Greek and Roman Consolations: Eight Studies of a Tradition and Its Afterlife

Greek and Roman Consolations: Eight Studies of a Tradition and Its Afterlife


Edited by Han Baltussen


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  • Publisher: Classical Press of Wales
  • Format: Hardback | 232 pages
  • Dimensions: 158mm x 234mm x 18mm | 540g
  • Publication date: 31 December 2013
  • Publication City/Country: Swansea
  • ISBN 10: 1905125569
  • ISBN 13: 9781905125562
  • Sales rank: 1,022,951

Product description

Ancient consolatory writings offer us a window onto alien forms of loss and grief, as experienced in a world where death happened, in most cases, much earlier and with less reliable warning than in developed countries today. Here, eight original studies explore the topic of bereavement in consolatory writings from ancient Greece, Rome, early medieval and Arabic society. David Scourfield examines consolation as a genre; James Chong-Gossard treats consolation in Greek tragedy, and the rejection of comfort; Han Baltussen studies the purpose and impact of Cicero's curious 'Consolation to Himself ' on the loss of his daughter. Marcus Wilson proposes a new interpretation of Seneca's consolatory writings; George Boys-Stones studies the Consolatio ad Apollonium as 'therapy for the dead'; David Konstan reflects on Lucian's Of Mourning and the consolation tradition. For later Antiquity and reception, Josef Lossl treats continuity and transformation of ancient Consolatio in Augustine of Hippo, while Peter Adamson addresses Arabic ethics and the limits of philosophical consolation. The collection offers unexpected results: consolation itself is on occasion rejected, philosophy deliberately marginalised, while much emerges which is unique and personal to the ancient individuals involved.

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Author information

Han Baltussen is the author of Peripatetic Dialectic in the De Sensibus (of Theophrastus)(2000), and of Philosophy and Exegesis in Simplicius. The Methodology of a Commentator(2008). He is also co-editor of two volumes on Greek, Latin and Arabic philosophical commentaries (with P. Adamson and M.W.F. Stone, 2004). Han Baltussen is Hughes Professor of Classics at the University of Adelaide

Review quote

...these essays will act as enlightening guides to further scholarship on the consolation. They will also be important references for scholars studying the role of emotion in ancient ethics, Greek and Roman mourning practices, lamentation and mourning in Greek and Latin tragedy, and, not least, ancient philosophy and its later reception. -- Clifford A. Robinson Bryn Mawr Classical Review October 2013