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416 LETTERS IN CANADA 1997 directly, through the emotional response enacted by the audience's imagination as stimulated by the representation of human action. This notion of the Aristotle-Coleridge axis is reflected in the choices Whalley makes in his translation. Mimesis is explained as a synthesizing process,like the creative imaginationinColeridge. Along with Gerald Else, whosecommentary on Aristotle deeply influenced his own, Whalley translates the controversial term catharsis as ethical 'purification': the audience learns through witnessing the represented action what deeds are most truly pitiful and fearfut and through such learning purifies its emotional repertory. (Other translators have parsed this sentence and explicated the term differently, as a metaphor derived from Aristotle's medical training: that tragedy stimulates the emotions of pity and fear in order to expel them, leaving the audience satisfyingly drained- as with a powerful laxative.) Here and elsewhere Whalley's vision of tragedy as a verbal icon links his Aristotle not merely with Coleridge but with the moralist/formalist descendants of Coleridge in the mid-twentieth century: the New Critics. This should not surprise us: recent decades have given us studies of the Poetics with an Aristotle who could be integrated into the new historicism or cultural studies. In this respect, at least, Whalley's Poetics is, like every translation, a product of its time. (DAVID RICHTER) Sheila L. Ager. Interstate Arbitrations in the Greek World 337-90 B.C. University of California Press 1996. xvii, s8o. US$70.00 One of the oldest book reviewer's cliches is that a book fills a gap in scholarly literature. In fact, the actual number of such 'gaps' is small and the number of books that truly 'fill them' is smaller still. Sheila Agar's superb Interstate Arbitrations in the Greek World: 337-90 B.C. is the rare book that does fill such a gap. The routine use of interstate arbitration- essentially a process in which states submit disputes to mutually acceptable third parties for resolutionis a remarkable but little-studied aspect of Greek diplomatic history. Throughout the twentieth century, scholarly interest in Greek arbitration has fluctuated in tandem with contemporary interest in arms control and peaceful conflict resolution. So, M.N. Tod's International Arbitration amongst the Greeks (1913)- still unfortunately the only complete study in English of the topic as a whole -was one of a number of works inspired by the negotiation of the 1907 Hague Treaty. Scholarly interest disappeared almost completely with the outbreak of the First World War, only to reawaken during the Cold War as a result of renewed interest in non-violent means of conflict resolution. The steep decline in scholarly interest during the intervening half-century coincided, however, with a remarkable expansion in the evidence for Greek arbitration. HUMANITIES 417 The result is brought into sharp focus when one compares Tod's 1913 survey with those of Luigi Piccirilli (Gli Arbitrati Interstatali Greci, 1973) and Ager. Where Tod knew of only 82 examples of interstate arbitration for the whole of Greek history, Piccirilli identified 61 examples for just the period before 337 BC. The golden age of Greek arbitration, however, was the Hellenistic Period. Our knowledge of that period has benefited the most from new discoveries, as can be seen from Ager's work, which mcludes no less than 171 cases of interstate arbitration. She brings the total number of known examples of this remarkable judicial procedure to 232. The study of Greek arbitration is hampered by the peculiarly intransigent nature of the evidence, mostly often fragmentary and hard-to-find inscriptions. For this reasonAger's primary goal is to provide a comprehensive corpus of arbitration texts and not a synthetic study of Greek arbitration . After a brief introduction outlining the history and character of Greek arbitration, therefore, she presents the known cases of interstate arbitration in chronological order. For each text she provides a brief description of the inscription, a select bibliography of previous editions and studies, a critical Greek text, and a concise historical commentary. With so much uncertain, it is inevitable that scholars will disagree in their interpretations. I am, for example, more optimistic than Ager about the efficacy of arbitration as a means of...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 416-417
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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