Interpreting "Uncontrolled Emotions" : Achilles in the Art and Literature of Antiquity
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This paper is uses Angelos Chaniotis's work on uncontrolled emotions in combination with the rise of Emotionology from the late twentieth century and its role in classical archeology to understand how the hero Achilles and his emotions were understood and expressed by later writers and visual artists. The method of emotional archeology, biological universalism, is also evaluated. The literary works used are Homer's Iliad (c. 750 B.C.E.), Ovid's Heroides (c. first century C.E.), and Statius's Achilleid (c. 94-96 C.E.). They represent three very different time periods: one Archaic Greek, another early Roman Imperial, and the last towards the end of the early Roman Imperial period, which shows how literature about Achilles changed over time. In addition, the art work used stretches from c. 650 B.C.E. to 80 C.E. and includes two Archaic vase paintings, three Pompeiian frescoes, and one Pompeiian mosaic. In analyzing the art with its corresponding literature, it becomes apparent that there are distinct differences in how each author and artist displays Achilles emotions, which suggests that social norms concerning emotions were not as rigid as we may believe.