It is to Greek critical thinking about seeing that we owe our conceptual framework for theorizing the senses, and it is also to such thinking that we owe the lasting legacy of Greco-Roman imagery. Sight and the Ancient Senses is the first thorough introduction to the conceptualization of sight in the history, visual culture, literature and philosophy of classical antiquity. Examining how the Greeks and Romans interpreted what they saw, the collection also considers sight in relation to the other senses.
This volume brings together a number of interdisciplinary perspectives to deliver a broad and balanced coverage of this subject. Contributors explore the cultural, social and intellectual backdrops that gave rise to ancient theories of seeing, from Archaic Greece through to the advent of Christianity in late antiquity. This series of specially commissioned thematic chapters demonstrate how theories about sight informed Graeco-Roman philosophy, science, poetry rhetoric and art. The collection also reaches beyond its Graeco-Roman visual framework, showcasing how ancient ideas have influenced the longue duree of western sensory thinking. Richly illustrated throughout, including a section of color plates, Sight and the Ancient Senses is a wide-ranging introduction to ancient theories of seeing which will be an invaluable resource for students and scholars of classical antiquity.
Michael Squire is Lecturer in Classical Greek Art at King's College London. He has a special research interest in the relationship between visual and verbal representation in antiquity, and is currently working on ideas of vision in the Elder Philostratus' Imagines.
List of Figures Acknowledgements List of Contributors Introductory reflections: Making sense of ancient sight MICHAEL SQUIRE 1. Sight and the Presocratics: Approaches to visual perception in early Greek philosophy KELLI RUDOLPH 2. Sight and the philosophy of vision in Classical Greece: Democritus, Plato and Aristotle ANDREA NIGHTINGALE 3. Sight and the perspectives of mathematics: The limits of ancient optics REVIEL NETZ & MICHAEL SQUIRE 4. Sight and reflexivity: Theorizing vision in Greek vase-painting JONAS GRETHLEIN 5. Sight and painting: Optical theory and pictorial poetics in Classical Greek art JEREMY TANNER 6. Sight and light: Reified gazes and looking artefacts in the Greek cultural imagination RUTH BIELFELDT 7. Sight and death: Seeing the dead through ancient eyes SUSANNE TURNER 8. Sight and the gods: On the desire to see naked nymphs VERITY PLATT 9. Sight and memory: The visual art of Roman mnemonics JAS ELSNER & MICHAEL SQUIRE 10. Sight and insight: Theorizing vision, emotion and imagination in ancient rhetoric RUTH WEBB 11. Sight and Christianity: Early Christian attitudes to seeing JANE HEATH 12. Sight and blindness: The mask of Thamyris LYNDSAY COO 13. Sight in retrospective: The afterlife of ancient optics A. MARK SMITH Bibliography Index