This article examines the way the ancient Greeks conceived of the emotions. Special attention is paid to the differences between classical Greek and modern English conceptions, in line with the view that culture plays a significant role in shaping the way emotions are experienced. The analysis draws on ancient Greek literature, from Homer’sIliadto tragedy, comedy, and lyric poetry, as well as on historical and philosophical works by Aristotle and Xenophon. Also considered are changes in the way the emotions are understood in early Christian and later texts, with occasional reference to Latin adaptations. In particular, the emotions of pity, anger, fear, love, and jealousy are examined in detail.
Paul W. Kroll
The importance and influence of anthologies during the Tang dynasty is evident in their increasing numbers and broad variety. The names of over a hundred Tang anthologies are known, and over a score have been preserved in whole or part. These include general anthologies of verse and prose, some conceived of as sequels to pre-Tang anthologies, as well as anthologies devoted only to verse, to choice extracts, or to particular periods or occasions, particular groups of writers, particular topics, or even particular areas from which writers hailed. They range in size from those with barely two dozen compositions to those containing a thousand or more.
Stephen J. Harrison
This chapter considers the biography, literary career, and literary output of the second-century Platonizing Latin writer Apuleius, born in Roman North Africa in the 120s ce and recorded as active in Carthage and Africa Proconsularis in the late 150s and 160s. In particular, it examines the key features of his two most important surviving works, the Apologia or Pro Se De Magia, a forensic oration of self-defense against charges of magic and other offences, delivered in the late 150s in court at Sabathra, and the Metamorphoses or Golden Ass, a spectacular picaresque fiction concerning the adventures of the young Greek Lucius, who is metamorphosed into a donkey but later becomes an official in the cults of Isis and Osiris. It is shown overall that Apuleius’s literary profile matches those of contemporary Greek sophists and can be usefully described as sophistic.
J. R. Morgan
This chapter discusses the novels of Chariton and Xenophon of Ephesus. Both are engaged with central concerns of the Second Sophistic, in particular that of elite Greek identity. Chariton’s novel (composed in the second century and connected with the sophist Dionysius of Miletus) demonstrates the same empathetic recreation of the classical past as sophistic declamation, and defines the Greekness of his protagonists in antithesis to a Persia configured to enable the exploration of the contemporary accommodation of the Greek elite to Rome. In his vision, paideia is a central constituent of Hellenic identity, enacted through an important third character, who represents an older erotic paradigm in contrast to the romantic heroes. Xenophon’s novel (probably an epitome), on the other hand, uses a contemporary setting to explore the nightmare of the loss of social status and control over one’s own person.
The Chinese script is one of the major writing systems of the world and has over three thousand years of recorded history. Native accounts of its origin have been extremely influential and remain part of the general discourse, even though newly discovered archaeological materials in many cases challenge the traditional view. The earliest known examples of Chinese characters survive on oracle bones, and these are essentially ancestral to all modern forms of written Chinese, even though the script went through great changes during the following millennia. One of the most important such changes was the Qin-Han transition from the scripts of the Warring States period to that of the dynastic era. In the medieval period, the Chinese script was adopted for other languages in East and Central Asia, and in some cases was modified to create new Sinoform scripts (e.g., Khitan, Jurchen, and Tangut).
The tradition of classical studies in China after the fall of the Han continued to flourish, though in changing forms from the period of division through the end of the Tang dynasty. The ongoing relevance of the Classics and the Masters Texts to both the educational and institutional systems of successive dynasties guaranteed that elites would sustain a heritage of scholarship and transmit commentaries over generations. And yet the classicist tradition was not merely a static corpus of commentary on “dead” texts but rather a dynamic and stimulating body of knowledge that inspired new literary compositions, philosophical reflection, and ultimately new styles of writing, both poetry and prose. This chapter traces the most important classicist revivals and the most prolific and influential writers in the classicist tradition, including authors such as Yuan Jie, Li Hua, Han Yu, Bai Juyi, and others.
Each of the texts and commentarial traditions known as the “Confucian” classics derives ultimately from Zhou dynasty models for speech and ritual behavior. Shijing (Classic of Poetry) includes both court liturgy and local popular song, Shangshu (Documents Classic) gathers speeches attributed to early rulers, Chunqiu (Spring and Autumn Anna ls) assembles historical accounts and interpretations, the Classics on ritual (li) addresses fine points of ceremony and political order, and Yijing (Classic of Changes) offers a guide to divination and the connections between the natural and human worlds. Conceived of as a set and linked over time to the teachings of Confucius, the canon was adopted during the Han dynasty as the prime expression of China’s ideals for morality, education, administrative practice, and governance. As a rich literary corpus that had implicit legitimacy, the classics offered models both for particular literary styles and for an enduring order of textual expression and interpretation.
Ji, “collection,” is the last of the four-part Chinese bibliographical scheme after “Classics,” “Histories,” and “Masters.” Referring to collections of literary works, it is central to our understanding of the premodern Chinese conception of literature. This chapter focuses on bieji (literary collections by individual authors) and introduces the fundamental issues regarding the formation and content of a literary collection. It discusses when the term bieji first appeared, and what the early collections were; how a literary collection was constituted, circulated, transmitted, and reconstituted; what genres a literary collection might include, and more important, exclude; and in what ways a bieji is important to a historicized understanding of what constituted “literature” in the Middle Period. The coda briefly discusses the rebuilding of the lost and scattered medieval literary collections and the proliferation of specialized collections in the Song and beyond.
This chapter explores the practicalities of empire and colonialism as these affected the conditions of cultural production under Roman rule and adumbrates contours of enquiry within several such domains. It commences with general remarks on the fit between ancient empire as a political form and the regular features of early modern and modern experience that gave rise to contemporary postcolonial theory. Subsequent sections explore the metropolitan desire for knowledge pursuant to governance; the responses that this desire generated in colonial contexts, in both conduct and self-understanding; and the lingering power of imperial knowledge in ancient and modern scholarship. The essay closes by enquiring into nature of elite cultural production under Rome, asking how imperial were the empire’s elites and how metropolitan were their tastes.
Tamara T. Chin
This chapter gives a chronological sketch of China’s past as a real and imagined part of a culturally larger history. It addresses the significance of the historiographic paradigms of colonization and Sinicization, highlighting the literary genres and frontier contexts that complicate linear narratives of empire and literary practice. The final section on the “Polyscriptic Northwest” introduces the diversity of literatures in foreign scripts and languages that flourished alongside Literary Chinese texts in eastern Central Asia (China’s Northwest). Throughout the first millennium ce, mass migration across the politically polycentric Northwest led to different practices of acculturation. This included the adoption of non-Chinese and Chinese writing for religious and secular purposes. Given the traditional prestige of writing in China as a signifier of civilization (wen), this encounter with foreign (non-Sinographic) scripts, and not simply foreign languages, marks a watershed; hence the heuristic emphasis here on “polyscriptic” rather than multilingual.