Theophrastus’ Characters is a collection of 30 short character-sketches of various types of individuals who might be met in the streets of Athens in the late fourth century BC. It is a unique work which had a profound influence on European literature. This is by far the most detailed and elaborate treatment of it ever published. This edition presents a radically improved text, a translation which is designed both to be readable and to bring out fully the nuances of the very difficult Greek, and a commentary which covers every feature of the text and its interpretation and offers particularly full elucidation of the often enigmatic references to contemporary social practices and historical events. There is also a lengthy introduction, which discusses the antecedents and affiliations of the work, its date, its purpose, and the manuscript tradition. There are also extensive indexes, including an Index Verborum.
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