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A Companion to Ancient Aesthetics

ISBN: 978-1-119-00977-1
552 pages
April 2015, Wiley-Blackwell
A Companion to Ancient Aesthetics (1119009774) cover image


The first of its kind, A Companion to Ancient Aesthetics presents a synoptic view of the arts, which crosses traditional boundaries and explores the aesthetic experience of the ancients across a range of media—oral, aural, visual, and literary.

  • Investigates the many ways in which the arts were experienced and conceptualized in the ancient world
  • Explores the aesthetic experience of the ancients across a range of media, treating literary, oral, aural, and visual arts together in a single volume
  • Presents an integrated perspective on the major themes of ancient aesthetics which challenges traditional demarcations
  • Raises questions about the similarities and differences between ancient and modern ways of thinking about the place of art in society
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Table of Contents

Illustrations viii

Notes on Contributors ix

Acknowledgments xiv

Introduction 1
Pierre Destrée and Penelope Murray

Part I Art in Context 15

1 Greece 17
Richard P. Martin

2 Figures of the Poet in Greek Epic and Lyric 31
Deborah Steiner

3 The Hellenistic World 47
Graham Zanker

4 Rome 68
Thomas Habinek

5 Music and Dance in Greece and Rome 81
Eleonora Rocconi

6 Greek Sculpture 94
Rosemary Barrow

7 Painting and Private Art Collections in Rome 109
Agnès Rouveret

8 Architecture and Society 128
Catherine Saliou

Part II Reflecting on Art 141

9 Literary Criticism and the Poet’s Autonomy 143
Andrew Ford

10 Poetic Inspiration 158
Penelope Murray

11 The Canons of Style 175
Jeffrey Walker

12 Sense and Sensation in Music 188
Armand D’Angour

13 Dance and Aesthetic Perception 204
Anastasia?]Erasmia Peponi

14 Greek Painting and the Challenge of Mimes̄ is 218
Hariclia Brecoulaki

15 Ways of Looking at Greek Vases 237
François Lissarrague

16 Displaying Sculpture in Rome 248
Thea Ravasi

17 Perceiving Colors 262
M. Michela Sassi

18 The Beauties of Architecture 274
Edmund Thomas

19 Stylistic Landscapes 291
Nancy Worman

20 Conceptualizing the (Visual) “Arts” 307
Michael Squire

Part III Aesthetic Issues 327

21 Mimesis 329
Paul Woodruff

22 Fiction 341
Stephen Halliwell

23 Imagination 354
Anne Sheppard

24 Beauty 366
David Konstan

25 Unity, Wholeness, and Proportion 381
Malcolm Heath

26 The Sublime 393
James I. Porter

27 Poikilia 406
Adeline Grand?]Clément

28 Wonder 422
Christine Hunzinger

29 Tragic Emotions 438
Christof Rapp

30 Laughter 455
Ralph M. Rosen

31 Pleasure 472
Pierre Destrée

32 Art and Morality 486
Elizabeth Asmis

33 Art and Value 505
Michael Silk

Index of Subjects 518

Index of Ancient Texts Discussed 527

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Author Information

Pierre Destrée is Associate Researcher at the FNRS and Associate Professor at the University of Louvain, Belgium, where he teaches ancient philosophy. He is the author of a French translation of Aristotle's Poetics (2014) and editor of Plato and the Poets (with F.G. Herrmann, 2011), Plato and Myth: Studies on the Use and Status of Platonic Myths (with C. Collobert and F. Gonzalez, 2012); The Cambridge Companion to Aristotle's Politics (with M. Deslauriers, 2013) and What is Up to Us? Causality and Responsibility in Ancient Philosophy (with R. Salles and M. Zingano, 2014).

Penelope Murray was Senior Lecturer and a founding member of the Department of Classics at the University of Warwick, UK, before retiring in 2008. She continues to work on early Greek poetry and poetics, on philosophical responses to Athenian song-culture, especially the views of Plato, and on ancient literary criticism. Her publications include Genius: The History of an Idea (Blackwell, 1989); Plato on Poetry (1996); Classical Literary Criticism (2000); Music and The Muses: The Culture of Mousike in the Classical Athenian City (edited with P. Wilson, 2004).
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