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Virtue Obscured: Theagenes' Sophrosyne in Heliodorus' Aethiopica.

The concept of sophrosyne has a central role in the genre of the Greek novel. (1) The five extant texts have at their heart the representation of a mutual, heterosexual erotic relationship between beautiful, aristocratic youths and, in all of the novels apart from Longus' Daphnis and Chloe, the protagonists' possession of sophrosyne is a crucial part of their identity. They must prove their sophrosyne when faced with sexual advances from lustful antagonists, and they often prove their fidelity through their innate regard for this virtue. While as a term and concept sophrosyne (2) is semantically complex, encompassing the qualities and psychological states of temperance, moderation, sanity, self-control and chastity, in the novels it generally refers to sexual restraint and the motivation behind chastity. The texts differ in their respective treatments of sophrosyne: there is a spectrum from the representation of mutual chastity in Xenophon of Ephesus' novel, which has been labelled obsessive, (3) to the irreverent subversion of chastity found in Achilles Tatius' Leucippe and Clitophon. (4) Despite these divergent treatments, the role of sophrosyne is always fundamental to the ethics of these novels.

Heliodorus' Aethiopica has long been considered a complex work, particularly in terms of its narrative structure. (5) The characterisation of its protagonists has recently emerged as an important factor too. (6) The representation of gender and ethics has also received attention. (7) This article, in focusing explicitly on the nature of how Theagenes is represented in this text in relation to his sexual ethics, will open up a new avenue of exploration into Heliodorus' aims (particularly as those aims relate to ethical aspects of characterisation), and his depiction of traditional masculine mores. Theagenes' characterisation is less straightforward than Charicleia's: Heliodorus often prioritises her adventures and destiny over Theagenes'. This goes some way to explaining the comparative lack of attention the hero has received in scholarship. Here, the aim will be to analyse the extent to which this indirect and sketchy characterisation and consequent blurring of ethical motivation inform us about Heliodorus' representation of this example of masculine sophrosyne, creating doubt about how sophron this hero is. In broader terms, this article will seek to advance our understanding of how Heliodorus' representation of gender roles is far from normative in generic terms: his subtleties are not limited to his narrative strategies, but also extend to his view of masculinity and heroism.

Sophrosyne and its cognates occur 33 times in the text of Heliodorus. (8) The frequent use of this terminology indicates how central the concept is to the novel and to the characterisations within it. Out of these 33, fourteen refer to the heroine, Charicleia, (9) directly, and it is her sophrosyne, and that of her mother, Persinna, which is discussed in Anderson's excellent article. (10) Theagenes is described as possessing sophrosyne on only two occasions (5,4,5; 8,6,4: he refers to sophrosyne in general, implying his and Charicleia's mutual possession of the virtue, at 10,9,1), so I will explore how his attitude towards sexual restraint is implied and nuanced, even though the term is not often used of him. First, I will discuss some early representations of the male protagonist and of his implied sophrosyne. Second, I will explore how Theagenes' restraint is subordinate to his desire for Charicleia, looking at passages from throughout the novel. I will finish by considering how the nuanced and subtle portrayal of Theagenes and his sophrosyne has broader consequences for the study of the Aethiopica.

Theagenes' Sophrosyne: First Impressions

In looking at Theagenes' sophrosyne, it is important to consider how the reader becomes aware of the youth's character and his relationship with Charicleia. By establishing how the first impressions of Theagenes affect our reading of his approach to sophrosyne, we can build on these initial findings in order to provide a picture of how this protagonist is represented in relation to this virtue. Although Theagenes is introduced in the second chapter of the first book, the reader does not know his name until Charicleia names him in her first lament (in terms of the recit at 1,8,3). The Herdsmen have taken prisoner Charicleia and Theagenes and Charicleia laments her fate, stating that she would prefer an inviolate death to any attempt on her chastity by the bandits. Charicleia's lament immediately emphasises her sophrosyne, and, by implication, Theagenes' adherence to the virtue, at least in relation to Charicleia. Our very first impression of Theagenes involves his relationship to the sophron girl who has stunned the bandits with her beauty. At this point, then, we are beginning to perceive generic conformity: two beautiful young people are apparently devoted to one another and sophrosyne is central. However, Theagenes is represented through Charicleia's focalisation at this early stage, rather than via any self-representation.

