AN ANCIENT TAKE ON BAD BEHAVIOR.

Position:WHAT'S NEW? - Theophrastus' Characters: An Ancient Take on Bad Behavior - Brief article - Book review

The more things change, the more they stay the same: Theophrastus' Characters: An Ancient Take on Bad Behavior, a classical Greek text newly translated for a modern audience, is a festival of fault-finding. Published by Callaway Arts & Entertainment, the book outlines 30 characters, each crystallizing a human flaw--a humorous survey of failings and follies taken straight off the streets of Athens and brought into our everyday fraught and divisive social and political scene.

Wonderfully illustrated by Andre Carrilho, the wry, inventive drawings help invoke the cankered wit of this most modern of ancient texts. Annotated by classicist James Romm, these 30 thumbnail portraits are startlingly recognizable 23 centuries later. The characters of Theophrastus are archetypes of human nature that remain insightful, caustic, and relevant.

Romm is an author, reviewer, and the James H. Ottaway Jr. Professor of Classics at Bard College in Annadale, N.Y. His reviews and essays have...

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