Hubris was a word that was popular during Ancient Greece. Hubris was usually an action.

People who did Hubris felt that they had been hurt or embarrassed by another person.

So they wanted to hurt or embarrass the person back.

People who acted on hubris often acted on pride. They wanted revenge for how the criminal treated them.

An example of hubris is the story of Meidias and Demosthenes. In the year 348 B.C.E., Meidias and Demosthenes were enemies.

One day, Meidias embarrassed Demosthenes by slapping him in the face in front of a crowd of people.

Demosthenes decided to take revenge on Meidias. In Ancient Greece, hubris was thought to be revenge.

But Demosthenes did not react in a violent way when taking out revenge on Meidias. Instead, Demosthenes went home and wrote a speech, which he called Against Meidias.

In this speech, Demosthenes wrote about Athenian Law and the Ancient Greece word, hubris. Demosthenes said that men like Meidias, who was rich and powerful, should not be able to act on laws like hubris.

Demosthenes and Meidias lived in the 4th Century B.C.E. This century was between the first day of 400 B.C.E.

and the last day of 301 B.C.E. During this time, hubris was not thought of to be a crime in Ancient Greece.

However, this was not always the thought. Hubris was a crime during the time of Solon.

Solon was a Stateman from Ancient Greece and known as one of the seven wise men.

Solon lived during the 6th Century B.C.E. This century was between the first day of 600 B.C.E. and the last day of 500 B.C.E.

Solon lived before Demosthenes and Meidias. In the 6th century, the people of Ancient Greece could charge other people with the crime of hubris.

Any person who was a citizen of Ancient Greece and believed they saw someone commit a hubris crime could bring charges against that person.

So, if Solon saw someone slap someone else, Solon could bring charges up against the person who slapped the other person.

One of Ancient Greece’s most popular philosophers, Aristotle wrote about hubris.

Aristotle wrote that hubris meant saying or doing something that could embarrass someone just because the person wanted to.

Aristotle also said that most people who act on hubris are rich or young because they think they are better than other people.

Facts about hubris:

  • Another action of hubris was acting like you were more powerful than the gods.
  • Three stories show an example of hubris. One story is about Oedipus The King. The second story is about Antigone. The third story is called The Story of Phaethon in Ovid’s Metamorphoses.
  • Hubris was very important in Ancient Greece because it shows up in most of the myths.
  • Hubris did not have to be a violent act.
  • Hubris is often described as arrogance.
  • Ancient Greeks did not often believe that a group could commit hubris. They believed it is an individual action.
  • People in Ancient Greece did not like to see hubris as a character in a person. They believed it caused the person’s downfall.
  • Ancient Greeks also believed that a person who had hubris meant that the person lost contact with reality.
  • Ancient Greeks believed that hubris violated moral codes.


1.) Did hubris have to be a violent act?

a.) Yes

b.) No

Answer: B

2.) People who acted out hubris felt they had been:

a.) shown affection

b) driven to the movies

c.) embarrassed or hurt

Answer: C

3.) Did Ancient Greeks see hubris as a good characteristic in a person?

a.) Yes

b.) no

Answer: B

4.) Meidias showed hubris by doing what to Demosthenes?

a.) slapping him in the face

b.) kicking him in the leg

c.) punching him in the arm

Answer: A