ROMILLY, Jacqueline de,
'Patience mon coeur!' L'essor de la psychologie dans la littérature grecque classique.
Les Belles Lettres, Paris, 1991. 243p. Paperback. 'The author (...) sets out to chart the emergence of psychology in Greece, particularly in the fifth century B.C. The term 'psychology' is of course a multivalent one; but De R. specifies two senses of this term which concern her. One is 'la vie intérieure', the underlying current of a person's thought and feelings, and especially the interplay and tension between elements within the self. Hence she focusses on such potentially relevant poetic material as decision-scenes in Homer, Aeschylus and Euripides. (...) In other areas she pays special attention to Thucydides' analysis of the interplay between rational and irrational forces in group-psychology and to Plato's analysis of the relationships between the parts of the tripartite psyche. However, as De R. appreciates, one cannot take as one's subject 'the inner psychology of the self' in Greece without raising the question whether such a notion is conceptually relevant to the Greek material, and, if so, in what periods. So she tries to place her exploration of the Greek view of 'la vie intérieure' in the context of Greek psychology in a second, larger, sense; that is, in the context of a study of the psychological assumptions and styles of characterisation that are typical of the age and author in question. (...) Her study (...) brings out (...) important elements of continuity in Greek psychological thinking. Thus her book helps to show that Plato's account of the relationship between reason and 'spirit' has important antecedents in the Homeric and tragic dialogues between a person and his 'heart' of 'thumos'. (CHRISTOPHER GILL in the Journal of Hellenic Studies, 1987, pp.207-08).