Those who study the nature of beauty are at once plagued by a singular issue: what does it mean to say something is beautiful? On the one hand, beauty is associated with erotic attraction; on the other, it is the primary category in aesthetics, and it is widely supposed that the proper response to a work of art is one of disinterested contemplation. At its core, then, beauty is a contested concept, and both sides feel comfortable appealing to the authority of Plato, and via him, to the ancient Greeks generally. So, who is right-if either? Beauty offers an elegant investigation of ancient Greek notions of beauty and, in the process, sheds light on modern aesthetics and how we ought to appreciate the artistic achievements of the classical world itself. The book begins by reexamining the commonly held notion that the ancient Greeks possessed no term that can be unambiguously defined as "beauty" or "beautiful." Author David Konstan discusses a number of Greek approximations before positioning t
David Konstan is Professor of Classics at New York University and Emeritus Professor of Classics at Brown University. He is the co-editor of the Emotions of the Past series and author or co-editor of 18 books.
1. The Problem with Beauty ; 2. Beauty in Greek ; 3. The Nature of Beauty ; 4. Beauty Transfigured ; 5. Beauty Across Cultures ; 6. Greek Beauty Today