Power of Beauty (Paperback)
On the Aesthetics of Homer, Plato & Cicero
The fascination of beauty has given rise to a long-standing European philosophical tradition on the idea of beauty the beginnings of which link back to ancient Greek mythology. However, at the dawn of Modernity the discourse on beauty slowly disappeared from theory and philosophy. While classical tradition dealt with the many and varied aspects of beauty in relation to cosmos, man's way of life, education and the arts, modern theory trivialized the idea of beauty and finally abandoned the topic. This book is an attempt to put beauty on the agenda again by reviewing the very origin of this ancient idea. The reflections on beauty and the ugly are present already in Homer's mythology, and these ideas are further developed and refined in Plato's philosophy. Also Cicero is guided by the Greek legacy in his approach to life, rhetoric, and beauty. The examination of the ancient sources shows the profound knowledge, the elegance, the charm and wit present in ancient thinking. Instead of being just history, these sources hold sound counselling highlighting the importance of beauty. In this way the ancient legacy constitutes a challenge to the arrogance of modern thinking.