Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
Greek, philosophy, body, interpretation, world
Ancient Greek philosophers attempted to understand and describe the way by which humans see. Each of the greatest philosophers of the time, including Plato, Leucippus, and Aristotle, had an innovative theory of vision. The number of theories demonstrates the importance the Greeks placed on comprehending how the image of the world was imprinted on the mind. With an understanding of how the body physically sees, the theories can be expanded to determine how the Greeks interpreted their surroundings, specifically sculptures. This thesis will examine the leading theories of the visual process and subsequently apply them to how the Greeks saw various pieces of art including the Nike of Paionios, the Gorgon on the temple of Apollo at Didyma, and the Naxian sphinx at Delphi. The theories of vision will provide insight into how the depiction of winged creatures affected the Greeks’ visual experience.
John, Jessica, "Seeing Flight: Ancient Greek Theories of Vision and Their Application to Winged Sculptures" (2013). Honors Theses and Student Projects. 684.