Social Life in Greece from Homer to Menander
The classical scholar J. P. Mahaffy (1839-1919) is known equally for his work on Greek texts and Egyptian papyri (his edition of The Flinders Petrie Papyri is reissued in the Cambridge Library Collection). He graduated from Trinity College, Dublin and spent the rest of his working life there, as a fellow, and ultimately as provost from 1914 until his death. In this 1874 work, Mahaffy attempts to penetrate what he describes as the 'subjective side ... the feelings of the Greeks in their temples and their assemblies, in their homes, and their wanderings'. He considers the methodology to be used in interrogating works of literature for this sort of sociological, or even psychological, research, and examines the written evidence from Homer to Menander, focusing, almost inevitably, on Athens. This is an early and pioneering work in an area of study which has become increasingly significant over the last century.