This representation is repeated at 1,25: at this juncture in the narrative, Charicleia has pretended to consent to the marital proposal of the bandit chief, Thyamis, who had previously placed the couple in captivity. Theagenes' dismay regarding Charicleia's response to Thyamis' suit is quickly resolved by the heroine's explanation, which involves some crucial information regarding the central couple's back-story. The repetition in quick succession of terms related to sophrosyne is clear evidence of how Charicleia values this virtue, but the speech is also indicative of how her relationship with Theagenes is couched in this narrative:
[phrase omitted]

I do not deny that I am in a sorry plight, but no danger could be so
great that I could be induced not to be virtuous. I know of only one
thing in which I have not been virtuous: my original passion for you.
But even that was lawful, for I first gave myself to you then not as a
woman consenting to her lover, but as a wife pledging herself to her
husband, and to this day I have continued to keep myself pure, even
from intercourse with you, many times repelling your advances,
safeguarding the union which we pledged at the outset and swore to
honour whatever befell, in the hope that one day it will be legally
solemnised. (1,25,4) (11)

Although this speech from Charicleia might strike the reader as a perfect encapsulation of her position vis a vis sophrosyne, it is also strongly suggestive of The-agenes' position, but only, once again, from Charicleia's perspective. While it could be argued, therefore, that the speech tells us more about Charicleia's obsession with sexual purity and her prioritising of marriage over physical union, a view does emerge of Theagenes here, albeit a view that is filtered through Charicleia's speech. From this speech and from the one at 1,8 mentioned above, the reader perceives the hero's sexual abstinence as caused primarily by Charicleia's insistence upon it, which means that he does not possess sophrosyne, if we understand the virtue to be something beyond a display of abstinence, as something involving an intrinsic commitment to a moderation of desire. The oaths mentioned here are not sworn until much later in the recit (4,18), and I will discuss the significance of their role below. Here, it is enough to note that the couple are pledged to one another in readiness for marriage, but they have agreed to no carnal contact before their wedding. The focalisation through Charicleia, and the motivation behind her speech, which stems from a need to reassure an anxious Theagenes, both mean that our initial view of Theagenes and of his position regarding sophrosyne is not straightforward. However, we can gain a partial view and, even at this early point in the novel, it is implied that his stance is strongly influenced by his desire for and dependence on the sophron and wily Charicleia.

A further important consideration is the fact that Charicleia claims that she has rejected Theagenes' advances many times previously. This statement is problematic, not just because there is only one narrated occasion when Charicleia has to remind Theagenes of his oath to respect her sophrosyne, namely at 5,4, but also because it does not sit easily with the rest of what she says at 1,25. While it can be read as an indication of the determined nature of Charicleia's restraint, it remains significant for our reading of Theagenes' behaviour, or at least his behaviour as viewed and represented by Charicleia. As we do not see many sexual advances on Theagenes' part in the novel, it is either the case that Charicleia, because of her obsessive preoccupation with chastity/virginity, is exaggerating the necessity for resistance to such advances, or it suggests that the primary narrator and the secondary narrator, Calasiris (who narrates from 2,21 through to 5,1, and again from 5,17 through to the end of Book 5) limit our access to Theagenes' behaviour to a considerable degree. In the following section, this restricted access to Theagenes will be explored further.

