In Memoriam: John J. Cleary The original publication of this article in Yearbook of The Irish Philosophical Society 2006 was based on a lecture and slide presentation given at the invitation of John J. Cleary at Maynooth. This current reprint has been expanded although it is not the same as the latest version of the article which appears in German as: “Die Naturkunde der Griechischen Bronze im Spiegel des Lebens: Betrachtungen über Heideggers ästhetische Phänomenologie und Nietzsches agonale Politik.” Trans. Harald Seubert (with the author). In: Günter Figal, ed., Internationales Jahrbuch für Hermeneutik, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008. Pp. 127-189.


Ancient History, Greek and Roman through Late Antiquity | Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque Art and Architecture | Ancient Philosophy | Asian Art and Architecture | Classical Archaeology and Art History | Classical Literature and Philology | German Language and Literature | Philosophy


To explore the ethical and political role of life-sized bronzes in ancient Greece, as Pliny and others report between 3,000 and 73,000 such statues in a city like Rhodes, this article asks what these bronzes looked like. Using the resources of hermeneutic phenomenological reflection, as well as a review of the nature of bronze and casting techniques, it is argued that the ancient Greeks encountered such statues as images of themselves in agonistic tension in dynamic and political fashion. The Greek saw, and at the same time felt himself regarded by, the statue not as he believed the statue divine but because he was poised against the statue as a living exemplar.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.