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The Divine Spark of Syracuse
Ingrid D. Rowland

The Mandel Lectures in the Humanities

2018 • 152 pp. 25 color illus. 5 1/2 x 8 1/2"
Art History / Ancient History

$19.95 Paperback, 978-1-5126-0305-7
$34.95 Hardcover, 978-1-5126-0304-0

$18.99 Ebook, 978-1-5126-0306-4

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

A study of place and creative inspiration

Focusing on the figures of Plato, Archimedes, and Caravaggio, The Divine Spark of Syracuse discloses the role that Syracuse, a Greek cultural outpost in Sicily, played in fueling creative energies. Among the topics this book explores are Plato and the allegory of the cave, and the divine spark mentioned in his Seventh Letter. It also considers the machines of Archimedes, including his famous screw, and the variety of siege and antisiege weapons that he developed for the defense of his hometown during the siege of Syracuse during the Second Punic War, including “the hand” (a giant claw), the “burning mirror,” and the catapult. The final chapter offers a look at the artist and roustabout Caravaggio. On the run after yet another street brawl, Caravaggio traveled to Syracuse, where he painted Burial of St. Lucy (Santa Lucia) in 1608. Typical of his late works, the painting is notable for its subdued tones and emotional and psychological delicacy. This captivating book lends clear insight into the links between the sense of place and inspiration in philosophy, mathematics, and art. Rowland is the most learned tour guide we could ask for.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“Another bravura performance by Ingrid Rowland. Rowland’s signature blend of biography and topography brings the ancient Greek city to life, with its dazzling contrasts of darkness and light, cruelty and genius. These animated lectures take us all the way from Plato’s cave, in the ancient slave quarries of Syracuse, to Caravaggio’s dramatic Santa Lucia, the patron saint whose name means Holy Light.”—James Grantham Turner, James D. Hart Professor, University of California, Berkeley, and author of Eros Visible: Art, Sexuality and Antiquity in Renaissance Italy

INGRID D. ROWLAND is a professor at the Rome Global Gateway of the University of Notre Dame, based in the Department of History and the School of Architecture.

Thu, 14 Mar 2019 13:08:32 -0500