Concept

Sophrosyne

Summary
Sophrosyne (σωφροσύνη) is an ancient Greek concept of an ideal of excellence of character and soundness of mind, which when combined in one well-balanced individual leads to other qualities, such as temperance, moderation, prudence, purity, decorum, and self-control. An adjectival form is "sophron." It is similar to the concepts of zhōngyōng (中庸) of Chinese Confucianism and sattva (सत्त्व) of Indian thought. Ancient Greek literature In Ancient Greek literature, sophrosyne is considered an important quality and is sometimes expressed in opposition to the concept of hubris. A noted example of this occurs in Homer's The Iliad. When Agamemnon decides to take the queen Briseis away from Achilles, it is seen as Agamemnon behaving with hubris and lacking sophrosyne. In Homer's Odyssey, Odysseus avoids being turned by Circe the enchantress into an animal by means of a magical herb, moly (symbolizing, by some accounts, sophrosyne), given to him by Athena (Wisdom) and Hermes (Reaso
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