Theagenes' Restraint

At 3,17, Calasiris reports Theagenes' claim that he has never found sex and women appealing before seeing Charicleia. To provide some context: Calasiris is now narrating the story of how he knows Charicleia and Theagenes to Cnemon, whom he comes upon when the latter is heading to the Egyptian village of Chemmis to meet up with Theagenes and Charicleia. All three have now escaped the Herdsmen (whose leader is Thyamis) following an invasion by enemy bandits. Calasiris' tale provides the reader with an analeptic account of how Charicleia and Theagenes met and fell in love, and how Calasiris is involved in their adventures. Calasiris is now explaining how Theagenes comes to confess his love for Charicleia, which struck him on seeing her at a religious festival. The claim that Theagenes makes, like much of Theagenes' speech in both the primary and secondary narratives, is reported indirectly:
[phrase omitted]

He maintained, swearing many oaths, that he was still without
experience of intercourse with a woman, for he had always spat upon
them all and marriage itself and amours, if ever anyone mentioned them
to him, until Charicleia's beauty had proved that he was not naturally
immune but until yesterday had never set eyes on a woman worth loving.

While this indirect speech on the surface implies that Theagenes is similar to Xenophon of Ephesus' Habrocomes in his initial indifference to eros, this is not necessarily true. On closer reading and bearing in mind the indirect reporting of this claim, Heliodorus does not frame Theagenes' rejection of women and sex in the same terms as Habrocomes', whose rejection of love stems from a vain impiety rather than contempt for women. (12) Therefore, Theagenes displays a strain of misogyny that is not present in Habrocomes' attitude.

His apparent misogyny sets Theagenes apart from the generic norm, and does not lend itself easily as proof that he has been sophron in the past, despite De Temmerman's argument that this speech is evidence of his sophrosyne. (13) If we define sophrosyne as merely 'chastity' then a non-erotic lifestyle as depicted here does justify De Temmerman's argument. However, sophrosyne implies a mindset that motivates chastity, a self-restraint that, by implication, must react to feelings of desire: (14) Theagenes has not experienced such feelings, according to his speech here, until he met Charicleia. There is also a tacit recognition in this speech that his previous attitude was not truly indicative of a nature that was able to achieve enduring resistance to sex ([phrase omitted]). Calasiris is ensuring that his narratee recognises the 'game-changing' nature of Charicleia, and the indirect speech suggests that Calasiris has a high level of control over how he represents Theagenes' speech. This representation complicates our view of Theagenes. It is tempting to assert that this statement is indicative of character development: The-agenes' encounter with Charicleia alters his world-view. Misogyny is cast out by desire. Whereas his previous stance did not necessitate the possession of sophrosyne, now he will be tested in this respect. However, the narrative levels and Calasiris' desire to tell a good story mean that we must be cautious in interpreting this as a genuine representation of the young man's words. Here, we see Theagenes darkly: he is obscured by the manipulative Calasiris who does not represent his speech directly. The reader can therefore ask, is this really how Theagenes saw the situation, or is this speech part of Calasiris' 'spin', which aims at maximising the erotic power of Charicleia at all times? (15) Perceiving a 'true' picture of Theagenes is not easy in this text, and this passage, while offering some tempting suggestions about his non-erotic history and the potential importance of sophrosyne now that he is in love, remains frustrating because it is part of Calasiris' narrative strategy. At this juncture, then, building on the incipient doubt raised for the reader at 1,25, further doubt seeps into the reader's view of Theagenes' sophrosyne

A similar situation regarding Calasiris' manipulation of Theagenes' view occurs at 4,18. Now, as Calasiris' narration continues, he reports how the lovers fled from Delphi, in order to return to Charicleia's homeland under Calasiris' guardianship. Calasiris must now leave them alone together as he implements the next stage of his plan to secure their escape. Theagenes' plea to Calasiris, which precedes the representation of Charicleia's anxiety over being left alone with him, is indicative of his view of the nature of his and Charicleia's relationship:
[phrase omitted]

... Save us, who are now Fortune's disposable chattels, the captives of
a chaste love... (4,18,2)

While Theagenes recognises, and seems to emphasise, the sophron nature of his and Charicleia's love, his motivation in emphasising this is debatable. This plea to Calasiris serves the purpose of highlighting that Theagenes recognises the importance of sophrosyne, but does he express his predicament in these terms to ensure that Calasiris understands the nature of the love which has captured the couple, or in order to reassure Charicleia that his attitude is sophron? While this could indicate Theagenes' adherence to the virtue in relation to his love for Charicleia at this point, it is important to recognise that his speech is tailored for his audience: that is, Calasiris and Charicleia. Charicleia is not wholly convinced by his assertion, it seems, as she requires him to swear an oath of chastity at 4,18,4-5.

