David Konstan is Professor of Classics at New York University and Emeritus Professor of Classics at Brown University. He is the co-editor of the Emotions of the Past series and author or co-editor of 18 books.
David Konstan's book addresses the linguistic roots of the issues around the notion of beauty and offers an impressive analysis and history of the idea of beauty, from Ancient Greece to the present day. Konstan's erudition is striking: with knowledge of Greek, Hebrew, and Latin, he offers a remarkable examination of the uses of the equivalent words for beauty in classical literature, the Bible, and beyond. * Ines Morais, Forma de Vida * Konstan also brings a considerable amount of recent scholarship into the discussion, making Beauty a valuable book for students of philosophy or Classics. * Lucia Marchini, Minerva * A breathtakingly wide view of beauty as the ancient Greeks conceived it, from Homer to the Septuagint, and from Plato to Derrida and Bourdieu - this is the work of a scholar with an immense command of classical literature and its legacy in our own time. This book should be required reading for anyone working in aesthetics, ancient or modern. Readers will never again be able to imagine beauty shorn completely of its historical ties to passion and desire. * Paul Woodruff, The University of Texas at Austin * An eloquent contribution to the new literature on beauty. Konstan asks a basic question: How well do ancient notions of beauty translate into our modern lexicon? The result is a rich sampling of sources from Homer to the Hebrew Bible to the Byzantine Church Fathers, expertly traced through a series of philological probes. Because ancient beauty was not limited to art or reduced to a focal concept of any kind, looking into the past like this provides a valuable and often surprising reminder of the limits of our own aesthetic intuitions. Konstan's study will be a critical resource for anyone interested in this fascinating set of issues. * James I. Porter, University of California at Irvine * Only a scholar as sure-footed as Konstan would attempt such a philologically rigorous inquiry in a book series targeted at general readers (Oxford's acclaimed Onassis Series in Hellenic Culture) ... Somehow, Konstan carries it off, keeping up a brisk pace as he leads his readers, text by text, through the maze, briefly and breezily contextualizing each new passage as it comes in view. * James Romm, Times Literary Supplement *