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Picturing history: the ethics and aesthetics of Tyrannicide in the art of classical Athens and early imperial China

Tanner, JJ; (2018) Picturing history: the ethics and aesthetics of Tyrannicide in the art of classical Athens and early imperial China. In: Allen, D and Christesen, P and Millett, P, (eds.) How to do things with history. New approaches to ancient Greece. (pp. 263-312). Oxford University Press: Oxford, UK.

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Abstract

In this chapter, Jeremy Tanner examines two series of images—one from Classical Athens and one from Han China—of political assassinations, more specifically “tyrannicides.” These images were replicated, with interesting variations, time and time again, and must have been among the more popular and recognizable iconographies of their eras. Both are concerned with figuring the limits of legitimate power and the ethical basis for and significance of violent resistance to arbitrary power and its overthrow. In order to interpret these images in a comparative frame, Tanner finds that he must also explore the concept of the “tyrant” in order to construct a conceptual catwalk between these two contexts. The very project of comparison, then, helps bring to the surface some of the intricacies of the lives of concepts in particular places.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Picturing history: the ethics and aesthetics of Tyrannicide in the art of classical Athens and early imperial China
DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190649890.003.0011
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780190649890.003.00...
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Han China, tyrannicides, Classical Athens, Jing Ke, Harmodius, Aristogeiton
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10059184
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