Proverbs and proverbial phrases are widely used in different languages, as they constitute an expression of the traditional popular wisdom of a society or a community. Greek antiquity is no exception: Proverbs were used already from the archaic period, studied during the classic and the hellenistic period, and compiled in collections during late antiquity and the byzantine period.
In this volume an effort is made to present the ancient Greek proverbs thematically (at least those included in the ancient and the byzantine collections, but also in some special studies of modern researchers, as well as those detected through the modern electronic means), accompanied by a translation in Modern Greek, interpretative and factual comments, additional information and explanations of their origin and use, detecting the development of their meaning and their different explanatory versions throughout antiquity, as well as an account of the principal sources that preserve each one of them.
In this study 5.320 ancient Greek proverbs are presented, 668 of which are registered for the first time in a wider account of ancient Greek proverbs. The Introduction of this study contains five sections:
(a) The concept of a proverb, (b) Treatises on proverbs in antiquity,
(c) Ancient and byzantine collections of proverbs, (d) The present edition, and (e) Bibliography.
The thematic presentation of proverbs is structured in seven chapters (each of which is divided in many more individual units): (1) Mythology, (2) History and historical anecdotes, (3) Geographical areas,
(4) Physical human life, (5) Ethical and spiritual life, (6) Social life, and (7) Nature.
This book constitutes the first such account of ancient Greek proverbs in the international bibliography.
D. A. Christidis is Professor Emeritus at the School of Philology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
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