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David Konstan
Brown University in Providence in the State of Rhode Island (Providence, RI 02912-9100)
The Emotions of the Ancient Greeks

My project is to investigate the meanings of a set of emotion words in classical Greek, including the terms commonly translated into English as "anger," "hatred," "fear," "confidence," "gratitude," "share," "indignation," "envy," and "emulation." These are among the concepts that Aristotle analyzes in the second book of his Rhetoric, our principal source for ancient Greek definitions of the emotions. I shall examine a wide variety of texts, literary and historical as well as philosophical, with a view to highlighting where ancient emotional concepts differ in practice, as well as in theory, from those represented by modern English usage. I shall also try to indicate how the Greek emotions may have been shaped b the nature of ancient Greek social life, and what contribution classical ideas may make to modern controversies concerning the emotions.

Project fields:

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

$24,000 (approved)
$24,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2004 – 4/30/2005