Festivals, Symposia, and the Performance of Greek Poetry

TitleFestivals, Symposia, and the Performance of Greek Poetry
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsMartin, RP
EditorDestrée, P, Murray, P
Book TitleA companion to ancient aesthetics
Series TitleBlackwell companions to the ancient world
Pagination15-30
PublisherWiley Blackwell
CityChichester
ISBN9781444337648 (hbk); 9781119009795 (online)
Abstract

To claim that anything – person, horse, or poem – is beautiful requires criteria. These arise from individual training, shared traditions, broad norms of value, or tacit notions about utility and skill. Ancient Greek culture, like most, never systematically articulated such internalized guidelines. But its exceptional emphasis on public performance, especially in festivals and drinking parties (symposia), illuminates how some Greeks evaluated drama and other poetry – almost all of which was crafted for one or the other venue. By examining these two primary sites for the creation, transmission, and evaluation of aesthetic events, we can better appreciate how experiencing the beautiful (to kalon) – or any activity performed “nicely” (kalōs) – was influenced by social and performative contexts. [http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/9781119009795.ch1/summary]

DOI10.1002/9781119009795.ch1

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