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General Introduction: Valuing Antiquity in Antiquity

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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter of the book Valuing the Past in the Greco-Roman World initially focuses on the use and meaning of the concepts andreia and parrhȇsia, then on the organization of values in spatial categories the notion of anti-value, the valuing of others and, most recently, aesthetic value. In many ways, the Greco-Roman world could be characterized as a society that constantly lived with and sometimes even in the past. The past could consequently be turned into an object to be studied academically, witness Aulus Gellius' innumerable references to collecting or studying the meaning of ancient words or, more important still, antiquarian authors as Varro. To get a sense of how important the notion of antiquity was considered to be in Roman society, it is useful to consider the lexical development of the word antiquus.

Keywords: aesthetic value; andreia; antiquarian authors; antiquus; Aulus Gellius'; Greco-Roman world; parrhȇsia

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