Restraining Rage

Restraining Rage : The Ideology of Anger Control in Classical Antiquity

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Drawing on a wide range of ancient texts, and on recent work in anthropology and psychology, "Restraining Rage" explains the rise and persistence of the obsessive concern with the control or elimination of rage from Homer to late antiquity.

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  • Paperback | 480 pages
  • 155.4 x 232.2 x 34.8mm | 680.4g
  • 02 Apr 2004
  • HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Cambridge, Mass
  • English
  • 0674013867
  • 9780674013865
  • 1,074,587

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Author Information

William V. Harris is Shepherd Professor of History at Columbia University and Director of the Center for the Ancient Mediterranean.

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Review quote

In this comprehensive exploration of anger and self-understanding in the classical world, Harris...endeavors to show that ancient discourses on anger control were responses to political and social conditions. Since the Iliad, the oldest work in Western literature, has as its theme the anger of Achilles, Harris has astutely hit upon a fascinating theme...Highly recommended. -- Clay Williams Library Journal 20020201 Harris is known for ground-breaking books on Roman imperialism and on literacy in the ancient world. His new book, a vastly ambitious attempt to cover nearly every aspect of anger in antiquity from Homer to early Christianity, breaks fresh ground again. -- M. F. Burnyeat London Review of Books 20021017 Why did the ancient Greeks and Romans find fault with anger? Why did they so insistently advocate the reining in or the elimination of angry emotions? Rather than offering a mere analysis of arguments presented in our primary texts, Harris's study undertakes to provide an answer from a social-anthropological perspective, taking due cognizance of the groups whose interests were served by the discourse of anger control in Greco-Roman antiquity. Most importantly, he demonstrates the relevance of his historical enquiry by relating it to discussions on the subject in our contemporary culture. -- Johan Strijdom Scholia Reviews 20030201 Harris's thoughtful, massively docoumented book is a major contribution to our understanding of the classical world...Harris is excellent on the kinds of therapy that ancient thinkers proposed and applied to excessive rage...His book will be a major resource for anyone concerned with the history of the emotions, whether in antiquity or beyond. It is a great achievement. -- David Konstan American Historical Review

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