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The Politics of AppropriationGerman Romantic Music and the Ancient Greek Legacy$
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Jason Geary

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199736119

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199736119.001.0001

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Ancient Greece and the German Cultural Imagination

Ancient Greece and the German Cultural Imagination

(p.10) Chapter One Ancient Greece and the German Cultural Imagination
The Politics of Appropriation

Jason Geary

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides a broad intellectual and cultural framework within which to consider the intersection of music and Hellenism by exploring the significance of Greece for German culture from roughly the mid-eighteenth to the mid-nineteenth century. It divides German Hellenism from this period into three distinct phases: the invention of Greece under the influence of Winckelmann; the consolidation of a Greek ideal in the decades leading up to 1800 at the hands of figures such as Goethe, Schiller, and Wilhelm von Humboldt; and the challenge to the Greek ideal brought about by the rise of classical philology and a more historicist view of ancient Greece. It also makes clear, however, that Greece continued to occupy a special place in German culture of the nineteenth century and to carry with it many of the same associations that had been established in the earliest phases of German Hellenism.

Keywords:   Hellenism, Winckelmann, Greek ideal, Historicism, Weimar classicism, Altertumswissenschaft

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