Aesthetic Value in Classical Antiquity by Professor Ineke Sluiter, Ralph M Rosen

By Professor Ineke Sluiter, Ralph M Rosen

How do humans reply to and evaluation their sensory reports of the ordinary and man-made global? What does it suggest to talk of the ‘value’ of aesthetic phenomena? And in comparing human arts and artifacts, what are the factors for fulfillment or failure?

The 6th in a sequence exploring ‘ancient values’, this publication investigates from various views aesthetic price in classical antiquity. The essays discover not just the evaluative ideas and phrases utilized to the humanities, but additionally the social and cultural ideologies of aesthetic price itself. Seventeen chapters variety from the ‘life with no the Muses’ to ‘the Sublime’, and from philosophical perspectives to middle-brow and well known aesthetics.

Aesthetic price in classical antiquity can be of curiosity to classicists, cultural and paintings historians, and philosophers.

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HF. 696–700). The ode as a whole, then, is a vehicle of self-consciously poetic and musical praise which situates itself within a cluster of interactive values: performative beauty of voice, instruments, and dance; intensity of pleasure in the awareness of how the Muses, in collaboration with the Graces, make possible a celebration of life in defiance of its physical failings and the prospect of death; and, finally, a commitment to ethical, religious, and social standards of virtue which can themselves be fitly memorialized in song.

Olson, Aristophanes Thesmophoriazusae. Oxford, 2004. 74 For the vocabulary of σκαιότης and ἀγροικία, including their pairing in Ephippus fr. 23 KA and Ar. Nub. 655, see section 2 above. 75 See n. 50 above. 76 For one germane example, see Philodemus’ response to those who accused Epicureans like himself of cultural philistinism (agroikia) because of their reductive view of music (in relation to poetry) at Phld. Mus. 4, col. 1–6 Delattre: on the apparent reference to Plato’s ‘lovers of poetry’ (Resp.

Zethus, we might say, reverses the evaluative force of amousia. Not only can he live happily without the Muses. He thinks others should do so too. But is the Kinsman of Thesmophoriazusae just a comically reductive equivalent to the principles of Zethus? The clash between him and Agathon, I suggest, involves something more complicated than that—more complicated, not least, for the aesthetic experience of Aristophanes’ own audience. In the course of the first scene, the play sets up a series of polarized contrasts between, on one side, the intellectual-cum-poetic pretensions of Euripides, Agathon’s slave, and Agathon himself, and, on the other, the Kinsman’s traits of obtuseness, cynicism, and vulgarity.

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