This book presents an introduction to the Characters, a collection of thirty amusing descriptions of character types who lived in Athens in the fourth century BCE. The author of the work, Theophrastus, was Aristotle's colleague, his immediate successor and head of his philosophical school for thirty-five years. Pertsinidis' lively, original and scholarly monograph introduces Theophrastus as a Greek philosopher. It also outlines the remarkable influence of the Characters as a literary work and provides a detailed discussion of the work's purpose and its connection with comedy, ethics and rhetoric.
Theophrastus' Characters is a collection of thirty short character-sketches of various types of individuals who walked the streets of Athens in the late fourth century BC. This edition presents a radically improved text for a unique work which had a profound influence on European literature. The translation is designed to be readable and reveals the nuances of the original Greek--through a comprehensive commentary that clarifies the often enigmatic references within the text.
"These Characters are people we know--they're our quirky neighbors, our creepy bosses, our blind dates from hell. Sharp-tongued Theophrastus, made sharper than ever in this fresh new edition, reminds us that Athenian weirdness is as ageless as Athenian wisdom." -Mary Beard, Professor of Classics at Cambridge University, presenter of BBC's Civilisations The more things change, the more they stay the same: Theophrastus' Characters, a classical Greek text newly translated for a modern audience, is a joyful festival of fault-finding. The book outlines 30 characters, each crystallizing a human flaw all readers will immediately recognize, and is a humorous survey of failings, follies, and bad behavior taken straight off the streets of Athens and brought into our everyday fraught and divisive social and political scene. Brilliantly illustrated by acclaimed artist Andre Carrilho, this is an irresistible treasure of a book. WHEN ARISTOTLE WROTE that "comedy is about people worse than ourselves," he may have been recalling a hard-edged gem of a treatise written by his favorite student, Theophrastus. Theophrastus' Characters is a joyous festival of fault-finding: a collection of thirty closely observed personality portraits, defining the full spectrum of human flaws, failings, and follies. With piquant details of speech and behavior taken straight off the streets of ancient Athens, Theophrastus gives us sketches of the mean, vile, and annoying that are comically distorted yet vividly real. Enlivened by Pamela Mensch's fresh translation--the first widely available English version in over half a century--Theophrastus' Characters transports us to a world populated by figures of flesh and blood, not bronze and marble. The wry, inventive drawings help envoke the cankered wit of this most modern of ancient texts. Lightly but helpfully annotated by classicist James Romm, these thirty thumbnail portraits are startlingly recognizable twenty-three centuries later. The characters of Theophrastus are archetypes of human nature that remain insightful, caustic, and relevant.
Yet I have often been forced into the reflection that even the acquaintances who are as forgetful of my biography and tenets as they would be if I were a dead philosopher are probably aware of certain points in me which may not be included in my most active suspicion.
Interest in ancient rhetoric and its relevance to modern society has increased dramatically over recent decades. In North America, departments of speech and communications have experienced a noticeable renaissance of concern with ancient sources. On both sides of the Atlantic, numerous journals devoted to the history of rhetoric are now being published. Throughout, Aristotle's central role has been acknowledged, and there is also a growing awareness of the contributions made by Theophrastus and the Peripatetics. Peripatetic Rhetoric After Aristotle responds to this recent interest in rhetoric and peripatetic theory. The chapters provide new insights into Peripatetic influence on different periods and cultures: Greece and Rome, the Syrian- and Arabic-speaking worlds, Europe in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, and the international scene today. Contributors to this volume include Maroun Aouad, Lucia Calboli Montefusco, Thomas Conley, Tiziano Dorandi, Lawrence D. Green, Doreen C. Innes, George A. Kennedy, Michael Leff, and Eckart Schutrumpf. This comprehensive analysis of the history of rhetoric ranges from the early Hellenistic period to the present day. It will be of significant interest to classicists, philosophers, and cultural historians.
Historical Dynamics from Antiquity to the Contemporary World
Author: J. Arnold
Category: Social Science
Across history, the ideas and practices of male identity have varied much between time and place: masculinity proves to be a slippery concept, not available to all men, sometimes even applied to women. This book analyses the dynamics of 'masculinity' as both an ideology and lived experience - how men have tried, and failed, to be 'Real Men'.