Tragedy Offstage: Suffering and Sympathy in Ancient Athens by Rachel Hall Sternberg

By Rachel Hall Sternberg

Humane beliefs have been imperative to the picture Athenians had of themselves and their urban throughout the classical interval. Tragic performs, which shaped part of civic schooling, frequently promoted pity and compassion. however it is much less transparent to what quantity Athenians embraced such beliefs in lifestyle. How have been they anticipated to reply, emotionally and pragmatically, to the ache of different humans? less than what conditions? At what threat to themselves? during this booklet, Rachel corridor Sternberg attracts on facts from Greek oratory and historiography of the 5th and fourth centuries BCE to review the ethical universe of the traditional Athenians: how voters can have handled each other in instances of adversity, whilst and the way they have been anticipated to aid. She develops case reports in 5 spheres of way of life: domestic nursing, the ransom of captives, intervention in highway crimes, the long-distance shipping of ill and wounded squaddies, and slave torture. Her shut analyzing of chosen narratives means that Athenians embraced excessive criteria for supporting behaviouroat least towards family members, buddies, and a few fellow electorate. in the meantime, a refined discourse of ethical legal responsibility reinforced the bonds that held Athenian society jointly, encouraging members to deliver their own behaviour into line with the beliefs of the city-state.

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Nevertheless, it is clear from nonmedical texts that women did perform nursing tasks. Children will also have been called upon to help attend the sick. 2), gives us a touching portrait of little Cyrus caring for his grandfather Astyages: For when his grandfather fell sick, Cyrus never left him nor did he ever stop crying, but it was obvious to everyone that he was terribly afraid his grandfather might die. For even at night, if Astyages needed something, Cyrus was the first to perceive it and, the most untiring of all, he would jump up to perform whatever service he thought would please him, so that he won over Astyages completely.

30 We have little information about Greek bedrooms because these can rarely be identified through archaeological evidence. 31 Bedrooms were smaller and would have contained sparse furnishings: a chest, perhaps, and a kline¯ , which could function as both bed and couch. 64). Gisela Richter (1966, 52 – 63) reviews the evidence for various types of kline¯ . Not all were light and portable, but one could easily improvise a bed by piling blankets on a floor or courtyard, or laying down a stibas, or mattress.

It is hard to find much detachment here. True, the two men are merely lifelong friends rather than blood kin, so the speaker differs from the proverbial man who cannot weep for his doomed children because his sorrow is too great for tears (Arist. Rh. 1386a20 –22; cf. Hdt. 14). Yet the speaker, as he evokes their mutual weeping, seeks to demonstrate his closeness to Thrasylochus, not his distance from him. indb 34 8/7/06 12:47:53 PM hom e nurs in g 35 I believe that oiktos and eleos terms are missing for two reasons that may be operating simultaneously.

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