In Chapter 9 of Jalaleddin, Raffi writes:
With respect to women, the heart of a brave man can harbor one other feeling besides love, which we often mistakenly call envy, jealousy or zealousness. It is a feeling that is impossible to describe with words. It is a passion that respects the dedication of women, for which the Hellenes fought for ten years in the walls of Troy.
Sarhat was not only grieving for having lost his beloved; he also grieved because she was now in foreign and impure hands. But how many innocent mortals had been subjected to such circumstances? Who cared for them? Perhaps their parents, if they were still alive. But did the people care, the Armenian people? No, that requires a Hellenic zeal…
What makes envy a virtue, and what made envy a virtue to the Ancient Greeks? It turns out that there is a whole book on the topic, called Envy and the Greeks by Peter Walcot.
Here is a segment from the sleeve of the copy that I just purchased:
To understand the Greeks, we must see them as they were, and as they readily agreed they were, persons displaying the full range of human emotions without inhibition or pretense. Time and time again the ancient Greeks explained behavior in terms of envy. Man, they claimed, was naturally envious, and envy they accepted as a fact of life.
The Ancient Greeks did not hide their envy, and we know that Raffi was well-read in Homer. The blurb continues:
This book examines how the anthropomorphic gods of the Greeks led to the concept of divine envy, the ways in which both the Athenian and the Spartan constitutions allowed for the prevalence of envy among their citizens, popular belief in the evil eye, and the solutions to the problems posed by envy offered by philosophy and religion.