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Theophrastus' Characters


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About the Author

James Romm is an author, reviewer, and the James H. Ottaway Jr. Professor of Classics at Bard College in Annadale, New York. His reviews and essays have appeared in the London Review of Books and The New York Times Book Review, among other publications. His books include The Edges of the Earth in Ancient Thought (Princeton University Press, 1992), Ghost on the Throne: The Death of Alexander the Great and the Bloody Fight for His Empire (Vintage, 2012), Dying Every Day: Seneca at the Court of Nero (Vintage, 2014), The Age of Caesar: Five Roman Lives (W. W. Norton, 2017), and How to Die: An Ancient Guide to the End of Life (Princeton University Press, 2018) . Pamela Mensch is a translator of Herodotus, Plutarch, Arrian, and Diogenes Laertius. Her translated texts include Lives of the Eminent Philosophers: Diogenes Laertius (Oxford University Press, 2018), Alexander the Great: Selections from Arrian, Diodorus, Plutarch, and Quintus Curtius (Hackett, 2005), The Landmark Arrian: The Campaign of Alexander (Anchor, 2012), Lives that Made Greek History: Plutarch (Hackett, 2012), and Histories: Herodotus (Hackett Classics, 2014). She lives in New York City. Andr Carrilho is a designer, illustrator, caricaturist, and animator from Lisbon, Portugal. He has shown his work in group and solo exhibitions in Brazil, China, France, Portugal, Spain, and the United States. His work has been published by Harper's, New York, the New York Times, the New Yorker, and Vanity Fair, among other publications.


"At a time when bad behavior flourishes, even among our leaders, these dead-on portraits of boors, braggarts, and blowhards have never felt more current."--Francine Prose, author of Lovers at the Chameleon Club
"Andr Carrilho is one of the most original caricaturists working today, and in Characters his swank surprises in every instance. Ahead of even his own curves, this contemporary artist turns out to be the perfect illustrator to point up the timelessness of the ancient Greek's witty observations."--Edward Sorel, author of Mary Astor's Purple Diary
"These Characters are people we know--they're our quirky neighbors, our creepy bosses, our blind dates from hell. Sharp-tongued Theophrastus, made sharper than ever in this fresh new edition, reminds us that Athenian weirdness is as ageless as Athenian wisdom."--Mary Beard, author of SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome
"If there's anything new to learn from Characters, a series of personality portraits written by the ancient Greek Theophrastus (c. 371 - c. 287 BC), it is that gluttons, chatterboxes, drunks, idiots, and others are not unique to any time or place in human history. This robust little volume of character sketches has been widely published and translated since its first appearance twenty-three centuries ago....Translated by Pamela Mensch with vibrant pen-and-ink illustrations by acclaimed caricature artist Andr Carrillo, this edition includes insightful annotations by Bard College classics professor and Guggenheim recipient James Romm."--Literary Features Syndicate
Theophrastus' Charakteres
, written around 320 BC, consists of thirty "brief and vigorous character sketches delineating moral types derived from studies that Aristotle had made for ethical and rhetorical purposes." These include the Dissembler, Flatterer, Yokel, Sycophant, Newshound, Miser, Busybody, Vulgar Man, Social Climber, Coward, and twenty more. Theophrastus's observations are--with small adaptions--as appropriate today as they were 2,300 years ago.

--Wally Wood, author of Getting Oriented: A Novel about Japan
An inherently absorbing, deftly crafted, and wonderfully entertaining read that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking, Theophrastus' Characters: An Ancient Take on Bad Behavior is unreservedly recommended for personal, community, college, and university library collections.--Midwest Book Review
"There are always people on your gift list that 'have everything' or are so esoteric that they deserve an equally out-of-the box gift. Theophrastus' Characters: An Ancient Take on Bad Behavior is just that gift."--Gerry Furth-Sides, Coast to Coast Newspaper
..".usefully pocket-size volume...presenting classic pen-portraits of liars, slanderers and other scoundrels." - Washington Post--The Washington Post

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