A distinguished cast of scholars discusses models of gesture and non-verbal communication as they apply to Greek and Roman culture, literature and art. Topics include dress and costume in the Homeric poems; the importance of looking, eye-contact, and face-to-face orientation in Greek society; the construction of facial expression in Greek and Roman epic; the significance of gesture and body language in the visual meaning of ancient sculpture; the evidence for gesture and performance style in the texts of ancient drama; the erotic significance of feet and footprints; and the role of gesture in Roman law. The volume seeks to apply a sense of history as well as of theory in interpreting non-verbal communication. It looks both at the cross-cultural and at the culturally specific in its treatment of this important but long-neglected aspect of Classical Studies.
Astyanax is thrown from the walls of Troy; Medeia kills her children as an act of vengeance against her husband; Aias reflects with sorrow on his son's inheritance, yet kills himself and leaves Eurysakes vulnerable to his enemies. The pathos created by threats to children is a notable feature of Greek tragedy, but does not in itself explain the broad range of situations in which the ancient playwrights chose to employ such threats. Rather than casting children in tragedy as simple figures of pathos, this volume proposes a new paradigm to understand their roles, emphasizing their dangerous potential as the future adults of myth. Although they are largely silent, passive figures on stage, children exert a dramatic force that transcends their limited physical presence, and are in fact theatrically complex creations who pose a danger to the major characters. Their multiple projected lives create dramatic palimpsests which are paradoxically more significant than their immediate emotional effects: children are never killed because of their immediate weakness, but because of their potential strength. This re-evaluation of the significance of child characters in Greek tragedy draws on a fresh examination of the evidence for child actors in fifth-century Athens, which concludes that the physical presence of children was a significant factor in their presentation. However, child roles can only be fully appreciated as theatrical phenomena, utilizing the inherent ambiguities of drama: as such, case studies of particular plays and playwrights are underpinned by detailed analysis of staging considerations, opening up new avenues for interpretation and challenging traditional models of children in tragedy.
In Rabbinic Body Language Catherine Hezser examines the literary representation of non-verbal communication within rabbinic circles and in encounters with others in Palestinian rabbinic documents of late antiquity.
Insights from anthropology, religious studies, biblical studies, sociology, classics, and Jewish studies are here combined to provide a cutting-edge guide to dress and religion in the Greco-Roman World and the Mediterranean basin. Clothing, jewellery, cosmetics, and hairstyles are among the many aspects examined to show the variety of functions of dress in communication and in both establishing and defending identity. The volume begins by reviewing how scholars in the fields of classics, anthropology, religious studies, and sociology examine dress. The second section then looks at materials, including depictions of clothing in sculpture and in Egyptian mummy portraits. The third (and largest) part of the book then examines dress in specific contexts, beginning with Greece and Rome and going on to Jewish and Christian dress, with a specific focus on the intersection between dress, clothing and religion. By combining essays from over twenty scholars from different disciplinary backgrounds, the book provides a unique overview of different approaches to and contexts of dress in one volume, leading to a greater understanding of dress both within ancient societies and in the contemporary world.
In Search of the Sorcerer's Apprentice is the first book in English to be devoted to Lucian's Philopseudes or Lover of Lies (c. 170s AD). It comprises an extensive discussion, with full translation, of this engaging and satirical Greek text with its ten tales of magic and ghosts. One of these is the famous story of The Sorcerer's Apprentice, and this conveys the flavour of the rest. In other tales a plague of snakes is blasted with a miraculous scorching breath, a woman is drawn to her admirer by an animated cupid doll, and a haunted house is cleansed of its monstrous ghost. The Philopseudes stands at the intersection of three of the liveliest fields in the study of antiquity: magic, traditional narratives, and the Lucianic oeuvre itself. Ogden's cross-fertilising expertise in all three of these fields enables him to build sophisticated analyses for each of the tales and to place them sensitively in their historical, cultural and literary contexts. Among the themes of the work are Lucian's methods of adapting motifs from traditional narratives, and the text's overlooked Cynic voice.
Eight leading contemporary interpreters of Classical Greek tragedy here explore its relation to the thought of the Archaic Period. Prominent topics are the nature and possibility of divine justice; the influence of the gods on humans; fate and human responsibility; the instability of fortune and the principle of alternation; hybris and ate; and the inheritance of guilt and suffering. Other themes are tragedy's relation with Pre-Socratic philosophy, and the interplay between 'Archaic' features of the genre and fifth-century ethical and political thought. The book makes a powerful case for the importance of Archaic thought not only in the evolution of the tragic genre, but also for developed features of the Classical tragedians' art. Along with three papers on Aeschylus, four on Sophocles, and one on Euripides, there is an extensive introduction by the editor.
Gender and the Body in Greek and Roman Sculpture offers incisive analysis of selected works of ancient art through a critical use of cutting-edge theory from gender studies, body studies, art history and other related fields. The book raises important questions about ancient sculpture and the contrasting responses that the individual works can be shown to evoke. Rosemary Barrow gives close attention to both original context and modern experience, while directly addressing the question of continuity in gender and body issues from antiquity to the early modern period through a discussion of the sculpture of Bernini. Accessible and fully illustrated, her book features new translations of ancient sources and a glossary of Greek and Latin terms. It will be an invaluable resource and focus for debate for a wide range of readers interested in ancient art, gender and sexuality in antiquity, and art history and gender and body studies more broadly.
The Focus Classical Library is dedicated to publishing the best of Classical literature in contemporary translations with notes and introductions, so as to provide modern students access to the thought and context at the roots of contemporary culture. Five new translations of Rome's finest comic playwrights, Plautus and Terence, are included in this single volume. The five plays: Menaechmi, Rudens, Truculentus, Adelphoe, and Eunuchus provide an introduction to the world of Roman comedy by two of its best practitioners. These modern translations inlcude notes, an extensive introduction, and appendices.
This volume examines the ways in which bodies, lived and imagined, were implicated in issues of cosmic order and social organisation in Graeco-Roman antiquity. It focuses on the body in performance (especially in a rhetorical context), the erotic body, the dressed body, pagan and Christian bodies as well as divine bodies and animal bodies. The articles draw on a range of evidence and approaches, cover a broad chronological and geographical span, and explore the ways bodies can transgress and dissolve, as well shore up, or even create, boundaries and hierarchies.
Saluting gestures in Roman art and literature -- Jacques-Louis David's Oath of the Horatii -- Raised-arm salutes in the United States before fascism : from the pledge of allegiance to Ben-Hur on stage -- Early cinema : American and European epics -- Cabiria : the intersection of cinema and politics -- Gabriele d'Annunzio and Cabiria -- Fiume : the Roman salute becomes a political symbol -- From D'Annunzio to Mussolini -- Nazi cinema and its impact on Hollywood's Roman epics : from Leni Riefenstahl to Quo vadis -- Visual legacies : antiquity on the screen from Quo vadis to Rome -- Cinema : from Salome to Alexander -- Television : from Star trek to Rome -- Conclusion.