Creative Lives in Classical Antiquity: Poets, Artists and Biography

Creative Lives in Classical Antiquity: Poets, Artists and Biography


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What happened when creative biographers took on especially creative subjects (poets, artists and others) in Greek and Roman antiquity? Creative Lives in Classical Antiquity examines how the biographical traditions of ancient poets and artists parallel the creative processes of biographers themselves, both within antiquity and beyond. Each chapter explores a range of biographical material that highlights the complexity of how readers and viewers imagine the lives of ancient creator-figures. Work in the last decades has emphasized the likely fictionality of nearly all of the ancient evidence about the lives of poets, as well as of other artists and intellectuals; this book now sets out to show what we might nevertheless still do with the rich surviving testimony for 'creative lives' - and the evidence that those traditions still shape how we narrate modern lives too.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107159082
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 11/21/2016
Series: Cambridge Classical Studies
Pages: 380
Product dimensions: 5.71(w) x 8.78(h) x 0.98(d)

About the Author

Richard Fletcher is Associate Professor of Classics at Ohio State University. He specializes in ancient Greek and Roman philosophy and the dynamic between Classics and contemporary art. He is the author of Apuleius' Platonism: The Impersonation of Philosophy (Cambridge, 2014) and is co-editor, with Wilson Shearin, of The Oxford Handbook of Roman Philosophy (forthcoming).

Johanna Hanink is Assistant Professor of Classics and Robert Gale Noyes Assistant Professor of Humanities at Brown University. She has published widely on ancient traditions about the Athenian tragedians, which also feature in her 2014 monograph Lycurgan Athens and the Making of Classical Tragedy (Cambridge, 2014).

Table of Contents

List of illustrations; Part I. Opening Remarks: 1. Orientation: what we mean by 'creative lives' Johanna Hanink and Richard Fletcher; 2. 'Lives' as parameter: the privileging of ancient lives as a category of research c.1900 Constanze Güthenke; Part II. Dead Poets Societies: 3. Close encounters with the ancient poets Barbara Graziosi; 4. Recognizing Virgil Andrew Laird; Part III. Lives in Unexpected Places: 5. A poetic possession: Pindar's Lives of the poets Anna Uhlig; 6. What's in a Life? Some forgotten faces of Euripides Johanna Hanink; 7. Lives from stone: epigraphy and biography in Classical and Hellenistic Greece Polly Low; Part IV. Laughing Matters and Lives of the Mind: 8. On bees, poets and Plato: ancient biographers' representations of the creative process Mary Lefkowitz; 9. The life and philosophy of Aristippus in the Socratic epistles Kurt Lampe; 10. Imagination dead imagine: Diogenes Laertius' work of mourning Richard Fletcher; Part V. Portraits of the Artist: 11. 'It is Orpheus when there is singing': the mythical fabric of musical lives Pauline A. LeVen; 12. The artists as anecdote: creating creators in ancient texts and modern art history Verity Platt; 13. Freud and the biography of antiquity Miriam Leonard; Envoi John Henderson; Works cited.

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