A study in the values of honour and shame in Ancient Greece


April 1st, 1992





Hybris is today amongst the most often used and indeed mis-used terms from ancient Greece, but it is central to an understanding of Greek literature and society. The purpose of this book is to examine in detail exactly what it means. Professor Fisher traces the use of the concept in literature and law from the time of Homer to that of Aristotle. He finds throughout that the essence of hybris is the deliberate infliction of dishonour and shame upon others. It is not, as commonly thought, a special form of pride or self-confidence which offends the gods and is characteristic of tragic heroes. Professor Fisher’s thorough and thoughtful treatment of this concept has ensured this book has become a standard work on the subject for many years.

With many merits, Fisher has done more than anyone else to promote understanding of the concept of hybris.
The Classical Review

Author Information

N. R. E. Fisher is Emeritus Professor in Ancient History at Cardiff University.