「好色的行為」の意のhubrizeinから、ローマ人を父親にし異国人を母親に持った子供を指す、 hybrid (混血児)というラテン語の単語が生まれた。古代からの母系相続規則の名残りにより、母親の身分が奴隷であるか自由民であるかによって、子供もまた奴隷あるいは自由民と定められた。父親の身分は無関係だった。同じようにユダヤ人の間でも、雑婚すなわち異種交配の場合には、母親がユダヤ人のときに限って子供もユダヤ人になり、父親だけがユダヤ人のときには子供は異邦人だった。
Barbara G. Walker : The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets (Harper & Row, 1983)
hubris, intentionallu dishonouring behaviour, was a powerful term of moral condemnation in ancient Greece; and in Athens, and perhaps elsewhere, it was also treated as a serious crime. The common use of hubris in English to suggest pride, overconfidence, or any behaviour which may offend divine powers, rests, it is now generally held, on misunderstanding of ancient texts, and concomitant and over-simplified views of Greek attitudes to the gods have lent support to many doubtful, and often over-Christianizlng, interpretations, above all of Greek tragedy.
The best ancient discussion of hubris is found in Aristotle's Rhetoric: his definition is that hubris is 'doing and saying things at which the victim incurs shame, not in order that one may achieve anything other than what is done, but simply to get pleasure from it. For those who act in return for something do not commit hubris, they avenge themselves. The cause of the pleasure for those committing hubris is that by harming people, they think themselves superior; that is why the young and the rich are hubristic, as they think they are superior when they commit hubris' (Rh. 1378b23-30). This account, locating hubris within a framework of ideas concerned with the honour and shame of the individual, which took a central place in the value-systems of the ancient Greeks, fits very well the vast majority of texts exploiting the notion, from Homer till well after Aristotle's own time (with the notable exception of some philosophically sigmificant developments in some of Plato (1)'s later works). While it primarily denotes gratuitous dishonouring by those who are, or think they are, powerful and superior, it can also at times denote the insolence of accepted 'inferiors', such as women, children, or slaves, who disobey or claim independence; or it may be used to emphasize the degree of humiliation actually inflicted on a victim, regardless of the agent's intention; some cases, especially applied to verbal insults, may be humorously exaggerated; and revenge taken to excessive or brutal lengths can be condemned as constituting fresh hubris.
Hubris is most often the insulting infliction of physical force or violence: classic cases are Meidias' punch on Demosthenes (2)'s face in the theatre (see Demosthenes 21), and the assaults by Conon and sons on the speaker of Demosthenes 54, when the middle-aged Conon allegedly gloated over the body of their battered victim in the manner of a triumphant fighting-cock. Further common forms o fhubristic acts are sexual assaults (rape, seduction, or deviant practices), where emphasis is thereby placed on the dishonour inflicted on the victims or on the male householders responsible for them. Since states too seek to protect their honour, hubris is commonly applied to invasions, imperialist 'enslavement', or military savagery, often, but not exclusively, when committed by 'barbarian' powers. In consequence, Greek cities took hubris very seriously as a political danger, both to their collective freedom and status, and as commumities functioning internally through respect for law and the well-being of their members. Unchecked hubris was held to be characteristic of tyrannies, or of oligarchies or democracies serving their own class (depending on one's viewpoint), and to be a major cause of stasis or civil wars. In Athens, probably from Solon's laws of the early 6th cent. BC, a legal action for hubris existed, and its public significance was signalled by the possibility of the heaviest penalties, and by the fact that the action was (as a graphê) open to any Athenian with full citizen rights, not restricted to the victim of the dishonour. While our limited evidence suggests that the action was infrequently used, its ideological importance as a safeguard for poorer citizens in the democracy was none the less considerable.
Hubris is not essentially a religious term; yet the gods naturally were often supposed to punish instances of it, either because they may feel themselves directly dishonoured, or, more frequenly, because they were held to uphold general Greek moral and social values. Nor is it helpful to see Greek tragedy centrally concerned to display the divine pumishment of hubristic heroes; tragedy focuses rather on unjust or problematic suffering, whereas fullscale acts of hubris by the powerful tend to deprive them of the human sympathy necessary for tragic victims.
N. R. E. F.(O. C. D.)