1st Edition

Synaesthesia and the Ancient Senses

Edited By Shane Butler, Alex Purves Copyright 2013
    240 Pages
    by Routledge

    240 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.

    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




    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.

    "So far in the field of classics the senses, except for sight and hearing, and except for the subfields of philosophy, art, and aesthetics, have received little attention. Synaesthesia fills important gaps…the book’s comprehensiveness is one of its strongest points." -Silvia Montiglio, Johns Hopkins University, USA