There have been numerous attempts to understand the role and importance of the Great Dionysia in Athens, and it is a festival that has been made crucial to varied and important characterizations of Greek culture as well as the history of drama or literature. Recent scholarship, however, has greatly extended our understanding of the formation of fifth-century Athenian ideology—in the sense of the structure of attitudes and norms of behaviour—and this developing interest in what might be called a ‘civic discourse’ (...) requires a reconsideration of the Great Dionysia as a city festival. For while there have been several fascinating readings of particular plays with regard to thepolisand its ideology, there is still a considerable need to place the festival itself in terms of the ideology of thepolis. Indeed, recent critics in a justifiable reaction away from writers such as Gilbert Murray have tended rather to emphasize on the one hand that the festival is a place of entertainment rather than religious ritual, and on the other hand that the plays should be approached primarily asdramaticperformances. (shrink)
'Dialogue' was invented as a written form in democratic Athens and made a celebrated and popular literary and philosophical style by Plato. Yet it almost completely disappeared in the Christian empire of late antiquity. This book, the first general and systematic study of the genre in antiquity, asks: who wrote dialogues and why? Why did dialogue no longer attract writers in the later period in the same way? Investigating dialogue goes to the heart of the central issues of power, authority, (...) openness and playfulness in changing cultural contexts. This book analyses the relationship between literary form and cultural authority in a new and exciting way, and encourages closer reflection about the purpose of dialogue in its wider social, cultural and religious contexts in today's world. (shrink)
Time is integral to human culture. Over the last two centuries people's relationship with time has been transformed through industrialisation, trade and technology. But the first such life-changing transformation – under Christianity's influence – happened in late antiquity. It was then that time began to be conceptualised in new ways, with discussion of eternity, life after death and the end of days. Individuals also began to experience time differently: from the seven-day week to the order of daily prayer and the (...) festal calendar of Christmas and Easter. With trademark flair and versatility, world-renowned classicist Simon Goldhill uncovers this change in thinking. He explores how it took shape in the literary writing of late antiquity and how it resonates even today. His bold new cultural history will appeal to scholars and students of classics, cultural history, literary studies, and early Christianity alike. (shrink)
This article argues that integrated infrastructural planning is necessary for building cities that encourage tolerance as a civic behaviour. It argues in favour of open planning and insists that tolerance must be tolerance of risk and uncertainty in urban experience.