Sources for the study of emotions in the Greek world
edited by Angelos Chaniotis

Database of sources for the study emotions in the Greek World

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The database briefly presents selected sources concerning emotions in the Greek world (8th century BCE-6th century CE). It is not addressed exclusively to Classicists, Ancient Historians, and Classical Archaeologists; it has been designed for general use by scholars interested in emotions as a subject of historical research. For this reason and for reasons of brevity long discussions of specific phenomena are avoided. The database provides a starting point for the searching of sources and an overview of parameters that determine the presence of emotions in the source material from the Greek world; it is not a medium for the presentation of a thorough analysis of texts and objects of material culture.

The database is based on FileMakerPro 10 and was designed by Jeremy Worth (Institute of Archaeology, Oxford) in cooperation with the Principal Investigator and the Research Associates. Each entry of the database provides the following data:

Record number: Record numbers reflect the sequence in which entries were included in the database. The record number is accompanied by an abbreviation of the name(s) of the researcher(s) who compiled the entry.

: The reference is to the ancient source presented in the entry. For Greek literary texts the project used the editions that are presented by the Perseus Digital Project:
Important deviations from these editions are recorded.
For inscriptions and papyri, only the edition used for the analysis is usually cited; further bibliography is given under
Bibliography. The abbreviations for epigraphic and papyrological corpora are those of the Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum (inscriptions) and of the Checklist of Editions of Greek, Latin, Demotic and Coptic Papyri, Ostraca and Tablets (

: The heading provides a summary of the source’s content and refers to the source’s significance for the study of emotions. The headings have been written by the Principal Investigator.

: The type of the source (literary text, inscription, papyrus, etc.) and the genre (e.g., philosophical text, decree, epitaph, letter, etc.) is briefly indicated.

: In order to facilitate the search of sources according to their date, the century to which a source belongs is indicated here. When an author’s works span more than a century or when the exact date of an inscription or papyrus is not known, the earliest date is indicated. E.g., for Plutarch the century is “1st CE”; for an inscription that is dated to the 1st-3rd century CE, the entry is 1st CE. More information on the date is given under Date.

: When the exact date of the text is not known, reference is made to the century (Roman numeral) before the common era (a = ante) and after the inauguration of the common era (p = post); e.g., IIIa = 3rd century BCE, IVp = 4th century CE. When a more precise date is known, it is given in parenthesis.

: The place refers to the place of the composition of a text in the case of literary texts (when known), and to the place found in the case of inscriptions, papyri, and archaeological objects.

: The summary of the content focuses on information concerning emotions and is limited to 150 words. When the presentation of the content requires more than 150 words, usually because it concerns various phenomena or addresses a variety of questions, a source is presented in more than one entry.

: In the case of inscriptions, almost all translations were made by the project’s researchers. In the case of papyri and literary texts existing translations, if available, were used, but they were usually adapted, especially as regards the translation of terms pertaining to emotions.

Emotions: The emotions directly mentioned or indirectly implied by the source are listed, accompanied by the relevant Greek vocabulary. An index of the terms used is found under EmotionsDatabaseIndexEmotions.pdf.

Social-cultural context
: The social and cultural phenomena connected with the source (e.g., family, education, control of emotions, war, religion, etc.) and the context of the communication of emotion (e.g., mourning, letter exchange, relations between king and city, etc.) are indicated with selected key-words. An index of the terms used is found under EmotionsDatabaseIndexContexts.pdf.

: The Greek text is not given in the database. The Greek texts are included in pdf files posted on this website. These files can be downloaded. Each file contains 100 texts. E.g., the file EmotionsGreekTexts101-200.pdf contains the Greek texts used for the Records nos. 101-200. Sometimes only excerpts are presented, i.e., the parts of a text directly relevant for the study of emotions.

Image: Due to copyright issues, the database does not yet include images but only references to publications of images of inscriptions and archaeological objects.

: Further bibliography is only given in exceptional cases. It concerns further editions of inscriptions and papyri, general discussions of a source, or discussion of relevant phenomena.

: When other Records of the database refer to similar phenomena, references are provided. The ‘Parallels’ also include references to other attestations of stereotypical expressions.