The City and the Stage. Performance, Genre, and Gender in Plato’s Laws, Oxford, Oxford University Press. 2015, xiii, 386 pp. Pr. £ 47.99 (hb). isbn: 9780190266172The City and the Stage welcomes its readers warmly: the introduction states the author’s aims clearly, situates the book in the context of current scholarship, clarifies its methodology and provides a careful overview of the Laws targeted at the non-specialist reader. While the subtitle neatly points to the book’s three parts, ‘performance’ is no doubt the most important notion, and Folch succeeds in presenting a rich account of a Platonic theory of performance, a task made difficult by the lack of a corresponding Greek terminology. Folch is very careful in approaching a dialogue that is both normative and descriptive: while drawing from many different traditions, the Laws presents them in a purified and ultimately idealized form.This ‘idealizing’ method (orthē methodos, 1.638e) allows Plato to build his ‘second best city’ according to the time-honoured tradition of mousikē: while in the Republic he is busy making away with traditional poetry and music, in the Laws his ambition is to re-program (e.g. 41) them in an old-and-new form. To study Plato’s appropriation of Greek musical traditions requires
Greek and Roman Musical Studies – Brill
Published: Mar 22, 2018
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