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Ancient Philosophical Poetics

by Malcolm Heath

What is poetry? Why do human beings produce and consume it? What effects does it have on them? Can it give them insight into truth, or is it dangerously misleading? This book is a wide-ranging study of the very varied answers which ancient philosophers gave to such questions. An extended discussion of Plato's Republic shows how the two discussions of poetry are integrated with each other and with the dialogue's central themes. Aristotle's Poetics is read in the context of his understanding of poetry as a natural human behaviour and an intrinsically valuable component of a good human life. Two chapters trace the development of the later Platonist tradition from Plutarch to Plotinus, Longinus and Porphyry, exploring its intellectual debts to Epicurean, allegorical and Stoic approaches to poetry. It will be essential reading for classicists as well as ancient philosophers and modern philosophers of art and aesthetics.

Rhetorical Exercises From Late Antiquity: A Translation of Choricius of Gaza's Preliminary Talks and Declamations

by George A. Kennedy Robert J. Penella Eugenio Amato Malcolm Heath Terry L. Papillon William W. Reader D. A. Russell Simon Swain

The first translation, produced by a team of eight scholars, of the Declamations and Preliminary Talks of the sixth-century sophist Choricius of Gaza. Declamations, deliberative or judicial orations on fictitious themes, were the fundamental advanced exercises of the rhetorical schools of the Roman Empire, of interest also to audiences outside the schools. Some of Choricius' declamations are on generic themes (e.g. a tyrannicide, a war-hero), while others are based on specific motifs from Homeric times or from classical Greek history. The Preliminary Talks were typical prefaces to orations of all kinds. This volume also contains a detailed study of Choricius' reception in Byzantium and Renaissance Italy. It will be of interest to students of late antiquity, ancient rhetoric, and ancient education.

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