When reacting to Charicleia's insistence that he swear an oath promising not to have sex with her until they are married, Theagenes remonstrates with this unfair judgement on his character. However, this is expressed through Calasiris' filter, in indirect speech. The lack of symmetry in how the protagonists' words are represented is an important factor. Whereas Calasiris represents Charicleia's pleas directly and in full, this is not the case in his representation of Theagenes' words:
... [phrase omitted]

... Theagenes swore his oath... protesting that he was being treated
unfairly if by an anticipatory oath the trustworthiness of his
character was undercut in advance for he would not be able to display a
moral choice, since he would be supposed to be compelled by fear of the
Greater Power. (4,18,6).

Theagenes' indirect speech reflects Charicleia's vocabulary ([phrase omitted] (4,18,6) = [phrase omitted] (4,18,4); [phrase omitted] (4,18,6) = [phrase omitted] (4,18,4)). While it is plausible that Theagenes responded to Charicleia's words by using equivalent terminology, I suggest that the use of indirect speech implies that this could be Calasiris' rhetoric for the sake of narrative flow rather than a genuine representation of Theagenes' anger in defence of his sophrosyne. Although it is perfectly plausible for Theagenes to react to Charicleia's mistrust in this way, Calasiris' admiration of Charicleia's speech (4,18,6), and the way in which Theagenes immediately complies despite his complaint, both suggest that Calasiris is keen to emphasise Charicleia's sophrosyne and her pragmatism in maintaining it. Therefore, the episode at 4,18 does not stand necessarily as an honest representation by Calasiris of an apparent disagreement between the lovers: the use of indirect speech allows room for doubt.

By reading between the lines in these passages, it is possible to gain a clearer picture of the sexual dynamics and of how Theagenes adheres to sophrosyne, despite the fear or lack of trust from Charicleia, and despite her guardian Calasiris' implicit prioritising of her volition and prowess. One other point that emerges is that Theagenes, in contrast to Charicleia, seems to want to prove his love for Charicleia by agreeing to her terms, and this is his priority, rather than the need to prove his sophron nature without being under duress. While Charicleia proves consistently that she must be sophron even regarding Theagenes, which seems to place her adherence to the virtue over her desire for him, there is the implicit suggestion in the representation of Theagenes that, for him, Charicleia is worth being sophron for. The sophrosyne follows the erotic desire, rather than the erotic desire becoming subordinate to an intrinsic sophrosyne.

The next passage which demonstrates Theagenes' restraint in action comes at 5,4. This is now part of the primary narration, so the narrative dynamics are somewhat simpler as Calasiris' filter does not feature. The couple find themselves alone together for the first time. Following much cuddling and kissing, Theagenes' arousal is cooled by Charicleia's reminder of his oaths:
... [phrase omitted].

For if ever Charicleia found Theagenes becoming too passionate and
playing the man, she would subdue him with a reminder of his oaths, and
he would draw back without resentment and happily bear to be
self-controlled, being weaker than love but stronger than pleasure.

The use of the verb [phrase omitted] is significant here and, it seems, can only mean one thing in this context. (16) The term occurs in only one other of the extant novels, Achilles Tatius' Leucippe and Clitophon, at 2,10,1 and 4,1,2, both times alluding to the assertion of male sexuality. (17) While elsewhere in Heliodorus the verb is used to express courage (2,11,3; 5,32,5), it is clear that this is not the meaning at 5,4. Here, as the couple are intimate for the first time and Charicleia checks Theagenes by reminding him of his oaths, he is clearly physically aroused. The narrator is quick to assert that this is soon dealt with, and that Theagenes easily relents, drawing back ([phrase omitted]) and moderating ([phrase omitted]) his behaviour. While ostensibly this illustrates Theagenes' self-restraint, there is the obvious implication that he is unable to remain as cool and collected as his beloved Charicleia. In addition, there is perhaps some implicit humour in how the self-control of Theagenes is expressed: he was able easily to 'bear'([phrase omitted]) being self-controlled, so that there is a hint of, if not unwillingness in his restraint, then at least a certain level of sufferance.

