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Sound and the Ancient Senses


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Table of Contents

Introduction: Sounding hearingPart I. Ancient Soundscapes 1. The sound of the sacred2. Hearing ancient sounds through modern ears 3. Sounding out public space in Late Republican Rome 4. Vocal expression in Roman mourning Part II. Theories of Sound 5. Sound: an Aristotelian perspective 6. Greek acoustic theory: Simple and complex sounds 7. The soundscape of ancient Greek healing 8. Lucretius on sound Part III. Philology and Sound 9. Gods and vowels 10. The song of the Sirens between sound and sense 11. Auditory philology 12. Sounds of the stage 13. The erogenous ear 14. Principles of sound reading

About the Author

Shane Butler is Nancy H. and Robert E. Hall Professor in the Humanities and Professor and Chair of Classics at Johns Hopkins University, USA. He is the author, most recently, of The Ancient Phonograph (2015), and editor of Deep Classics: Rethinking Classical Reception (2016). He is also co-editor, with Mark Bradley, of this series, as well as being co-editor, with Alex Purves, of its first volume, Synaesthesia and the Ancient Senses (2013).Sarah Nooter is Associate Professor of Classics, and of Theater and Performance Studies, at the University of Chicago, USA. She is the author of When Heroes Sing: Sophocles and the Shifting Soundscape of Tragedy (2012) and The Mortal Voice in the Tragedies of Aeschylus (2017).


"A superb guide to the burgeoning field of sound studies and a fitting capstone to the hugely successful series, The Senses in Antiquity. The range covered is as wide as classical antiquity itself: from embodied, urban, and literary soundscapes to noises emitted by objects to animal cries and intelligible voices to numinous and cosmic echoes, all of this at various pitches and decibel levels, likewise running from the sound of silence to silencing sounds. Antiquity will never sound the same again." - James Porter, University of California, Berkeley, USA"The volume will be important to scholars and students of the ancient senses, especially those that have been following this series and those with special interests in the acoustical past... the cumulative effect of the volume is quite dazzling as it amplifies the sonorous registers of our textual remains and recovers the acoustical residues of ancient experiences of sound." - Bryn Mawr Classical Review "An essential read for all those interested in the 'soundscape' of Antiquity - from rites to the human body, the physiology of hearing, myth, music on the stage, ancient emotions and contemporary attempts to reconstruct ancient sounds -, the volume offers a broad perspective on sounds and hearing... Thanks to the rich variety of views on sound and the 'soundscapes' in ancient Greece and Rome, this volume establishes itself as a staple in future research on sounds and their perception, and on acoustics and society in the Graeco-Roman world." - Greek and Roman Musical Studies

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