Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Jessica Berry

Second Advisor

Greg Moore

Third Advisor

Tim O'Keefe


In this thesis, I focus on two undervalued aspects of Nietzsche’s admiration of the ancient Greeks: the healthy psychology of the Greeks, and the origins of this health in Homeric poetry. I argue that Homer was a cultural physician for the ancient Greeks and is responsible for creating a new, healthy set of values through his epic poetry. In turn, these Homeric values brought Greece into its “tragic age”—a time during which Greek culture was “the highest authority for what we may term cultural health” (PTAG 1). Moreover, Homer’s success as a cultural physician comes from his ability to lie poetically lie. So, I also give an account of how Nietzsche thinks this kind of lying is psychologically possible through what I call Nietzschean dissimulation.