Greek Art and Literature, 530-400 B. C

Greek Art and Literature, 530-400 B. C

Greek Art and Literature, 530-400 B. C

Greek Art and Literature, 530-400 B. C

Excerpt

When a nation produces at the same time supreme works of art and supreme works of literature (ancient Greece and modern France are the obvious examples), an acquaintance with both assists the understanding of either. In this essay I have attempted to elaborate for the fifth century B.C., and particularly for Athenian art and poetry, the parallel history which I sketched in the introduction to An Anthology of Greek Prose. The Greeks themselves believed that the two kinds of art ran parallel: Simonides said that poetry was speaking painting and painting silent poetry; Plato, in the last book of the Republic, equates mimetic poetry and illusionistic painting; Aristotle compares poets and artists several times in the Poetics. But there is not much modern literature on the subject apart from an excellent essay by Winter, a few pages in Séchan Études sur la tragédie grecque, and occasional cross-references, notably in Fränkel Stileigenheit, Snell Aischylos, and Kranz' Stasimon.

My indebtedness to works of literary and artistic criticism is greater by far than my notes can indicate. I should like to mention here a few books which have proved particularly valuable. On the literary side, apart from those already mentioned, I have been most helped by Schmid- Stählin , Griechische Literatur-Geschichte, Bowra, Greek lyric poetry, Schadewaldt, Monolog und Selbstgespräch, and Aly, Formprobleme. On the artistic side the works of Beazley, and particularly his Greek Vases in Poland, have . . .

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