This volume is dedicated to an intriguing Platonic work, the Laws. Probably the last dialogue Plato wrote, the Laws represents the philosopher's most fully developed views on many crucial questions that he had raised in earlier works. Yet it remains a largely unread and underexplored dialogue. Abounding in unique and valuable references to dance and music, customs and norms, the Laws seems to suggest a comprehensive model of culture for the entire polis - something unparalleled in Plato. This exceptionally rich discussion of cultural matters in the Laws requires the scrutiny of scholars whose expertise resides beyond the boundaries of pure philosophical inquiry. The volume offers contributions by fourteen scholars who work in the broader areas of literary, cultural and performance studies.
Anastasia-Erasmia Peponi is Professor of Classics at Stanford University. She works on Greek aesthetics as reflected and debated in poetic and philosophical texts. Her book, Frontiers of Pleasure: Models of Aesthetic Response in Archaic and Classical Greek Thought, was published in 2012.
1. Introduction Anastasia-Erasmia Peponi; Part I. Geopolitics of Performance: 2. Cretan harmonies and universal morals: early music and migrations of wisdom in Plato's Laws Mark Griffith; 3. Strictly ballroom: Egyptian mousike and Plato's comparative poetics Ian Rutherford; Part II. Conceptualising Chorality: 4. Choral practices in Plato's Laws: itineraries of initiation? Claude Calame; 5. The chorus of Dionysus: alcohol and old age in the Laws Oswyn Murray; 6. Imagining chorality: wonder, Plato's puppets and moving statutes Leslie Kurke; 7. Broken rhythms in Plato's Laws: materializing social time in the khoros Barbara Kowalzig; 8. Choral anti-aesthetics Anastasia-Erasmia Peponi; Part III. Redefining Genre: 9. The orphaned word: the pharmakon of forgetfulness in Plato's Laws Andrea Nightingale; 10. Praise and performance in Plato's Laws Kathryn Morgan; 11. Paides malakon mouson: tragedy in Plato's Laws Penelope Murray; 12. The rhetoric of rhapsody in Plato's Laws Richard Martin; 13. The unideal genres of the ideal city: comedy, threnody, and the making of citizens in Plato's Laws Marcus Folch; Part IV. Poetry and Music in the Afterlife of the Laws: 14. Deregulating poetry: Callimachus' response to Plato's Laws Susan Stephens; 15. The Laws and Aristoxenus on the criteria of musical judgement Andrew Barker.
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