No Regrets: Remorse in Classical Antiquity
No Regrets: Remorse in Classical Antiquity is the first sustained study examining the circumstances under which the emotions of remorse and regret were manifested in Greek and Roman public life. Despite a still-common notion that remorse is a modern, monotheistic emotion, it argues that remorse did in fact exist in pre-Christian antiquity. By discussing the standard lexical denotations of remorse, Fulkerson shows how its parameters were rather different from its modern counterpart. Remorse in the ancient world was normally not expressed by high-status individuals, but by their inferiors, notably women, the young, and subjects of tyrants, nor was it redemptive, but often served to show defect of character. Through a series of examples, especially poetic, historical, and philosophical texts, this book demonstrates this was so because of the very high value placed on consistency of character in the ancient world. High-status men, in particular, faced constant challenges to their position, and maintaining at least the appearance of uniformity was essential to their successful functioning. The redemptive aspects of remorse, of learning from one's mistakes, were thus nearly absent in the ancient world.
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1 Agamemnon Achilles and the Homeric Roots of Remorse
2 Neoptolemus and the Essential Elements of Remorse
3 Hermiones Feigned Regret
Alexanders Fruitless Remorse
5 Comedy Means Almost Never Having to Say Youre Sorry
6 Ovid and the Coercion of Remorse from Above
7 Neros Degenerate Remorse
Achilles Agamemnon Agrippina Alcibiades Alexander Alexander’s ancient Andromache anger antiquity apology Appian Aristotle Aristotle’s army Arrian audience Augustus behav behaviour beneﬁt Caesar Cairns chapter character Chrissanthos Cicero claims Cleitus comedy conﬂict conscience conscientia context Curtius death of Cleitus deeds difﬁculties discussion display emotions emperor Euripides example exile poetry Fabius fact father feel ﬁgure ﬁnal ﬁnd ﬁrst place ﬂaw ﬂexibility focus focuses genuine Germanicus Greek guilt Hermione Hermione’s historians Homeric Iliad incident inﬂuence instance killed Konstan Livy Menedemus metameleia metanoia Minucius modern moral murder mutiny narrative Neoptolemus Nero Nero’s notes notion nuances Odysseus offer one’s Ovid Ovid’s Oxford paenitentia passim perhaps Philoctetes philosophical Plato Plautus play Plutarch Polybius punishment reﬂect regret remorse repentance responsibility role Roman Scipio seems Seneca senex shame signiﬁcant similar soldiers Sophocles sources speciﬁc speech Suetonius suggests Tacitus Themistocles Theodosius things Tiberius Timoleon tragedy virtue word wrong young