Sounds You Cannot Hear: Cicero and the Tradition of Sublime Criticism

TitoloSounds You Cannot Hear: Cicero and the Tradition of Sublime Criticism
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsPorter, JI
Ancient AuthorsPhilodemus Phil. (TLG 1595), Dionysius Halicarnassensis Hist., Rhet. (TLG 0081), Crates Poet. Phil. (TLG 0336), Marcus Tullius Cicero (PHI 0474), [Longinus] Rhet. (TLG 0560)
Book TitleMusic, Text, and Culture in Ancient Greece
PublisherOxford University Press

Ancient musical and literary theory converge in a view about the ways in which aural effects are produced and received. According to both, sounds are constructed around gaps of sound. This is the source of their music and the pleasure they promise and then deliver—in the form of an appearance (a phantasia) that exists in the imagination rather than in the ear. Sounds that cannot be heard are truly sublime sounds. The chapter explores the genesis of this view of music, poetry, and the music of poetry in Cicero, the Hellenistic euphonist critics, and Longinus, with glances back at earlier stages of the same tradition (Aristoxenus, the fifth-century harmonikoi, and Gorgias), which in fact lies at the root of all song-culture in Greco-Roman antiquity. []



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Sito disegnato da Geoff Piersol a aggiornato da Stefan Hagel