Publisher description for The mask of Socrates : the image of the intellectual in antiquity / Paul Zanker ; translated by Alan Shapiro.


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Counter This richly illustrated work provides a new and deeper perspective on the interaction of visual representation and classical culture from the fifth century B.C. to the fourth century A.D. Drawing on a variety of source materials such as Graeco-Roman literature, historiography, and philosophy, in addition to artistic renderings, Paul Zanker forges the first comprehensive history of the visual representation of Greek and Roman intellectuals. He takes the reader from the earliest visual images of Socrates and Plato to the figures of Christ, the Apostles, and contemporaneous pagan and civic dignitaries.

Through his interpretations of postures, gestures, facial expressions, and stylistic changes of particular set pieces, we come to know these great poets and philosophers through all of their various personas--the prophetic wise man, the virtuous democratic citizen, or the self-absorbed bon vivant. Zanker's analysis of how the iconography of influential thinkers and writers changed demonstrates the rise and fall of trends and the movement of schools of thought and belief, each successively embodying the most valued characteristics of the period and culture.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Art, Classical, Authors, Classical Portraits, Philosophers Greece Portraits, Philosophers Rome Portraits, Intellectuals in art, Greece Intellectual life, Rome Intellectual life, Civilization, Classical