Andreia and Gender in the Greek Novels


  • Meriel Jones


Towards the end of their novels, both Chariton and Heliodorus engage their heroes in remarkable feats of bravery in military and athletic contexts. Focusing on these two authors, this paper analyses the Greek novels' conception of the cardinal philosophical virtue of andreia. It begins by identifying the prototypical spheres of andreia in both philosophical and more general cultural contexts, and examining the role played by gender stereotypes in the formation of ancient thought on andreia. It then explores the extent to which the novels advance a philosophy of andreia, borrowing and manipulating classical philosophical doctrine to create a complex virtue which reflects the novels' classical dramatic settings, as well as more contemporary concerns.

Meriel Jones is Lecturer in Classics at the University of Wales, Lampeter. She has published articles on magic in the Aethiopica and the meanings of Heliodorus' character names, and has recently completed her doctoral thesis, Playing the Man: Performing Masculinities in the Greek Novel (Swansea). She acts as Secretary for KYKNOS.