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Greek Laughter and Tears – Antiquity and After - Edinburgh Scholarship Online
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Greek Laughter and Tears: Antiquity and After

Margaret Alexiou and Douglas Cairns


This volume brings together an international team of scholars to explore the shifting shapes and functions of laughter and tears in the history, religion, art and literature of Greek communities from Antiquity to Byzantium and beyond. What makes us laugh and cry, sometimes at the same time? How do these two primal, seemingly discrete and non-verbal modes of expression intersect in the everyday life and ritual of Greek communities, and what range of emotions do they entail? How may they be voiced, shaped and coloured in literature and liturgy, art and music? What happens when laughter and tears ... More

Keywords: Greek language and literature, Byzantium, Emotion, Laughter, Tears, Performance, Ritual, Religion, History of emotions

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9781474403795
Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018 DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474403795.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Margaret Alexiou, editor
Harvard University

Douglas Cairns, editor
University of Edinburgh

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1 Introduction

Margaret Alexiou and Douglas Cairns

Part I Ancient Keynotes: From Homer to Lucian

Part II Ancient Models, Byzantine Collections: Epigrams, Riddles and Jokes

Part III Byzantine Perspectives: Tears and Laughter, Theory and Praxis

Part IV Laughter, Power and Subversion

Part V Gender, Genre and Language: Loss and Survival

23 Afterword

Roderick Beaton