Periklean Athens and Its Legacy: Problems and Perspectives

Periklean Athens and Its Legacy: Problems and Perspectives

Periklean Athens and Its Legacy: Problems and Perspectives

Periklean Athens and Its Legacy: Problems and Perspectives


The late fifth century BC was the golden age of ancient Athens. Under the leadership of the renowned soldier-statesman Perikles, Athenians began rebuilding the Akropolis, where they created the still awe-inspiring Parthenon. Athenians also reached a zenith of artistic achievement in sculpture, vase painting, and architecture, which provided continuing inspiration for many succeeding generations.

The specially commissioned essays in this volume offer a fresh, innovative panorama of the art, architecture, history, culture, and influence of Periklean Athens. Written by leading experts in the field, the articles cover a wide range of topics, including:

  • An evaluation of Perikles' military leadership during the early stages of the Peloponnesian War.
  • Iconographical and iconological studies of vase paintings, wall paintings, and sculpture.
  • Explorations of the Parthenon and other monuments of the Athenian Akropolis.
  • The legacy of Periklean Athens and its influence upon later art.
  • Assessments of the modern reception of the Akropolis.

As a whole, this collection of essays proves that even a well-explored field such as Periklean Athens can yield new treasures when mined by perceptive and seasoned investigators.


Jerome Jordan Pollitt earned his B.A. from Yale College in 1957 and his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1963 under the direction of Otto Brendel. He returned to Yale to begin his teaching career and spent the next thirty-six years instructing undergraduate and graduate students in Classical and Hellenistic Greek art and archaeology.

Rising through the ranks at Yale, he was promoted to full professor in 1973 and held his first endowed chair, the John M. Schiff Professorship of Classical Archaeology and History of Art, from 1990 to 1995. in 1995 he was named Sterling Professor of Classical Archaeology and the History of Art, another illustrious chair that he held until his retirement from teaching in 1998, when he was granted emeritus status. It is a mark both of the esteem in which he was held by his colleagues and of his own dedication to his university that during his career at Yale he held numerous leadership posts, including Chair of Classics, Chair of History of Art, and Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Jerry Pollitt's many books and articles reflect a remarkably broad range of interests and expertise and exemplify an uncommon interdisciplinary and humanistic approach to the field. For four decades he has been perhaps the most outstanding representative of an increasingly rare breed: the art historian/archaeologist who is completely conversant with Greek, Latin, and the ancient written sources. Indeed, his published dissertation, β€œThe Ancient View of Greek Art,” offers a compendium of, and commentary upon, the ancient texts on ancient art, the closest thing we have to an art history written by the Greeks and Romans themselves.

With his interest in what the Greeks thought and wrote about their own art, Pollitt pioneered and anticipated interest in the viewer's experience of art, a subject that has recently begun to occupy archaeologists and historians of ancient art more and more. Other publications include collections of translated sources on Greek art and Roman art, which are not only useful to the specialist but are also especially . . .

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