THE APPAREANCE OF A PURE GREEK IN GREEK LITERATURE OF THE SECOND SOPHISTIC
Languages of publication
The article deals with physiognomic - a Greek science studying the character, predisposition and even fate of man upon the basis of assorted features of appareance. The author is particulary interested in the likeness of an ethnicaly 'pure' Greek (i.e. not mixed with representtives of other peoples), depicted in the writings of the Sophist and physiognomist Polemon of Smyrna (88-144 A.D.). According to Polemon characteristic traits of a 'pure' Greek include medium height an upright and lean body, a beautiful figure and face, a white, slightly blushed complexion, limbs proportionate to the body and a head supported by a strong neck, a square face, thin lips, a slender medium-high nose, soft auburn hair, acumen and ease of learning. The authoress indicates that this stereotype portrait occurs also in earlier and later Greek sources. Authors of physiognomic treatises that the colour of eyes similar to a lion's testified to the Greek's 'leonine' courage. The authoress of the article claims that in the discussed period this image of physical appareance and various qualities of the intelect were elements of Greek identity, together with a common language, education based on Homer and other classical authors, and a shared history and mithology.
Publication order reference
CEJSH db identifier