Sophrosyne and the Rhetoric of Self-Restraint: Polysemy and Persuasive Use of an Ancient Greek Value Term


While of paramount importance to Ancient Greek society, sophrosyne, the value of self-restraint, constitutes a notoriously complex concept, and provides the speaker of Ancient Greek with a subtle instrument for verbal persuasion. This study provides a new description of the semantics of sophrosyne in Archaic and Classical Greek, based on a model from the field of cognitive linguistics. Besides, the volume shows how such a semantic description can contribute to the analysis and study of our sources: it investigates how speakers in our texts (ab)use the term to achieve their ends, covering most of the main texts, and culminating in a chapter on the dialogues of Plato.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Boston
Publication year:
  • 2005


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