Chapter

Portraits of Plato

Stephen G. Miller

in The Berkeley Plato

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9780520258334
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520943599 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520258334.003.0008
Portraits of Plato

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This chapter considers the Berkeley portrait in the context of the other identified portraits of Plato. Two details of particular interest are to be observed on the Berkeley Plato. First, the ears are not the same, for the left ear has an enlarged, puffy lobe that suggests mistreatment resulting in disfiguration. This same disfiguration of the left ear also occurs in other extant portraits, as for example the Berlin Plato, The second detail is that the ears are not placed symmetrically. Whereas the left, puffy-lobed ear is essentially vertical, the right slopes backward at the top in a very pronounced fashion. This detail appears on many other Plato portraits, as for example on the Cambridge and Copenhagen heads. Finally, people are told that Plato was good-looking, with beautiful eyes, a finely shaped nose, and a modest demeanor. The Berkeley Plato certainly fills those specifications.

Keywords: Berkeley portrait; Plato portraits; Berkeley Plato; Berlin Plato; ear symmetry

Chapter.  1553 words. 

Subjects: Classical Philosophy

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