by Theophrastus, Herodas and Sophron
edited and translated by Jeffrey Rusten and I. C. Cunningham
Harvard University Press, 2002
Cloth: 978-0-674-99603-8
Library of Congress Classification PA4449.E5C5 2002
Dewey Decimal Classification 888.0108


Dramatis personae.

This volume collects important examples of Greek literary portraiture. The Characters of Theophrastus consists of thirty fictional sketches of men who are each dominated by a single fault, such as arrogance, boorishness, or superstition. Unassuming in style, his character sketches nonetheless bear resemblance to the vivid figures of the period’s New Comedy. The Hellenistic poet Herodas wrote mimes, a popular Greek entertainment in which one actor or a small group portrayed a situation from everyday urban life, concentrating on depiction of character rather than on plot. Here too in a new text and translation are substantial portions of the mimes of Sophron, a Syracusan of the fifth century BC whose work Plato is said to have enjoyed, as well as a selection of anonymous mime fragments.

The extant work of Sophron and the anonymous mime fragments are newly added to the Loeb Classical Library in this edition. And Jeffrey Rusten and Ian Cunningham have updated their editions of Theophrastus and Herodas (both first published in 1993) in light of the latest scholarship.