Whenever their lives were set aflame, through desire or suffering, or even reflection, the Homeric heroes knew that there was a god at work.
No psychology since has ever gone beyond this; all we have done is invent, for those powers that act upon us, longer, more numerous, more awkward names, which are less effective, less closely aligned to the glean of our experience, whether they be pleasure or terror. The moderns are proud above all of their responsibility, but in being so they presume to respond with a voice they are not even sure is theirs....The ancients knew nothing of that cumbersome word, "responsibility". For them, it was if every crime was committed in a state of mental infirmity. But such infirmity meant that a god was present and at work. What we consider infirmity they saw as “divine infatuation”. They knew that this invisible incursion often brought ruin: so much so that the word áte would gradually come to mean “ruin”. But they also knew, and it was Sophocles who said it, that “mortal life can have nothing great about it except through áte."
Thus a people obsessed with the idea of hubris were also a people who dismissed with the utmost skepticism an agent’s claim actually to do anything.”
Roberto Calasso, The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony, pp. 93-94