There is also potential intertextuality with the instances of the verb in Achilles Tatius, which are closer semantically to the usage at Heliodorus 5,4,5 than are the other occurrences in the Aethiopica. The similarity in context (both couples are alone together after escaping bandits and the man is making sexual advances), and the positioning of these episodes a few books in but before the halfway point of the novel point to Heliodorus' engagement with Achilles Tatius' text. The reader is encouraged to recall Clitophon's opportunistic sexual advances, particularly at 4,1,2, where his actions are clearly made with one thing in mind:
[phrase omitted]...

When I entered, I grabbed her into my arms, trying to put my manhood to
use. She refused. 'How long will we go without Aphrodite's rites?' I
cried... 'No', she said, 'it would now be against divine law for that
to occur. For Artemis appeared to me in a dream that night before
last... (Ach.Tat. 4,1,2) (18)

Leucippe's new-found maidenly restraint is expressed in direct speech (it transpires that Artemis has instructed her to remain virginal until her marriage): Leucippe rarely speaks directly in Clitophon's narrative. This draws attention to the import of her words and their results. Further, if we are intended to recall the passage when reading the scene in Heliodorus, our recollection of the emphasised instance of direct speech on Leucippe's part draws our attention to the lack of direct speech here. It seems that the primary narrator at 5,4 is keen to be discreet in terms of conveying this intimate episode: neither Theagenes nor Charicleia speak directly and this has the effect of distancing the reader from the scene to a certain extent. Perhaps the primary narrator does not want to provide too much titillation for the reader, whose own sophrosyne is challenged by the potential for voyeurism at this juncture. (19) The allusion to Achilles Tatius also raises questions regarding Theagenes' role here and regarding whether he is a 'better' example of a male protagonist than Clitophon. Both male lovers are checked by their girlfriends, but Theagenes' compliance is couched in the language of restraint, whereas Clitophon, it seems, submits only from obedience to the divine will as expressed in his and Leucippe's dreams. There is also the possibility that we are encouraged to consider how different the two protagonists really are. Is Theagenes only self-controlled because Charicleia was clever enough to lay down the parameters at the outset of their journey? Further, if he was narrating his own adventures, would the narrative take on a more 'Clitophontic' style? The nature of The-agenes' sophrosyne can thus be seen to be complicated, especially when considering the various implications of the use of [phrase omitted], and, once again, given the lack of direct speech from the protagonist.

Theagenes' restraint is evident again at 7,25: the situation in Memphis, to where they were guided by the now deceased Calasiris, has taken a turn for the worse for Theagenes and Charicleia. Theagenes is facing enslavement by Arsace (the sister of the Persian King and the wife of the Satrap, Oroondates), should he not submit to her lust, and Charicleia has been promised in marriage to Arsace's nurse and servant, Cybele's son, Achaemenes. Charicleia suggests that by conceding to Arsace's wishes, Theagenes might save Charicleia from an abhorrent marriage. Theagenes' response is clear, and marks a turning point in his representation by the primary narrator: up to this juncture Theagenes has been consistent in resisting Arsace, but he has not used any guile to do so, just honest refusal. (20) His reply to Charicleia, which takes the form of a prayer, reveals the principal motivation behind his resistance, before he tells her that he now has an idea:
[phrase omitted].

