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date: 24 July 2021

p. 727. The Art of Reconstructionlocked

p. 727. The Art of Reconstructionlocked

  • Mary Beard
  •  and John Henderson


‘The Art of Reconstruction’ shows that part of Classics is the piecing together of scattered fragments to give an idea of what the whole once was like and what it meant. It is largely guesswork and often disputed. But our judgements must also be influenced by how we reconstruct not only the objects themselves, but also their original context and reception. The Bassae frieze is judged differently if we first consider how it would have looked in its temple-setting, then relate it to the function of the building and the customs and values of the people who built, used, and visited it. The same applies to literature as well as art.

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