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Publication . Article . 2006

Countries and Cities in Ancient Art

Percy Gardner;
Open Access
Published: 07 May 2006 Journal: The Journal of Hellenic Studies, volume 9, pages 47-81 (issn: 0075-4269, eissn: 2041-4099, Copyright policy )
Publisher: Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Cities may be regarded in two lights. Firstly, they may be considered as collections of houses, with public buildings, market-places, and walls; as features of the natural landscape; as definite localities, with form, arrangement, and parts. Secondly, they may be regarded as bodies politic; as masses of inhabitants rather than groups of buildings; as personal rather than local. And it is obvious that by far the greatest interest attaches to them in the second aspect. In the first, however beautiful, they are but material, outward and visible; in the second they are living, spiritual, and immortal, with beliefs and customs, with heart and conscience. It is the people who make their city in its physical aspect, and it is only interesting as incorporating their history, and representing their character.This is of course true always and everywhere. But no nation has been more fully alive to the truth than the Greeks. Among them the city was more homogeneous, more fully organized, more unified than among us, was more of a person and less of a place. If we further consider how strongly Greek art tended to avoid natural scenes of any complication, and to clothe all kinds of powers and abstractions in human form, we shall see how natural it is that the national painting and sculpture of the Hellenic race are scarcely ever occupied in bringing before us the external view of cities, but devote their energies to the portrayal of bodies politic in their human and moral aspects with the best resources at their disposal.
Subjects by Vocabulary

Microsoft Academic Graph classification: Natural (music) Ancient history Natural landscape Greeks Race (biology) Greek art Sculpture History Aesthetics Painting Ancient art


Literature and Literary Theory, Linguistics and Language, Archeology, Visual Arts and Performing Arts, Language and Linguistics, Classics

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