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Laughing at the Enemy Joy and Schadenfreude in Xenophon's "Hellenica"

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Emotions are an important clue for the characterisation of individuals in Xenophon's "Hellenica". Especially joy and schadenfreude have an important narrative function. Malicious joy and spite point at the flaws of the Spartan hegemony after the Peloponnesian War. However, pleasure at the misfortune of others is not negative in itself. Defeating hubristic enemies is a proper reason to rejoice for Xenophon. Emotions can be vices or virtues, it is the circumstances that define their moral value.
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Keywords: EMOTIONS; MORAL EVALUTION OF BEHAVIOUR; NARRATIVE MOTIFS; SCHADENFREUDE; XENOPHON

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2019

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  • Hermes, founded in 1866 and currently edited by Siegmar Döpp, Karl-Joachim Hölkeskamp and Adolf Köhnken, is an international, peer-reviewed journal on Greek and Roman antiquity. It focuses on linguistics, literature as well as history. It features original articles in English, German, French and Italian.
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