In lectures and articles he wrote in the 1980s, Foucault traces forms of confessional discourse through antiquity and into the fi rst centuries of Christianity.1 Regarding such discursive acts in antiquity, Foucault observes that examinations of conscience were exceedingly rare, existing only as a rather uncommon philosophic practice: “in all the ancient philosophical practices, the obligation to tell the truth about oneself occupies a rather limited place.”2 In comparison to the explosion and omnipresence of confessional discourses today, it should be stressed fi rst and foremost that such discourses were nearly absent in antiquity. Moreover, as shall be seen, the discursive acts which Foucault analyzes in antiquity do not share all of the characteristics of confession detailed above: telling the truth of the self, and modifying the self in the process, are present in antiquity, but these statements of truth do not come accompanied by protestations of diffi culty and repression and shame. These later elements, confession as such, only appear in monastic confessions of the Middle Ages. Moreover, since Greek philosophy was less about the project of knowing the subject than about knowing how the subject could change himself in order to live a better life, the form such self-examinations took was different from the forms they would take in modernity. In particular, ancient techniques of self-examination pursued the goals of self-transformation and self-mastery rather than self-discovery and interpretation. The element of “modifying” the self through truth-telling is consequently more self-conscious in antiquity than in modernity, at which point the subject will think she is “discovering” herself, blind to the manners in which her self-“discovery” is in fact a positive act of production.