This dissertation examines the emotions of empathy and compassion in the first and second centuries AD of the Greco-Roman world. It focuses on the medical texts of the period, but also explores the other genres of the ancient Greek novel and moral philosophy. Despite lacking a specific word for it, the first and second-century Greeks and Romans understood and expressed empathy in their writings. Compassion, on the other hand, does have a vocabulary. The terms which are used to express it often conform to traditional Greek definitions; however, many instances also show that it has widened its application as well. There also appears to be a significant amount of ‘cross-chatter’ between some of the literature in this era. The medical writer Aretaeus demonstrates a high level of empathy and compassion towards his patients and their families. A contextual and philological analysis of each passage exhibiting these emotions serves to highlight and evaluate Aretaeus’ empathy and compassion and the conditions that elicit these manifestations of emotion in his text. Soranus and Rufus, two other contemporary medical writers, show an acknowledgement and awareness of patients’ emotions, beliefs and attitudes as well. They also exhibit compassion within the construct of the patient-physician relationship. Two other physicians, Caelius Aurelianus and Scribonius Largus, take compassion to a new level, using the terms misericordia and humanitas, which serve to connect with the emotion of compassion and the concept of medical ethics. Plutarch, a moral philosopher, and the novelists, Achilles Tatius and Chariton, exhibit this ‘cross-chatter’ between genres of the period. Plutarch’s Moralia shows his compassionate concern with the moral implications of breeding and slaughtering animals. Chariton’s Chaereas and Callirhoe contains many references to the concept of φιλανθρωπία as an expression of mercy, compassion, benevolence and humanity. Achilles Tactius’ Leucippe and Clitophon explores the power one’s suffering has to affect another through empathy and compassion. Finally, Aretaeus’ ability to ‘feel’ his way into organs and diseases through personification demonstrates his empathy. Taken all together, this suggests that a permeability of genres appears to have occurred in this era whereby empathy and compassion became a common concern.