Cover image for Know Thyself : Western identity from classical Greece to the Renaissance
Know Thyself : Western identity from classical Greece to the Renaissance
Rossellini, Ingrid, author.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Doubleday, [2018]

Physical Description:
xxii, 469 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Introduces the origins of self-understanding in the cultures of Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance, and explains how Western civilization frames the issues of self and society.
Part one: Ancient Greece -- The Birth of the polis -- Sparta and Athens -- Reason, the irrational and the danger of hubris -- Hesiod and the cosmic origin of the world -- The heroic ideal -- Greek art : reason versus passion -- From mythology to philosophy -- Pythagoras : the divine reason and the immortal soul -- The myth of the rational west versus the irrational east -- Splendor and contradiction of the classical age -- The achievements of theater, rhetoric and philosophy -- From Plato to Aristotle : the empowering wisdom of philosophy -- The Hellenistic era -- Part two: Ancient Rome -- The Roman Republic : history and myth -- Augustus and the empire : the theater of politics and power -- Augustus's successors -- The decline of the empire and the rise of Christianity -- Augustine's tale of two cities -- Part three: The early Middle Ages -- The triumph of Christianity and the demise of the rational mind -- The symbolic discourse of art -- The new vocabulary of faith and spirituality -- Latin West versus Greek East -- The monastic experience -- From the iconoclastic revolt to the splendor of Byzantine art -- Charlemagne and feudalism -- Part four: the later Middle Ages -- Church authority versus state authority : a difficult balance of power -- Cities and universities : the dawn of a new cultural era -- A new art for a new sensibility -- The crusades -- Wealth and power versus poverty and humility : the two faces of Christianity -- The rehabilitation of man within the ordered universe of God -- The gradual secularization of culture -- Dante's summa : The Divine Comedy -- Part five: Humanism and the Renaissance -- The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries : the historical context -- The Italian city-states -- Petrarch's literary humanism -- Political humanism -- Florence : the city of splendor -- Lorenzo the Magnificent and his court -- The gathering clouds of disenchantment and cynicism -- The Roman Renaissance : glory and ambiguity -- The Protestant Reformation and the sack of Rome -- The last judgment.
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