The Parthenon Frieze / Edition 1

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The Parthenon frieze, one of Western civilization's major monuments, has been the subject of intense study for over two hundred years. Most scholarship has sought an overall interpretation of the monument's iconography and therefore neglects the visual language of the sculpture, an essential tool for a full understanding of the narrative. Dr. Jenifer Neils's study provides an in-depth examination of the frieze that decodes its visual language but also analyzes its conception and design, style and content, and impact on the visual arts over time. Unique in its wide-ranging approach, The Parthenon Frieze also brings ethical reasoning to bear on the issue of repatriation as part of the ongoing debate on the Elgin Marbles.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This handsomely mounted, comprehensive, and persuasively argued book is a joy to read."
-Bryn Mawr Classical Review

"Neils has done us a great service by collating the vast body of material on the frieze thus far, and by providing new and stimulating ways to think about the frieze in its visual and historical context. All this is achieved in an inviting format, which is a pleasure to read and to which I will return again and again."
-CAA Reviews

"A superb presentation of a subject central to classical archaeology...All the chapters will be of great interest to scholars, and particularly to students, as they represent up-to-date treatments of enduring problems."
-William R. Biers, University of Missouri-Columbia

"[Hartwick recommends] The Parthenon Frieze as a substantial contribution to the never-ending debate on this enigmatic and, therefore, all-the-more-fascinating artistic creation of the Classical period."
-Classical Bulletin

"Jenifer Neils' Parthenon Frieze provides an excellent survey of its subject...Neils admirably controls the scholarship on the frieze and the pertinent comparative material. She presents often-conflicting scholarly opinions with balance and clarity and frequently offers her own, fresh point of view. The questions the book ponders and its elegant and jargon-free writing make it both an easy read and a welcome journey...I recommend the book as a must-have for anyone with any interest in the Parthenon."
-Marjorie Venit, University of Maryland, The Classical Outlook

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521641616
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2001
  • Edition description: BK&CD-ROM
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 316
  • Product dimensions: 6.97 (w) x 9.96 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Jenifer Neils is Ruth Coutler Heede Professor of Art History at Case Western Reserve University, where she has taught since 1980. A scholar of Greek art and archaeology, she organized the exhibition “Goddess and Polis: The Panathenaic Festival in Ancient Athens” and edited the exhibition catalogue. Neils is also author of The Youthful Deeds of Theseus, the second Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum of the Cleveland Museum of Art, and The Parthenon: From Antiquity to the Present.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Introduction 1
1 Polis: The Framework of Ritual 11
2 Paradeigma: Designing the Frieze 33
3 Techne: Carving the Frieze 73
4 Mimesis: The High Classical Style 95
5 Iconographia: Identifying the Players 125
6 Iconologia: Interpreting the Frieze 173
7 Kleos: The Impact of the Frieze 203
8 Thauma: Whose Heritage? 239
Epilogue 249
Chronological Table 251
Concordance 255
Notes 257
Glossary 275
Bibliography 279
Index 291
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2003

    Getting a Grip on Athena's Cloak

    If I asked 10,000 people at random if they had ever heard of Athena¿s peplos, or cloak, I¿d be surprised if just one of them said yes. And yet, every year for nearly a thousand years, the ancient Greeks (you know, those people who created the living basis of our culture) presented Athena with an embroidered cloak as the centerpiece of their most important festival. They even carved the procession culminating in the presentation of the cloak and the presentation itself on a 160-meter wrap-around frieze on their most treasured temple, the Parthenon. That¿s where Jenifer Neils comes in. Dr. Neils is a brilliant art historian and scholar. I¿m on my third read of her THE PARTHENON FRIEZE because it is so well-written and rich in detail and insight. Her book helped me understand the purpose and meaning of the great Panathenaic festival. All of it is excellent, but to me, just her description of the peplos ceremony itself is worth the price of her book. If you¿re reading this, you¿ve now heard of Athena¿s cloak, if you hadn¿t before. And you should be wondering exactly what was embroidered on it. The embroidery depicted the Greek gods defeating the Giants. This theme also was sculpted on the fourteen east metopes of the Parthenon, and it was painted on the inside of the shield next to Athena¿s great gold and ivory idol-image. The defeat of the Giants meant everything to the Greeks. As I point out in my book, ATHENA AND EDEN, in the Greek story of the gods defeating the Giants, the gods represent the Greek religious system and the Giants are the Yahweh-believing offspring of Noah. Greek myth is history, and that¿s what really happened. The Greek religious system overcame Noah¿s system. The Parthenon frieze should thus mean something to all of us. In addition to numerous interesting illustrations, Dr. Neils¿ book contains a complete fold-out line drawing of the entire frieze and a CD-ROM of all the extant frieze sculpture.

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