Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sacred precincts- strictly Greek?

Sacred grove of Zeus, Olympia Greece

On pg. 172 of "Pan's Travail", Hughes states,
"The rules protecting land reserved for the gods [in ancient Greece] were strict and numerous, and followed a consistent pattern although specific laws varied from place to place and in different periods. The underlying principle was that the groves were property of the gods and ought not be damaged in any way. First was a definition of the boundary of the sacred area and a prohibition against trespass. To step over the line, however it was marked, was to pass from ordinary ground to holy ground, and was allowed only for those who were prepared and would not pollute it."

Read the post below. How does the idea of a sacred precinct relate to Roxanne Quimby's nature ethic? Is the idea of a "wildlife sanctuary" unimpeded by human impact a new concept, or unique to America? Why is it that 'nature' remains a "contested moral terrain"?

1 comment:

dmc68 said...

To me, it seems like a big difference between Quimby's project and the sacred sites of the ancient Greeks is the way the land is thought about in each case. I guess what I mean is, the ancient Greeks seemed to value the land because it was the domain of the Gods - protecting the land was instrumental to their staying in favor with the Gods, who could provide other things essential to life. In Quimby's case, it doesn't seem as if she has any instrumental motive - like she values nature for its own sake. I guess, though, you could argue that trying to make the land into a national park for human enjoyment is an instrumental goal...