Performance and Culture in Plato's Laws by Anastasia-Erasmia Peponi

By Anastasia-Erasmia Peponi

This quantity is devoted to an fascinating Platonic paintings, the legislation. most likely the final discussion Plato wrote, the legislation represents the philosopher's such a lot totally built perspectives on many an important questions that he had raised in previous works. but it is still a mostly unread and underexplored discussion. Abounding in specified and priceless references to bop and tune, customs and norms, the legislation turns out to signify a finished version of tradition for the whole polis - anything unheard of in Plato. This really wealthy dialogue of cultural concerns within the legislation calls for the scrutiny of students whose services is living past the limits of natural philosophical inquiry. the quantity deals contributions via fourteen students who paintings within the broader components of literary, cultural, and function reviews.

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Also under scrutiny are some of the movements (‘migrations’) that are described in the Laws as taking place, or having taken place, from one city to another or from visiting ‘strangers, guest artists’ (xenoi), and itinerant professionals, whose performances may, or may not, be incorporated into the carefully planned musical regime of Magnesia. Plato’s musical program, both in the Republic and in the Laws, is generally regarded as being extremely conservative and restrictive, in comparison to (indeed, in reaction against) the instrumental and harmonic developments of the fifth century, and especially the innovations and multiplicity of musical forms of Athenian theatre culture (tragedy, comedy, and dithyramb).

67 Most readers of the Laws have concluded the former; yet we do seem to find, as the dialogue unfolds, a somewhat coherent – if piecemeal and even at times covert and evasive – plan emerging through which legislators and community leaders may be able to establish a fixed regimen of musical, intellectual, and political traditions, while also harnessing (managing, integrating, if not naturalising or quite legitimising) a number of ongoing innovations and importations. As a result, the city’s artistic-educational program will end up being at the same time both highly ‘traditional’ and distinctive and yet curiously varied and multicultural.

Herakleion Museum. Drawing by Monika Schuol (2004 no. 1, Tafel 37), reproduced with permission of Monika Schuol and the Deutsche Archäologische Institut. 42 One more possible (imaginary or real) geographical origin for Greek music should be mentioned: Crete. Minoan double-pipe player, at sacrificial ceremony. Crete, Ayia Triada sarcophagus, south/reverse side (LM IIIA[1], that is, ca. ). Herakleion Museum. Drawing by Monika Schuol (2004 no. 2, Tafel 37), reproduced with permission of Monika Schuol and the Deutsche Archäologische Institut.

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