'You must not speak like that!' he answered. 'May the god who has us in
his power never be so cruel that I, who have never known Charicleia, am
compelled to defile myself in illicit intimacy with another woman! But
I think I have an idea that may work. Necessity is the mother of
invention!' (7,25,7)

This speech, while clearly expressing his devotion to Charicleia, whom he has not yet 'known' ([phrase omitted]), also recalls the indirect speech narrated by Calasiris at 3,17,3-4 (discussed above), where Theagenes' lack of interest in sex prior to meeting Charicleia was emphasised. The language is significant here, clearly demonstrating Theagenes' view of sex with anyone other than Charicleia, as illicit ([phrase omitted]), and having the potential to pollute or stain him ([phrase omitted]). A similar tone emerges to that used by Calasiris when he represents Theagenes' views at 3,17,4. The use of [phrase omitted] at 3,17 has been mentioned above, and there is a clear fixation on severe distaste for sex in both passages. At 7,25, the distaste for sex refers to the act with women other than Charicleia, and this was implicit at 3,17 too: this suggests that Theagenes' resistance to sexual advances is something which comes from his love for Charicleia. However, there is also the potential implication that Arsace would never succeed in seducing Theagenes, whether Charicleia was present or not: his 'distaste' has become moral rather than merely aesthetic. His lack of experience (at 3,17,4: [phrase omitted]; at 7,25,7: [phrase omitted]), combined with his contempt, make Theagenes appear sophron in both passages. However, I maintain, in line with my comments on 3,17, that he only demonstrates true sophrosyne in relation to Charicleia, the only woman in whom he is interested.

Theagenes' resistance to the lust of Arsace is twice couched in terms relating to sophrosyne, when he is being tortured for that very resistance, first alone (8,6,4), then with Charicleia (8,9,22). Heliodorus' omission of direct speech might be explained by a desire to limit the reader's access to the emotional impact of violence on the victim, with the aim of retaining their dignity and apparent strength (cf Xen. Eph. 2,6,2-2,7,1; Ach. Tat. 6,21-22). Again, the role of sophrosyne is central to Theagenes' lack of submission to Arsace despite his physical sufferings and this is made explicit in the words of the primary narrator at 8,6,4: '...[phrase omitted] ... ' ('... though he was exhausted in body, his spirit was strong in chastity... ' (my translation)). However, once more we are faced with distancing by the primary narrator, which frustrates efforts to see clearly how Theagenes expresses this restraint. The primary narrator is determined to imbue Theagenes' sophrosyne with his devotion to Charicleia (her name is repeated as Theagenes is said to regard it as a kindness from Fortune that he can display his devotion to his beloved, and he is said to call her his life, his light, his soul). While the consistent emphasis on Theagenes' relationship with Charicleia is an essential thread running through the novel, the fact that this emphasis often comes indirectly from Theagenes raises doubt: should the reader trust a narrator who veils his hero's speech in this way? Is this indicative of a narrator who prioritises the representation of Charicleia's sophrosyne over Theagenes'? Further, if Theagenes' chastity is only represented in relation to his heartfelt regard for Charicleia, is it then reduced in value as a virtue? Surely, if one's sophrosyne is tied so directly to one other person, it is lessened in its validity.


