The Transformation of Athens: Painted Pottery and the Creation of Classical Greece - Martin Classical Lectures (Hardback)
  • The Transformation of Athens: Painted Pottery and the Creation of Classical Greece - Martin Classical Lectures (Hardback)
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The Transformation of Athens: Painted Pottery and the Creation of Classical Greece - Martin Classical Lectures (Hardback)

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£40.00
Hardback 304 Pages / Published: 13/02/2018
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How remarkable changes in ancient Greek pottery reveal the transformation of classical Greek culture Why did soldiers stop fighting, athletes stop competing, and lovers stop having graphic sex in classical Greek art? The scenes depicted on Athenian pottery of the mid-fifth century BC are very different from those of the late sixth century. Did Greek potters have a different world to see--or did they come to see the world differently? In this lavishly illustrated and engagingly written book, Robin Osborne argues that these remarkable changes are the best evidence for the shifting nature of classical Greek culture. Osborne examines the thousands of surviving Athenian red-figure pots painted between 520 and 440 BC and describes the changing depictions of soldiers and athletes, drinking parties and religious occasions, sexual relations, and scenes of daily life. He shows that it was not changes in each activity that determined how the world was shown, but changes in values and aesthetics. By demonstrating that changes in artistic style involve choices about what aspects of the world we decide to represent as well as how to represent them, this book rewrites the history of Greek art. By showing that Greeks came to see the world differently over the span of less than a century, it reassesses the history of classical Greece and of Athenian democracy. And by questioning whether art reflects or produces social and political change, it provokes a fresh examination of the role of images in an ever-evolving world.

Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691177670
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 907 g
Dimensions: 254 x 178 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"This is a highly engaging, persuasive, and original book. Combining rigorous scholarship with clear and lively prose, it almost seamlessly integrates a variety of theories with a more empirical approach."--Jonathan Hall, University of Chicago
"This is the first book to address, in a large-scale way, what vase painting reveals about the 'social imaginary' of ancient Athens. It finally accounts for the changes in this area of art in a systematic fashion and contextualizes them within the larger history of Greek art."--Kathryn Topper, University of Washington
Osborne's gifts as an observer of ancient art are beyond dispute. His discussions of the vase scenes he has chosen to explore are filled with the kind of insight that make one inclined to accept any conclusions to which they might lead. His book offers a radically new approach to the Attic vases, one that might even achieve the two grand goals Osborne sets for it: not only to 'rewrite the history of art' but also to 'rewrite history.'---James Romm, New York Review of Books

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