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Kalokagathia – beauty is more than just external appearance


Marija-Ana Dürrigl, PhD, Demetrova 11, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia; E-mail:


Summary  Notions of beauty have evolved through history and are culture-specific. In the Western world one concept which has been linked to beauty is that of kalokagathía, an ideal that unites physical beauty and moral value in a human being. This notion was inherited from Antiquity and was modified during the Middle Ages, when much more attention was paid to the fate of the soul, and further modified during the Renaissance, when concepts of beauty and of moral responses, utility and good gradually became separated. A glance at an ancient notion, such as kalokagathía, has its value in trying to understand modern perceptions of beauty.