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Physiognomy of eyes (1)

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02 Religious and ideological symbols and iconographic motifs

05 Scientific knowledge and scholarly lore

2nd century BCE
Roman Empire
Helleno-Roman philosophers and scholars

Polemo F.1.114.6-116.14:
Eyes which move quickly indicate distress, low suspicion, lack of sincerity and something between cowardliness and bravery. When you see both the eyelids and the interior of the eye agitated, judge that the owner is timid; if indeed you see them hardly agitated except in the interior, know that the owner is bold and brave. … Anyone with eyes somewhere between rest and motion is moderate in everything concerning him. … But and eye whose gaze darts everywhere indicates love of sexual crimes and shamelessness. From a blinking or a trembling eye which is also big, judge the owner as lazy [lustful or greedy], slow, apoplectic [timid], inclined to sexual crimes and drunkenness. … When you see the whole eye agitated, as if a mote were in it, be sure that the owner is devoted to sex.

Source (list of abbreviations)
Polemo F.1.114.6-116.14


Barton 1994, 108Barton, Tamsyn. Power and Knowledge, Astrology, Physiognomics, and Medicine under the Roman Empire. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press 1994.

Amar Annus

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