Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2017

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department


Degree Name

Master of Arts (AM/MA)

Degree Type



This is a study on the semantics of sophrosyne, and the importance of this culturally significant term for the political vocabulary of Aeschylus. The author argues that the core of the semantics of sophrosyne is the status-based behavioral propriety within a hierarchy. By examining all the occurrences of the term’s cognates in the Aeschylean corpus, the author concludes that Aeschylus used sophrosyne as a tool in a pro-democratic rhetoric. Given that the deviance from status-based propriety in Aeschylean tragedy results in socio-political catastrophes, the monarchic societies of Greek myth and Persia are presented as political environments that endanger sophrosyne, whereas democratic processes as its bulwark.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Timothy J. Moore

Committee Members

Catherine Keane, Zoe Stamatopoulou


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