The Epic City

Overview


As Greek and Trojan forces battled in the shadow of Troy's wall, Hephaistos created a wondrous, ornately decorated shield for Achilles. At the Shield's center lay two walled cities, one at war and one at peace, surrounded by fields and pasturelands. Viewed as Homer's blueprint for an ideal, or utopian, social order, the Shield reveals that restraining and taming Nature would be fundamental to the Hellenic urban quest. It is this ideal that Classical Athens, with her utilitarian view of Nature, exemplified. In a ...
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Overview


As Greek and Trojan forces battled in the shadow of Troy's wall, Hephaistos created a wondrous, ornately decorated shield for Achilles. At the Shield's center lay two walled cities, one at war and one at peace, surrounded by fields and pasturelands. Viewed as Homer's blueprint for an ideal, or utopian, social order, the Shield reveals that restraining and taming Nature would be fundamental to the Hellenic urban quest. It is this ideal that Classical Athens, with her utilitarian view of Nature, exemplified. In a city lacking pleasure gardens, it was particularly worthy of note when Epicurus created his garden oasis within the dense urban fabric. The disastrous results of extreme anthropocentrism would promote an essentially nostalgic desire to break down artificial barriers between humanity and Nature. This new ideal, vividly expressed through the domestication of Nature in villas and gardens and also through primitivist and Epicurean tendencies in Latin literature, informed the urban endeavors of Rome.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674023741
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/2007
  • Series: Hellenic Studies Series , #21
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 220
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.46 (d)

Meet the Author

Annette L. Giesecke is Associate Professor of Foreign Languages and Literatures at the University of Delaware.
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Table of Contents


List of Illustrations     viii
Acknowledgments     ix
Prologue: An Afternoon Walk     xi
Introduction: Seeds of Perfection     1
Homer's Eutoplis     11
Greece and the Garden     35
Rome and the Reinvention of Pardise     79
Nostalgia and Virgil's Pastoral Dream     126
Epilogue: The Medallions and Other Magic Gardens     156
Bibliography     161
Index of Ancient Authors and Works     181
General Index     185
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