A Companion to Ancient Aesthetics by Pierre Destrée, Penelope Murray

By Pierre Destrée, Penelope Murray

The first of its type, A better half to historic Aesthetics provides a synoptic view of the humanities, which crosses conventional obstacles and explores the cultured adventure of the ancients throughout more than a few media—oral, aural, visible, and literary.

  • Investigates the numerous ways that the humanities have been skilled and conceptualized within the historical world
  • Explores the classy event of the ancients throughout quite a number media, treating literary, oral, aural, and visible arts jointly in one volume
  • Presents an built-in standpoint at the significant topics of old aesthetics which demanding situations conventional demarcations
  • Raises questions on the similarities and changes among historic and glossy methods of puzzling over where of artwork in society

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Limitations in the evidence shrink our focus to drama and hexameter poetry, obscuring the undoubted importance of dithyramb (choral song for Dionysos), paean (choral song for Apollo), citharodic nomes (sung monodically to the kithara), and songs for the aulos (a reed instrument). The mousikoi agōnes complicate the periodization of Greek literature. The remains of Archaic hexameter – whether Homeric epic, Cyclic and Hesiodic poems, Orphic verses, or oracles—were almost certainly mediated and transmitted by itinerant professional reciters called “rhapsodes” (“song‐stitchers”).

A second critical shift informs my discussion here. e. monodic and choral compositions in lyric meters), the combination of an ever expanding body of fragments recovered from the Egyptian sands and fresh literary approaches has prompted a revisionist focus on continuity, not change. In place of the older teleological model which drew a direct line from Homeric song through the Greek “lyric age” and all the way forward to the Romantic poets of nineteenth‐century Britain, and pegged the poet’s notorious “discovery of the individual self” or emergent s­ubjectivity to the turning point between epic and lyric verse, many now assume that the s­ everal genres and categories of poetry were co‐extensive, each responding to the other and reworking the same material in the A Companion to Ancient Aesthetics, First Edition.

104) to support an argument that musical contests existed well before his own late fifth‐century era (Nagy 2010, 13–20). This is a general problem in recapturing how festivals shaped Greek poetry: the texts themselves suppress or scramble evidence for their actual composition and performance conditions, in what has been called “diachronic skewing” (Nagy 1990, 21–24). From these sporadic mentions of early contests outside Athens, we can turn to the most important mousikoi agōnes that shaped extant Greek poetry, the Athenian Panathenaea and Dionysia.

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