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Characters. Herodas: Mimes. Sophron and Other Mime Fragments

Characters. Herodas: Mimes. Sophron and Other Mime Fragments

Theophrastus, Herodas, Sophron

Edited and translated by Jeffrey Rusten and I. C. Cunningham

ISBN 9780674996038

Publication date: 01/30/2003

Dramatis personae.

This volume collects important examples of Greek literary portraiture. The Characters of Theophrastus consists of thirty fictional sketches of men who are each dominated by a single fault, such as arrogance, boorishness, or superstition. Unassuming in style, his character sketches nonetheless bear resemblance to the vivid figures of the period’s New Comedy. The Hellenistic poet Herodas wrote mimes, a popular Greek entertainment in which one actor or a small group portrayed a situation from everyday urban life, concentrating on depiction of character rather than on plot. Here too in a new text and translation are substantial portions of the mimes of Sophron, a Syracusan of the fifth century BC whose work Plato is said to have enjoyed, as well as a selection of anonymous mime fragments.

The extant work of Sophron and the anonymous mime fragments are newly added to the Loeb Classical Library in this edition. And Jeffrey Rusten and Ian Cunningham have updated their editions of Theophrastus and Herodas (both first published in 1993) in light of the latest scholarship.


  • This new text and translation functions superbly on several levels: a very reliable text... a very good translation... and incorporation of the best readings from the most reliable manuscripts, consulted directly.

    —John Scarborough, Scholia Reviews


  • Jeffrey Rusten is Professor of Classics at Cornell University.
  • I. C. Cunningham was formerly Keeper of Manuscripts, National Library of Scotland.

Book Details

  • 432 pages
  • 4-1/4 x 6-3/8 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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