The Idea Of Beauty In Greek
Beauty is commonly defined as a subjective feature of certain objects, which makes these objects appealing to the senses. These objects include humans, landscapes, sunsets and artistic works of art. Beauty, with art and aesthetics, is presently the most important theme of aesthetics, one of the many branches of science. It is also the oldest form of aesthetic study. Art and aesthetics are closely connected, but are often treated as separate fields.
The word ‘beauty’ was derived from the Greek word ‘kahveh’, which means beauty or the desirable form. In the ancient times, Greek philosophers regarded beauty as a standard of what is beautiful. Aristotle claimed that beauty is a mental quality or aptitude for excellence. According to him, the idea of beauty originated in human emotions and not from any intellectualism about objects.
According to the modern rationalists, beauty is nothing but a standard of value which may vary from person to person according to his personal standards. The ‘ideal’ is the idealized state of mind which an individual may want to attain. Others thought that beauty lies in the eternal light of God. In the Middle Ages, there were two schools of thought regarding beauty: one school of medieval philosophers advocated for beauty to be subjective, intellectual and sublime, while the second school of the seventeenth century advocated for beauty to be objective, sensible and rational.
The classical period of ancient Greek philosophy believed that beauty was subjective and not objective. This is why the ancient Greeks did not consider anything beautiful in nature. For them, nature was a chaos of colours, shapes and noises and so were not considered beautiful at all.
Modern philosophers however, believe that beauty is dependent upon the objective qualities of a physical object. It would be considered beautiful if it satisfies the three universal aspects of beauty, namely, form, function and relation. But when it does not satisfy these criteria, it is not considered beautiful at all. The criterion of beauty being subjective therefore dictates that there are no standards of beauty, including human beauty.
Thus the definition of beauty in Greek has changed over the centuries. The beauty of ancient Greece was primarily associated with the physical beauty of the places in which they lived. However, as the period of Greek art waned, the popularity of classical art waned and it became a matter of personal preference for the Greek aristocrats to choose pieces that they personally loved. Only later, when photography became widespread, did the beauty of ancient Greek artwork start to be defined and appreciated by the rest of the world. Today, most people consider the ancient Greek civilization to be one of the greatest periods in history when it comes to art, literature and culture. Ancient Greek sculpture, painting, architecture and other artistic forms have become works of beauty for people from all over the world.