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Greek Laughter and TearsAntiquity and After$
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Margaret Alexiou and Douglas Cairns

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474403795

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474403795.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Introduction
Greek Laughter and Tears

Margaret Alexiou

Douglas Cairns

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter provides an overview of research on body language, gesture and emotion in connection with tears and laughter, and an account of its application in previous scholarship to ancient Greek literature, in order to assess the potential for extending these studies to Byzantium and for the productive interaction between classicists and Byzantinists. The chapter then gives guidance to the nature and organisation of the material, and reviews the range and significance of the material included in the remainder of the volume: authors and genres, themes and images, periods and approaches, language and style. Analysing the field from literary and anthropological perspectives on ritual, it draws links between chapters, sketches in gaps, and suggests lines for future research.

Keywords:   Emotions, Tears, Laughter, Nonverbal communication, Performance, Ritual, Puns and wordplay, Antithesis, Ambivalence, History of emotions

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