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Title: Sophrosyne  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: 134 Sophrosyne, Charmides (dialogue), Pistis, Opson, Oliva Sabuco
Collection: Virtue
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Sophrosyne (Greek: 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, and self-control.

In other languages there is no word that is a simple equivalent, but it is sometimes translated into Latin as continentia (continence and moderation) and sobrietas (temperance and sobriety). In English it is sometimes translated as prudence, self-control, moderation, or temperance.

The word is found in the writings of Plato, and its meaning is debated in his dialogue Charmides.

In Greek literature sophrosyne is considered an important quality, and is 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.[1]

See also


  1. ^ North, Helen. Sophrosyne: Self-knowledge and Self-restraint in Greek Literature. Cornell studies in classical philology. Volume 35, issue 67, Issue 67. Cornell University Press (1966)
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