This volume collects important examples of Greek literary portraiture. The Characters of Theophrastus consists of thirty fictional sketches of men who are each dominated by a single fault, such as arrogance, boorishness, or superstition. The Hellenistic poet Herodas wrote mimes, a popular entertainment in which one actor or a small group portrayed a situation from everyday life, concentrating on depiction of character rather than on plot. The volume also includes a new translation and text of extant portions of the mimes of Sophron, a Syracusan of the fifth century BCE Here too is a selection of anonymous mime fragments.
The work of Sophron and the anonymous mime fragments are newly added to the Loeb Classical Library in this second edition of a volume published in 1993. Jeffrey Rusten and Ian Cunningham have also updated their editions of Theophrastus and Herodas.