Nach Mythen. Über Hybris

Possibly the most famous story about hubris ended with a fatal fall into the ocean. Icarus’s father, we recall, cautioned his son to practise moderation and to fly neither too high nor too low. But Icarus placed his confidence in the construction of his wings – a fatal flaw. He flew too close to the sun, the wax melted, and all that remained of him was the name of the Mediterranean island on which he was buried. The naming of a Mediterranean island after a famous crash is not the rule; sometimes the opposite happens, and the name of an island becomes synonymous with the fall of a person who has grossly overestimated their invulnerability. Ancient times, therefore, teach us that the art of life and of politics involves being reasonable and never partying with nieces of oligarchs, no matter how entitled one may feel – at some point there is bound to be an inquiry committee. But we shouldn’t forget that many wars have been waged in the past in the name of reason, because reason can justify anything. And reason, we recall, is a term traditionally used by men. But in the end, it was often the women who were left in the smouldering debris of war-torn cities and who bore the consequences.

Back to top