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Open Lecture: Learning to view art with Philostratus' Eikones
Open Lecture: Learning to view art with Philostratus' Eikones
10.04.2014 19.00 h
The Ithacan Philanthropic Society - Melbourne


Lecturer: Graeme Miles
Entry: Free


The Eikones (or Imagines) of Philostratus is a work of the first half of the third century AD, describing an art gallery, which may or may not have existed, on the Bay of Naples. Written in a virtuosic and allusive Atticising Greek, it presents itself not simply as a series of descriptions but as a guide to educated viewing.

The dominant concern in the older scholarship on this text has been the extraction of information about ancient art; the descriptions seemed to offer the tantalising possibility of learning about works no longer extant. The poet Goethe himself was at one point keen to have the images reproduced by contemporary artists. More recently, attention has shifted to the work as a unique source for the history of art interpretation, and it is with this that the present lecture is concerned. Drawing on several examples I will look at some of the ways in which Philostratus represents images through literature, and how he playfully approaches the problems raised by a realist art.


Graeme Miles completed his undergraduate study and PhD at the University of Western Australia.

Following his doctorate he was an Asialink writer in residence based at the University of Madras, then a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Ghent, Belgium (2007), before returning to teach at UWA in early 2008. He moved to the University of Tasmania in second semester 2008, where he is a lecturer in classics. His research interests include the Second Sophistic (especially the works of Flavius Philostratus, on which he has written a forthcoming monograph) and Neoplatonism.


We would like to thank Theo Markos for sponsoring this lecture.

Such initiatives assist us in providing these lectures free to the public. If you would like to participate as a sponsor from as little as $100 please send us an email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


The Ithacan Philanthropic Society   -   Website
Level 2, 329 Elizabeth Street
Country: au

In October 1916, the Ithacan migrants of Melbourne established the ITHACAN PHILANTHROPIC SOCIETY "The Ulysses", with an inaugural membership of some 153 members. This was in response to pleas for aid from their loved ones in Ithaca who were suffering deprivation during the First World War.

Over the years, however, the Society has been much more than just a philanthropic institution. It has been a constant in the lives of the early Ithacan migrants replacing the homeland which they had left.

The Society takes an active role in the cultural, social, educational and quality of life interests of the Ithacan Community. The Society, as part of its philanthropic role, also makes many monetary contributions to worthy causes, including those outside the immediate Ithacan community. The Society celebrated its 90th Anniversary in 2006.

Alphington Grammar Koinotika Nea - the Greek Community newsletter Requirements for Greek Citizenship