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Down from Olympus : Archaeology and Philhellenism in Germany, 1750-1970 - Suzanne L. Marchand

Down from Olympus

Archaeology and Philhellenism in Germany, 1750-1970

Paperback

Published: 6th January 2003
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Since the publication of Eliza May Butler's "Tyranny of Greece over Germany" in 1935, the obsession of the German educated elite with the ancient Greeks has become an accepted, if severely underanalyzed, cliche. In "Down from Olympus," Suzanne Marchand attempts to come to grips with German Graecophilia, not as a private passion but as an institutionally generated and preserved cultural trope. The book argues that nineteenth-century philhellenes inherited both an elitist, normative aesthetics and an ascetic, scholarly ethos from their Romantic predecessors; German "neohumanists" promised to reconcile these intellectual commitments, and by so doing, to revitalize education and the arts. Focusing on the history of classical archaeology, Marchand shows how the injunction to imitate Greek art was made the basis for new, state-funded cultural institutions. Tracing interactions between scholars and policymakers that made possible grand-scale cultural feats like the acquisition of the Pergamum Altar, she underscores both the gains in specialized knowledge and the failures in social responsibility that were the distinctive products of German neohumanism.

This book discusses intellectual and institutional aspects of archaeology and philhellenism, giving extensive treatment to the history of prehistorical archaeology and German "orientalism." Marchand traces the history of the study, excavation, and exhibition of Greek art as a means to confront the social, cultural, and political consequences of the specialization of scholarship in the last two centuries.

One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 1997 "Impressive... Marchand's work will fascinate historians, philosophers, literary theorists, and ... Humanists... It provides ... the definitive study of the historical decline of German 'institutional philhellenism.'"--Josef Chytry, American Historical Review "A rich and welcome contribution to German cultural history... A must-read for anyone interested in ... the history of philhellenism and archaeology in Germany."--Spencer Moore, American Anthropologist "An enormously rich and stimulating book... It is a masterly study of an important chapter of the classical Greek bearings on the modern world."--Craige Champion, Classical World "Superb... A sobering book, one marked by its scholarly care and narrative brilliance."--Choice

List of Illustrationsp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
List of Abbreviationsp. xv
Introductionp. xvii
The Making of a Cultural Obsessionp. 3
From Ideals to Institutionsp. 36
The Vicissitudes of Grand-Scale Archaeologyp. 75
Trouble in Olympusp. 116
Excavating the Barbarianp. 152
The Peculiarities of German Orientalismp. 188
Kultur and the World Warp. 228
The Persistence of the Old Regimep. 263
The Third Humanism and the Return of Romantic Aestheticsp. 302
The Decline of Philhellenism, 1933-1970p. 341
Selected Bibliographyp. 377
Indexp. 391
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691114781
ISBN-10: 0691114781
Series: Archaeology and Philhellenism in Germany, 1750-1970
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 424
Published: 6th January 2003
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.6  x 2.6
Weight (kg): 0.67