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Literary Criticism Ancient & Classical

Aeschylus' Use of Psychological Terminology

Traditional and New

by (author) Shirley D. Sullivan

McGill-Queen's University Press
Initial publish date
Sep 1993
Ancient & Classical
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 1993
    List Price

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Sullivan focuses on eight key psychological terms - phr n, thumos, kardia, kear, tor, nous, prapides, and psych - that appear frequently in ancient Greek texts but which have a wide range of possible meanings. Gathering instances from The Persians, Seven against Thebes, Suppliants, Agamemnon, Choephoroi, and Eumenides (instances from Prometheus Bound, whose authorship is in question, are treated in notes and an appendix), Sullivan first examines each psychic term separately. She then discusses instances of the terms in each play, examining the meaning of the psychic term in the context of the play in which it appears and providing details on Aeschylus' usage. This book sheds light on the rich and sometimes elaborate way in which Aeschylus uses psychological terminology and is an excellent reference for classicists, psychologists, philosophers, and scholars of comparative literature.

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Editorial Reviews

"I came away from the book feeling greatly enriched in my overall understanding of how the early Greeks in general and Aeschylus in particular viewed what one might call the operation of our inner selves. Sullivan is uniquely placed to write on this topic, and she has done it in a way greatly surpassing the work of those, such as Claus and Sansone, who have touched upon it in part but with nothing like Sullivan's thoroughness of detail or soundness of underlying theory." Thomas M. Robinson, Department of Philosophy, University of Toronto

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