9780384450875 / 0384450873

Greek studies;: A series of essays


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Publisher:Johnson Reprint Corp, 1973


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About the book:

THE present volume consists of a collection of essays by the
late Mr. Pater, all of which have already been given to the public in
various Magazines; and it is owing to the kindness of the several
proprietors of those Magazines that they can now be brought together
in a collected shape. It will, it is believed, be felt, that their
value is considerably enhanced by their appearance in a single
volume, where they can throw light upon one another, and exhibit by
their connexion a more complete view of the scope and purpose of Mr.
Pater in dealing with the art and literature of the ancient world.

The essays fall into two distinct groups, one dealing with the
subjects of Greek mythology and Greek poetry, the other with the
history of Greek sculpture and Greek architecture. But these two
groups are not wholly distinct; they mutually illustrate one another,
and serve to enforce Mr. Pater's conception of the essential [2]
unity, in all its many-sidedness, of the Greek character. The god
understood as the "spiritual form" of the things of nature is not
only the key-note of the "Study of Dionysus"* and "The Myth of
Demeter and Persephone,"* but reappears as contributing to the
interpretation of the growth of Greek sculpture.* Thus, though in
the bibliography of his writings, the two groups are separated by a
considerable interval, there is no change of view; he had already
reached the centre of the problem, and, the secret once gained, his
mode of treatment of the different aspects of Greek life and thought
is permanent and consistent.

The essay on "The Myth of Demeter and Persephone" was originally
prepared as two lectures, for delivery, in 1875, at the Birmingham
and Midland Institute. These lectures were published in the
Fortnightly Review, in Jan. and Feb. 1876. The "Study of Dionysus"
appeared in the same Review in Dec. 1876. "The Bacchanals of
Euripides" must have been written about the same time, as a sequel to
the "Study of Dionysus"; for, in 1878, Mr. Pater revised the four
essays, with the intention, apparently, of publishing them
collectively in a volume, an intention afterwards abandoned. [3] The
text now printed has, except that of "The Bacchanals," been taken
from proofs then set up, further corrected in manuscript. "The
Bacchanals," written long before, was not published until 1889, when
it appeared in Macmillan's Magazine for May. It was reprinted,
without alteration, prefixed to Dr. Tyrrell's edition of the Bacchae.
"Hippolytus Veiled" first appeared in August 1889, in Macmillan's

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