The University of Wisconsin Press

Classical Studies / Art History / Poetry / Literature & Criticism


Modes of Viewing in Hellenistic Poetry and Art
Graham Zanker

Wisconsin Studies in Classics
Patricia A. Rosenmeyer, Laura McClure, and Mark Stansbury-O’Donnell, Series Editors

“The most up-to-date, comprehensive, and synthetic treatment of the activity of viewing in the Hellenistic world.”
—Jon Steffen Bruss, The Classical Review

Taking a fresh look at the poetry and visual art of the Hellenistic age, from the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C. to the Romans’ defeat of Cleopatra in 30 B.C., Graham Zanker makes enlightening discoveries about the assumptions and conventions of Hellenistic poets and artists and their audiences.

Zanker’s exciting new interpretations closely compare poetry and art for the light each sheds on the other. He finds, for example, an exuberant expansion of subject matter in the Hellenistic periods in both literature and art, as styles and iconographic traditions reserved for grander concepts in earlier eras were applied to themes, motifs, and subjects that were emphatically less grand.

Graham Zanker is professor of Classics at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. He is the author of The Heart of Achilles and Realism in Alexandrian Poetry.


“No other book currently exists that so systematically attempts to unite evidence from art and poetry to construct a Hellenistic ‘mode of viewing.’ The originality of the work lies in the way it brings together material that is usually discussed in isolation.”
—Alexander Sens, Georgetown University

“Hellenistic poetry and art from a new and enlightening angle [that] encourages further reflection on the interconnections between the literary and plastic arts and what they tell us about the artists and their times.”
—James Clauss, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

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Book cover is purple with white text and a picture of a statue in the center.

February 2008

LC: 2003005678 PA
248 pp.   6 x 9   38 b/w photos

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Paper $26.95 s
ISBN 978-0-299-19454-3
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Cloth $39.95 s
ISBN 978-0-299-19450-5
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