September 28, 2010

Lecture by Luca Giuliani, 30th of September

30 September, PC Hoofthuis, Spuistraat 134, room 104, at 20:00

Philostratus, Myron and the Art of Discus Throwing - Luca Giuliani
Philostratus is a Greek writer of Rome’s imperial period. A short text of his is characterized by its incomprehensibility. This has a specific cause: Philostratus is referring to a famous statue that he does not name, but knowledge of which he presupposes. This statue is the key to understanding the text. The statue is a work by Myron, a Greek sculptor of the early 5th century B.C. The original was made of bronze and is lost, but several marble copies have survived and allow us to come close to reconstructing the lost original. Only with an image of the statue before our mind’s eye is the text understandable, and vice versa, the text can also contribute to a better understanding of the statue. Is there anything to understand about a statue? My main aim will be to understand with some precision the depicted movement in its concrete sequence. To this purpose, I shall delve a little into ancient (and modern) athletic practice. Having understood the movement of ancient discus throwers, we shall also get a better idea of the problems involved in the depiction of movement in general and of Myrons attempt to solve them.

Luca Giuliani (1950) studied classical archaeology, ethnology and Italian literature in Basel. After being awarded a PhD for his thesis The Archaic Metopes of Selinus in 1975, he worked as a researcher and lecturer at the universities of Basel, Heidelberg and Berlin. He held various positions at the Berliner Antikenmuseum, before becoming its Chief Curator and Acting Director. In 1992, he was appointed to the Chair of Classical Archaeology at the Universityof Freiburg and then briefly at Heidelberg, before moving to Munich. In 2007, he was appointed Rector of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin and Professor of Classical Archaeology at the Humboldt University in Berlin. Professor Giuliani has written a number of books and articles on Greek and Roman art, focusing among other topics on aspects of iconography and narration in Greek art, particularly in relation to depictions
of myth.