In memoriam David Konstan

by Curie Virag

We would like to remember and pay tribute to Professor David Konstan (1940-2024), a dear friend to many of us in the emotions community. David was renowned as a classicist who made major contributions to the study of ancient Greek thought, psychology and ethics through pathbreaking publications on topics such as friendship, beauty, sin, and forgiveness. But through his work on emotions (The Emotions of the Ancient Greeks and In the Orbit of Love: Affection in Ancient Greece and Rome, among others), he also impacted fields far beyond the study of Greek and Roman antiquity – including medieval studies and the study of nonwestern cultures.

David took part in the EMMA conference, “Histoire intellectuelle des émotions, de l’Antiquité à nos jours” in Paris (2013), which brough together scholars working in diverse disciplines (from psychology to history to philosophy), time periods (antiquity to modernity) and cultures (Greece, Rome, China, and Europe). His great personal warmth and mischievous wit brought much joy and laughter to our gathering, and the connections he forged there and at other events led to many further cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary collaborations in the study of emotions. David organized several such events himself, including a conference that brought together scholars of Greco-Roman and Chinese traditions (resulting in the publication, Emotions Across Cultures) and – more ambitiously – a series of events that fostered conversation on the conceptualization of emotions among specialists of twelve different classical languages, from Hebrew, Sanskrit and Arabic to Mayan and Sumerian. These projects speak to David’s boundless intellectual energy, his open mind and heart, and his interest in connecting with scholars from many different backgrounds.

Those who knew him know that David’ interest in such topics as love, friendship and beauty was not just academic. His affection, generosity, and joyful embracement of life brought legions into his orbit of love, and reminded us of the beauty to be found in our connections with one another. David inspired so many of us not only with his scholarship, but also with the force of his humanity, and his luminous presence will always remain in our hearts.

Citer ce billet
Piroska Nagy (2024, 14 mai). In memoriam David Konstan. Les émotions au Moyen Âge, carnet d'EMMA. Consulté le 17 juin 2024, à l’adresse