In this bold book, Jonas Grethlein proposes a new dialogue between the fields of Classics and aesthetics. Ancient material, he argues, has the capacity to challenge and re-orientate current debates. Comparisons with modern art and literature help to balance the historicism of classical scholarship with transcultural theoretical critique. Grethlein discusses ancient narratives and pictures in order to explore the nature of aesthetic experience. While our responses to both narratives and pictures are vicarious, the 'as-if' on which they are premised is specifically shaped by the form of the representation. Form emerges as a key to how narratives and pictures constitute an important means of engaging with experience. Combining theoretical reflections with close readings, this book will appeal to art historians as well as to textual scholars.
Jonas Grethlein holds the Chair in Greek Literature in the Department of Classics at the Ruprecht-Karls-Universitat Heidelberg, Germany. His authored publications include The Greeks and their Past: Poetry, Oratory and History in the Fifth-Century BCE (Cambridge, 2010), Experience and Teleology in Ancient Historiography: Futures Past from Herodotus to Augustine (Cambridge, 2013), and Die Odyssee. Homer und die Kunst des Erzahlens (2017). He is co-editor of Time and Narrative in Ancient Historiography: The 'Plupast' from Herodotus to Appian (Cambridge, 2012).