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Envy and Jealousy in Classical Athens A Socio-Psychological Approach by Ed Sanders

Envy and Jealousy in Classical Athens A Socio-Psychological Approach

Part of the Emotions of the Past Series


Envy and Jealousy in Classical Athens A Socio-Psychological Approach by Ed Sanders

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.


analysis of specific literary texts presents them in such a fresh light that the reader will turn to these well

-known works with refreshed curiosity - this is not a minor achievement. ... Sanders
book is a precious and enviable contribution both to the history of emotions and to literary studies

. * Bryn Mawr Classical Review *

About the Author

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

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Book Info

Publication date

12th February 2014


Ed Sanders

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Oxford University Press Inc


224 pages


Literary studies: classical, early & medieval

Ethics & moral philosophy
Psychology: emotions



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