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A Companion to Ancient Aesthetics

Pierre Destrée, Penelope Murray

ISBN: 978-1-119-00977-1 April 2015 Wiley-Blackwell 552 Pages


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

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

"The editors conceive of “ancient aesthetics” broadly, as encompassing “the multifarious ways in which the arts were experienced and conceptualized in the ancient world” (p. 1). The thirty-three chapters that make up the volume are similarly wide-ranging in focus and disciplinary approach, while the insights afforded by their interconnections show the value of treating ancient aesthetics as a unified field of inquiry. Most of the essays would serve as excellent starting points for research on their topics, and several make important new contributions to scholarship. This book is now the most comprehensive resource available for helping us understand how the Greeks and Romans thought about art."

Christopher C. Raymond, Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2017