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By Pierre Destrée, Penelope Murray

The first of its variety, A spouse to old Aesthetics offers a synoptic view of the humanities, which crosses conventional barriers and explores the classy event of the ancients throughout a number of 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 adventure 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 historical aesthetics which demanding situations conventional demarcations
  • Raises questions about the similarities and adjustments among historical and smooth methods of brooding about where of paintings in society

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The ruling idea is basically Olympian: a level playing field for all. This might even have extended to running time, when Festivals, Symposia, and the Performance of Greek Poetry 23 it came to Dionysia dramas, if we trust an offhand remark in Aristotle’s Poetics concerning plays formerly being regulated by the klepsydra or water‐clock (1451a8). The fairness doctrine appears in another stage in the reports about judging of drama at the Dionysia. While we may still wonder over individual decisions – for instance why Sophocles did not win with Oedipus the King – the process itself, if followed regularly, short‐circuited attempts at bribery (Wilson 2000, 98–102).

Most opaque is the role of the individual evaluator. Even in the most well documented cases A Companion to Ancient Aesthetics, First Edition. Edited by Pierre Destrée and Penelope Murray. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Published 2015 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 18 Richard P. Martin from Athens, we know neither the exact procedures for picking the 10 official judges each year, nor how they formed their aesthetic views. Just as jurors in a modern court of law never officially reveal the reasoning behind their verdicts, no ancient judge of a dramatic competition, a contest in singing to the accompaniment of pipes, or a recitation of Homer needed to record what prompted his favorable vote.

On a wider scale, the coexistence in Athens of the Panathenaea with the heavily choral and dramatic festival of the Dionysia meant that the white‐hot mousikē culture of the city‐state could meld together the modes of recitation, song, acting, and dance. Even if these had to be kept separate for purposes of competition – and thus eventually became canonized as the genres we know (Rotstein 2012) – in practice, the coexistence of many genres with the same viewing audiences would have led to a fruitful broadening of the aesthetic and critical horizon for all involved.

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