Reconstructing Damon: Music, Wisdom Teaching, and Politics in Perikles' Athens

Reconstructing Damon: Music, Wisdom Teaching, and Politics in Perikles' Athens

by Robert W. Wallace




Fifth-century Athenian musical and political theorist Damon was the first to study music's psychological, behavioural, and political effects, profoundly influencing debates on music theory throughout antiquity. Considered by Isokrates to be the most intelligent Athenian of his age, Damon worked alongside Perikles during the most vibrant decades of Athens' democracy. Probably using fourth-century BC sources, Olympiodoros records that 'Damon taught Perikles the songs through which Perikles harmonized the city'. However, musical and political entanglements caused this teacher-theorist to be ostracized from Athens for ten years, at the height of Perikles' power.

Reconstructing Damon is the first comprehensive study of the most important theorist of music and poetic meter in ancient Athens, detailing his extensive influence, and providing the first systematic collection, translation, and critical examination of all ancient testimonia for him. In doing so, this volume makes an important contribution to a number of key fields, including classical Greek music and music theory, fifth-century philosophy (particularly the sophists), political history including the growth of democracy, and the life and career of Perikles.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199685738
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 11/24/2015
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Robert W. Wallace, Professor of Classics, Northwestern University

Robert W. Wallace is Professor of Classics at Northwestern University. A graduate of Columbia, Oxford, and Harvard, he has written or edited seven books and some 85 articles in the fields of Greek history, literature, law, music theory, and coinage. He has been a visiting professor at the Universities of Siena, Pisa, Urbino, Trento, Halle, and the American School of Classical Studies, Athens. He has lectured widely in Europe and North America.

Table of Contents

Preface: Plato on Damon
Abbreviations and References
Part I
1. Teaching and Wisdom Counsel
2. Damon's Êthos Theories of Music and Poetic Meter
3. Music and Politics
4. Damon after Plato
Part II
Testimonia and Commentary
Appendix 1: Did Damon Publish?
Appendix 2: Damon's Chronology
Appendix 3: The Êthos Theory
Appendix 4: Four Questions
Conspectus of Testimonia
Select Bibliography
Index Locorum
General Index

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