Synaesthesia and the Ancient Senses: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Synaesthesia and the Ancient Senses

1st Edition

Edited by Shane Butler, Alex Purves


240 pages

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pub: 2014-08-18
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Like us, the ancient Greeks and Romans came to know and understand the world through their senses. Yet sensory experience has rarely been considered in the study of antiquity and, when the senses are examined, sight is regularly privileged. 'Synaesthesia and the Ancient Senses' presents a radical reappraisal of antiquity's textures, flavours, and aromas, sounds and sights. It offers both a fresh look at society in the ancient world and an opportunity to deepen the reading of classical literature. The book will appeal to readers in classical society and literature, philosophy and cultural history. All Greek and Latin is translated and technical matters are explained for the non-specialist. The introduction sets the ancient senses within the history of aesthetics and the subsequent essays explores the senses throughout the classical period and on to the modern reception of classical literature.

Table of Contents

Introduction, Shane Butler and Alex Purves

1. Why Are There Nine Muses?, James I. Porter

2. Haptic Herodotus, Alex Purves

3. The Understanding Ear: Synaesthesia, Paraesthesia, and Talking Animals, Mark Payne

4. Aristophanes, Cratinus and the Smell of Comedy, Mario Telo

5. "Looking Mustard": Greek Popular Epistemology and the Meaning of aneiyo, Ashley Clements

6. Plato, Beauty and "Philosophical Synaesthesia", Ralph M. Rosen

7. Manilius' Cosmos of the Senses, Katharina Volk

8. Reading Death and the Senses in Lucan and Lucretius, Brian Walters

9. Colour as Synaesthetic Experience in Antiquity, Mark Bradley

10. Blinded by the Light: Oratorical Clarity and Poetic Obscurity in Quintilian, Curtis Dozier

11. The Sense of a Poem: Ovids Banquet of Sence (1595), Sean Keilen

12. Saussure's Anaphonie: Sounds Asunder, Joshua Katz

13. Beyond Narcissus, Shane Butler



About the Editors

Shane Butler is Nancy H. and Robert E. Hall Professor in the Humanities and Professor and Chair of Classics at Johns Hopkins University. He is the author, most recently, of The Ancient Phonograph (2015), and editor of Deep Classics: Rethinking Classical Reception (2016). He is also co-editor, with Mark Bradley, of this series, as well as being co-editor, with Alex Purves, of its first volume, Synaesthesia and the Ancient Senses (2013).

Alex Purves is Professor of Classics at the University of California Los Angeles, USA. She is the author of Space and Time in Ancient Greek Narrative (2010) and co-editor, with Shane Butler, of Synaesthesia and the Ancient Senses (2013), published in this "Senses in Antiquity" series. Her most recent book, Homer and the Poetics of Gesture, is forthcoming.

About the Series

The Senses in Antiquity

Like us, ancient Greeks and Romans came to know and understand their world through their senses. Yet it has long been recognized that the world the ancients perceived, and the senses through which they channelled this information could operate differently from the patterns and processes of perception in the modern world. This series explores the relationship between perception, knowledge and understanding in the literature, philosophy, history, language and culture of ancient Greece and Rome.


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Ancient / General
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Communication Studies