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
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Achilles action Agamemnon Agrippina Alcibiades Alexander Alexander’s ancient Andromache anger angry antiquity apology Appian Aristotle Aristotle’s army Arrian audience Augustus behav behaviour blame Caesar Cairns chapter character Chrissanthos Cicero claims Cleitus comedy conscience conscientia context Curtius death of Cleitus deeds discussion display emotions emperor Euripides example exile poetry Fabius fact father feel focus focuses friends genuine Germanicus Greek guilty Hermione Hermione’s historians Homeric Iliad incident instance Kaster killed Konstan Livy Lysidamus Menedemus metameleia metanoia Minucius mistake modern moral murder mutiny narrative Neoptolemus Nero Nero’s notes notion nuances Odysseus ŒĘd offer one’s Orestes Ovid Ovid’s Oxford paenitentia paenitet passim perhaps Philoctetes philosophical Plato Plautus play Plutarch Polybius punishment regret remorse remorse-like repentance responsibility role Roman Scipio seems Seneca senex shame similar simply soldiers Sophocles sources speech Suetonius suggests Tacitus Themistocles Theodosius things Tiberius Timoleon tragedy virtue word wrong young