Philia: An Overview of Friendship in Ancient Greece

Aristotle divides friendships into three types, based on the motive for forming them: friendships of utility, friendships of pleasure and friendships of the good. Philia, often translated “brotherly love”, is one of the four ancient Greek words for love: philia, storge, agape and eros. In Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, philia is usually translated as “friendship” or affection.[1] The complete opposite is called a phobia. Aristotle’s View As[…]

An Historical Overview of the Three Periods of Ancient Athenian Comedy

The Alexandrine grammarians seem to have been the first to divide Greek comedy into what became the canonical three periods. Introduction Ancient Greek comedy was one of the final three principal dramatic forms in the theatre of classical Greece (the others being tragedy and the satyr play). Athenian comedy is conventionally divided into three periods: Old Comedy, Middle Comedy, and New Comedy. Old Comedy survives today[…]

Lessons from Homer’s ‘Odyssey’ about Reentering the World after a Period of Isolation

A scholar of Greek literature writes why we need to turn to the past to understand the present – and the lessons that Homer’s hero, Odysseus, holds for us. Introduction In the ancient Greek epic “The Odyssey,” Homer’s hero, Odysseus, describes the wild land of the Cyclops as a place where people don’t gather together[…]