How deep of a knowledge of mythology is needed to understand Plato and the rest of the Greeks? I pic related back in September but I can't say how much it stuck. Is Plato going to be making specific callouts to characters like Iphicles or is it more general (i.e. themes and archetypes), and if the former case is true than is it worth rereading Hamilton?
Hamilton will have almost zero help with reading Greeks, especially on the philosophy side of things. You need very little/no mythology knowledge beyond what you probably already have to read le Greeks.
Literally the only time you might want a background knowledge is if you're doing a comparison between different poets--if you're just doing philosophy, you really don't need a lot of information about mythology. Doesn't mean you shouldn't bother getting familiar in order to help picking up allusions in other lit though.
I've just read (listened to) The Republic.
Are all of Plato's books in conversation form? Because I found it quite easy to listen to, compared with other books I've tried such as Meditations or The Prince. I've got some travelling to do this week and wanted something to listen to.
The early Greeks are pretty quick to get through. The Presocratics are pretty crucial to nail down before Plato, but the playwrights and even Homer are referenced fairly rarely, and even then more along the lines of like "As Homer says, [two lines from Iliad]," whereas presocratic ideas are referenced more subtly (to the point that you won't recognize many of them as references unless you've read those earlier texts), and are occasionally used as starting points for specific arguments and even entire dialogues.
Waterfield's "First Philosophers" is a great crash course on the pre-socratics, in case you didn't already pick up a copy as recommended by the Greek charts.
-As many pre-Socratic Greek dramas as you can
Or you could just read a good annotated translation like Bloom's and go back to these materials as needed/referenced.
He was right. Homeric selfishness, something the Spartan and Athenian aristocracy emphasized (Sparta more so) is decadent and lacks emphasis upon service towards the political community, and the construction of amoral deities who supposedly be paragons of morality is a stupid contradiction. It's a bit of an irony that the greatest example for Homeric selfishness was Alexander when Alex was taught by Aristotle himself.
Is this overkill if I want into literature and philosophy?
Which kind of philosophy? If you just jump into contemporary analytical philosophy (Philosophy of the mind, say), no not really. If you want to read the Continental greats (Kant, Nietzche, Heidegger, etc...) it would certainly help.
OP, if you get a good edition/translation of a greek book, most likely there's going to be footnotes when a myth is being referenced, worst case scenario keep mythologies on the side as a reference book as to when you encounter a myth reference that you don't get, simply pull out the mythologies book and look for it
I did the Republic at school, but I've decided to read Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Phaedo (published by Penguin in one volume, The Last Days of Socrates) and the Symposium before I reread the Republic.
Just because logical positivism got BTFO does not mean analytic philosophy is not a legitimate field of inquiry, there's plenty of contemporary work that goes on under the umbrella of analytic philosophy.
>Just because logical positivism got BTFO does not mean analytic philosophy is not a legitimate field of inquiry
>legitimate field of inquiry