Envy and Jealousy in Classical Athens: A Socio-Psychological Approach

ISBN : 9780199897728

Ed Sanders
224 Pages
163 x 238 mm
Pub date
Mar 2014
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Emotions vary between cultures, especially in their eliciting conditions, social acceptability, forms of expression, and co-extent of terminology. Envy and Jealousy in Classical Athens examines the sensation, expression, and literary representation of envy and jealousy in Classical Athens. Previous scholarship has primarily taken a lexical approach, focusing on usage of the Greek words phthonos (envy, begrudging, jealousy, spite) and zelos (emulative rivalry). This has value, but also limitations, for two reasons: the discreditable nature of phthonos renders its ascription or disclamation suspect, and there is no Classical Greek label for sexual jealousy. A complementary approach is therefore required, which reads the expressed values and actions of entire situations. Building on recent developments in reading emotion "scripts" in classical texts, this book applies to Athenian culture and literature insights on the contexts, conscious and subconscious motivations, subjective manifestations, and indicative behaviors of envy, jealousy, and related emotions, derived from modern philosophical, psychological, psychoanalytical, sociological, and anthropological scholarship. This enables an exploration of both the explicit theorization and evaluation of envy and jealousy, and also the more oblique ways in which they find expression across different genres-in particular philosophy, oratory, comedy, and tragedy.


Notes on text
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Envy, jealousy and related emotions - modern theories
Chapter 3: The vocabulary of Greek envy and jealousy
Chapter 4: Aristotle on phthonos
Chapter 5: Phthonos and the Attic oratorical corpus
Chapter 6: Audience phthonos in Old Comedy
Chapter 7: Onstage phthonos in Old Comedy and tragedy
Chapter 8: Sexual jealousy in Classical Athens
Index locorum
General index

About the author: 

Ed Sanders is Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at Royal Holloway, University of London.

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