cover of book

Melancholy, Love, and Time: Boundaries of the Self in Ancient Literature
by Peter G. Toohey
University of Michigan Press, 2004
Cloth: 978-0-472-11302-6 | eISBN: 978-0-472-02559-6
Library of Congress Classification PA3015.P78T66 2004
Dewey Decimal Classification 880.09


Ancient literature features many powerful narratives of madness, depression, melancholy, lovesickness, simple boredom, and the effects of such psychological states upon individual sufferers. Peter Toohey turns his attention to representations of these emotional states in the Classical, Hellenistic, and especially the Roman imperial periods in a study that illuminates the cultural and aesthetic significance of this emotionally charged literature. His probing analysis shows that a shifting representation of these afflicted states, and the concomitant sense of isolation from one's social affinities and surroundings, manifests a developing sense of the self and self-consciousness in the ancient world.
This book makes important contributions to a variety of disciplines including classical studies, comparative literature, literary and art history, history of medicine, history of emotions, psychiatry, and psychology.
Peter Toohey is Professor and Department Head of Greek and Roman Studies at the University of Calgary, Canada.

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