Strategie e forme della riconciliazione: μὴ μνησικακεῖν

Mauro Moggi


Mnesikakein in the beginning was the rule: revenge - originating from memory of injuries (kakà) and consequent ill-feeling, considered not only legitimate but also a duty - represented in the Greek world the most expected outcome, fully consistent with both the moral attitudes and practical behaviours of individuals and communities. The idea of giving up one's memories, grudges and desire for revenge in the name of reconciliation was a later development, slow and halting in the coming. This development was recognized in the great Athenian reconciliation of 403, through an amnesia/amnesty that buried in oblivion all the wrongs of the Thirty Tyrants. Oblivion and memories of past injuries are the hard core of tragic contemporary experience, producing different reactions: oblivion – obliterating past offences and sufferings – offers the only chance for life, while memory is used to prevent analogous atrocities in the future, to denounce them and ask for just punishment under law. Purposes of this kind have nothing to do with the culture of the Greeks: here we can measure the remarkable distance separating us – luckily, we might say – from them.

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