Written texts on papyri or other media were of far less importance in the lives of the ordinary citizens of the states in Greece, and writing would have been encountered more frequently on objects such as statues and statue-bases. In ancient Greek society, communication was largely oral and visual. The epic poets and rhapsodes sang and recited the legends that served the Greeks as their historical past. There has been a growth of scholarly interest in the power and centrality of the spoken word in Greek society, and in the equally powerful effect of visual display and performance. This chapter, arising from the First Leventis Conference, addresses various aspects of the relationship between words and images. The emphasis is on Athens and the classical period.
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