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Creative Lives in Classical Antiquity
Poets, Artists and Biography


Part of Cambridge Classical Studies

Johanna Hanink, Richard Fletcher, Constanze Güthenke, Barbara Graziosi, Andrew Laird, Anna Uhlig, Polly Low, Mary Lefkowitz, Kurt Lampe, Pauline A. LeVen, Verity Platt, Miriam Leonard, John Henderson
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  • Date Published: November 2016
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107159082

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About the Authors
  • What happened when creative biographers took on especially creative subjects (poets, artists and others) in Greek and Roman antiquity? Creative Lives in Classical Antiquity examines how the biographical traditions of ancient poets and artists parallel the creative processes of biographers themselves, both within antiquity and beyond. Each chapter explores a range of biographical material that highlights the complexity of how readers and viewers imagine the lives of ancient creator-figures. Work in the last decades has emphasized the likely fictionality of nearly all of the ancient evidence about the lives of poets, as well as of other artists and intellectuals; this book now sets out to show what we might nevertheless still do with the rich surviving testimony for 'creative lives' - and the evidence that those traditions still shape how we narrate modern lives too.

    • Proposes new methods for addressing the inherent creativity of biographical processes
    • Expands traditional discourses about biography to focus on biographers and their own artistic license
    • Considers multiple types of creative individuals (poets, artists, philosophers, and so on) together
    • Readers will be able to compare different yet related traditions
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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2016
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107159082
    • length: 380 pages
    • dimensions: 223 x 145 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.6kg
    • contains: 6 b/w illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    Part I. Opening Remarks:
    1. Orientation: what we mean by 'creative lives' Johanna Hanink and Richard Fletcher
    2. 'Lives' as parameter: the privileging of ancient lives as a category of research c.1900 Constanze Güthenke
    Part II. Dead Poets Societies:
    3. Close encounters with the ancient poets Barbara Graziosi
    4. Recognizing Virgil Andrew Laird
    Part III. Lives in Unexpected Places:
    5. A poetic possession: Pindar's Lives of the poets Anna Uhlig
    6. What's in a Life? Some forgotten faces of Euripides Johanna Hanink
    7. Lives from stone: epigraphy and biography in Classical and Hellenistic Greece Polly Low
    Part IV. Laughing Matters and Lives of the Mind:
    8. On bees, poets and Plato: ancient biographers' representations of the creative process Mary Lefkowitz
    9. The life and philosophy of Aristippus in the Socratic epistles Kurt Lampe
    10. Imagination dead imagine: Diogenes Laertius' work of mourning Richard Fletcher
    Part V. Portraits of the Artist:
    11. 'It is Orpheus when there is singing': the mythical fabric of musical lives Pauline A. LeVen
    12. The artists as anecdote: creating creators in ancient texts and modern art history Verity Platt
    13. Freud and the biography of antiquity Miriam Leonard
    Envoi John Henderson
    Works cited.

  • Editors

    Richard Fletcher, Ohio State University
    Richard Fletcher is Associate Professor of Classics at Ohio State University. He specializes in ancient Greek and Roman philosophy and the dynamic between Classics and contemporary art. He is the author of Apuleius' Platonism: The Impersonation of Philosophy (Cambridge, 2014) and is co-editor, with Wilson Shearin, of The Oxford Handbook of Roman Philosophy (forthcoming).

    Johanna Hanink, Brown University, Rhode Island
    Johanna Hanink is Assistant Professor of Classics and Robert Gale Noyes Assistant Professor of Humanities at Brown University. She has published widely on ancient traditions about the Athenian tragedians, which also feature in her 2014 monograph Lycurgan Athens and the Making of Classical Tragedy (Cambridge, 2014).


    Johanna Hanink, Richard Fletcher, Constanze Güthenke, Barbara Graziosi, Andrew Laird, Anna Uhlig, Polly Low, Mary Lefkowitz, Kurt Lampe, Pauline A. LeVen, Verity Platt, Miriam Leonard, John Henderson

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