Jouer de l’aulos à Athènes était-il politiquement correct ?

TitleJouer de l’aulos à Athènes était-il politiquement correct ?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsCaire, E
EditorCourtil, J-C, Courtray, R
Ancient AuthorsPlutarchus Biogr., Phil. (TLG 0007)
Volume98 [= Sons et audition dans l’Antiquité]

According to Plutarch, the young Alcibiades would have refused to play the aulos on the pretext that this practice distorted the appearance and the features of a man and was unworthy of an Athenian citizen; his example was followed and therefore the aulos was expelled from liberal education in Athens. Other textual and iconographic sources, testify instead of the presence of auloi everywhere in Athenian public and private life, throughout the fifth and fourth centuries. Analysing the ambiguous status of the aulos in Athens, we must certainly distinguish what refers to hearing and what refers to practice. From available sources, we can actually trace successive breaks in the evolution of acceptation or rejection of this instrument, but it is necessary to examine what were the causes and origins of these breaks. The analysis of the the young Alcibiades’ arguments autorizes hypothesis about the symbolic value of the aulos in political discourses of elites during the Peloponnesian War, whether they were favorable or not to democracy. []


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