Theagenes' relationship with sophrosyne is not a simple one. Heliodorus ensures that his readers are continually invited to question the hero's position vis a vis sexual desire and how he is required to moderate that desire. In contrast to Charicleia, whose sophrosyne is never in doubt, Theagenes emerges as a character who loves Charicleia first, and tempers the physical urges encouraged by that love second. The fact that both the primary narrator and Calasiris provide obscured views of Theagenes invites the reader to consider Heliodorus' strategy in preventing a clear picture of Theagenes from emerging from the text. Readers can perceive a reticence on Heliodorus' part in his representations of Theagenes' sophrosyne. In terms of gender in the Aethiopica, sophrosyne is differently nuanced for the male protagonist in contrast to the female. Charicleia's prioritising of the virtue is an implicit sign of her identity as a virtuous heroine. The prizing of her virginity can be read as inherently normalising in gender terms, but Theagenes' attitude invites a less clear reading of his masculinity. Sophrosyne is present as a sign of his burgeoning maturity and sexual awareness, which Calasiris suggests comes about only when Theagenes sees Charicleia. Hence, it is implied that the virtue is necessitated as a correct masculine response to intense sexual desire. However, the correct masculine response to desire is not always clearly part of Heliodorus' representation of Theagenes and this indicates that Charicleia's exceptionally virtuous characterisation is the priority. As this article has shown, Theagenes' possession of sophrosyne is imbued with greater subtlety, allowing alert readers to appreciate how this hero is drawn with sensitivity as he reacts to the onslaught of desire for Charicleia. These conclusions allow a fresh insight into Heliodorus' view of sexual desire and his view of how his characters perform the control of that sexual desire, neither of which is simple or straightforward. The reliability of his narrators is questionable at several points, and this complicates our view of ethics in this text. While the Aethiopica seems on a surface-level reading to offer a representation of extreme adherence to sexual virtue and therefore to sophrosyne, particularly in the characterisation of Charicleia, this is an over-simplistic view of the text. In fact, what Heliodorus provides is an indication that sophrosyne is necessary for both Charicleia and Theagenes, but it is inherent for her, and a hard-won virtue for him. Sophrosyne, in this novel, does not negate desire, but acts as a virtue which suggests one way of living with desire. If Theagenes' adherence is not as clear as Charicleia's, then we must conclude that Heliodorus did not create his hero with the inherent knowledge of how to be sophron instilled in him. He is not the male version of Charicleia, but the subtlety of his characterisation and the consequent problematisation of his approach to sophrosyne show us that Heliodorus' aim is to provide a balance to Charicleia's extraordinary sexual restraint.


Anderson, M.J. 1997. 'The [phrase omitted] of Persinna and the Romantic Strategy of Heliodorus' Aethiopica', CP 92, 303-22.

De Temmerman, K. 2014. Crafting Characters: Heroes and Heroines in the Ancient Greek Novel, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Garnaud, J-P. (ed.) 2013. Achille Tatius Leucippe et Clitophon, Paris: Les Belles Lettres.

Goldhill, S. 1995. Foucault's Virginity, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Jones, M. 2012. Playing the Man: Performing Masculinities in the Ancient Greek Novel, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kaspryzsk, D. 2009. 'Morale et sophistique: sur la notion de [phrase omitted] chez Achille Tatius', in B. Pouderon, C. Bost-Pouderon (eds.), Passions, vertus et vices dans l'ancient roman, Lyon: Maison de l'Orient et de la Mediterranee 42, serie litteraire et philosophique 14, 97-115.

Morales, H. 2004. Vision and Narrative in Achilles Tatius' Leucippe and Clitophon, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Morgan, J.R. 1989a.'The story of Knemon in Heliodorus' Aithiopika', JHS 109, 99-113.

Morgan, J.R. 1989b. 'A Sense of the Ending: The Conclusion of Heliodorus' Aithiopika', APA 119, 299-320.

Morgan, J.R. (trans.) 1989c. 'Heliodorus An Ethiopian Story', in Reardon, B.P. (ed.), Collected Ancient Greek Novels, Berkeley: University of California Press, 349-588.

Morgan, J.R. 1991. 'Reader and audiences in the Aithiopika of Heliodorus', GCN 4, 85-103.

Morgan, J.R. 1994. 'The Aithiopika of Heliodorus: Narrative as Riddle', in J.R. Morgan and R. Stoneman (eds.), The Greek Novel in Context, London/New York: Routledge, 97-113.

Morgan, J.R. (ed. and trans.) forthcoming. Heliodorus Aethiopica, London/Cambridge, Mass: Loeb Classical Library (in provisional form Books 1-7 only, kindly provided by the translator). North, H. 1966. Sophrosyne: Self-Knowledge and Self-Restraint in Greek Literature, Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Rademaker, A. 2004. Sophrosyne and the Rhetoric of Self-Restraint, Leiden: Brill.

Rattenbury, R.M. and Lumb, T.W. (eds.) 1960. Heliodore Les Ethiopiques (Theagene et Chariclee), Paris: Les Belles Lettres. Schmeling, G.L. 1980. Xenophon of Ephesus, Boston: Twayne.

Whitmarsh, T. (trans.) 2001. Achilles Tatius Leucippe and Clitophon, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Whitmarsh, T. 2011. Narrative and Identity in the Ancient Greek Novel, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Winkler, J.J. 1982. 'The mendacity of Kalasiris and the narrative strategy of Heliodorus', YCS 27, 93-158.


Swansea University

(1) I consider the five extant works of Chariton, Xenophon of Ephesus, Longus, Achilles Tatius and Heliodorus to be examples of the genre of the Greek novel. For discussion of sophrosyne in the novels, see Anderson 1997; De Temmerman 2014; Kaspryzsk 2009.

(2) The only published works, which attempt to deal comprehensively with the representation of this cardinal virtue in Greek thought and literature are, North 1966, and Rademaker 2004.

(3) Schmeling 1980, 116.

(4) Morales 2004, 7; 220-226; Jones 2012, 158-159.

(5) See Morgan 1989a; 1989b; 1991; 1994; Whitmarsh 2011; Winkler 1982. With reference to the narrative structure, I will use certain narratological terms, which I define here for those readers unfamiliar with them. The recit refers to the narrated situations and events in the order in which they are presented to the narratee; the histoire refers to the narrated situations and events in their chronological order in the imagined time frame of the fiction; 'focalisation' denotes the perspective through which characters and situations are represented.

(6) De Temmerman 2014.

(7) Jones 2012.

(8) 1,3,1; 1,8,3; 1,9,3; 1,10,4; 1,12,2; 1,20,2; 1,24,3; 1,25,4 (x2); 2,4,2; 2,7,1; 2,17,4; 4,8,7; 4,10,5; 4,10,6; 4,18,2; 5,4,5; 5,22,3; 5,29,6; 5,31,1; 6,9,3; 6,9,4; 7,2,2; 7,2,3; 8,6,4; 8,9,18; 8,9,22; 8,11,1; 8,13,2; 10,9,1; 10,9,4; 10,9,5; 10,10,4.

(9) 1,3,1; 1,8,3; 1,20,2; 1,25,4 (x2); 2,4,2; 4,8,7; 5,22,3; 6,9,3; 8,9,22 (with Theagenes); 8,11,1; 8,13,2 (with Theagenes); 10,9,4; 10,9,5.

(10) Anderson 1997, 312-22.

(11) Text is from Rattenbury and Lumb 1960. Translations are from Morgan forthcoming (in provisional form; adapted in places) for Books 1-7, and from Morgan 1989c (adapted in places), for Books 8-10, unless otherwise stated.

(12) For Habrocomes' rejection of Eros, see Xen. Eph. 1,1,5-6. For his subsequent defeat at the hands of the god, see 1,4,1-5.

(13) De Temmerman 2014, 253.

(14) In relation to Charicleia in particular, sophrosyne and its cognates do not always denote the state of chastity, but imply the mindset behind it, or the inherent motivation to preserve chastity in the face of erotic desire: e.g. 1,25,4; 4,10,6. For discussion regarding sophrosyne as a virtue which comes about as a reaction to desire, see Goldhill 1995, 3-4.

(15) For examples of Calasiris' emphasis on Charicleia's erotic power, see 3,4: her unsurpassable beauty is described as she emerges from the temple of Artemis to take part in the festival where she and Theagenes first set eyes on each other; also, 5,31, where Pelorus views her dressed ready for marriage.

(16) See Whitmarsh 2011, 170-171; Jones 2012, 155.

(17) See Jones 2012, 158-159: she stops short of suggesting any allusion by Heliodorus to Achilles Tatius (see below).

(18) Text from Garnaud 2013; translation from Whitmarsh 2001.

(19) Goldhill's argument regarding Longus' narrator's intended encouragement of the reader's voyeurism demonstrates the genre's engagement with such considerations (Goldhill 1995, 6-8; 23-30).

(20) See De Temmerman 2014, 273-275: he reads Theagenes' altered behaviour in becoming more duplicitous as evidence of his learning from Charicleia.

[Please note: Some non-Latin characters were omitted from this article.]
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Author:Bird, Rachel
Publication:Ancient Narrative
Date:Jan 1, 2017
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