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1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Sublime

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SUBLIME (Lat. sublimis, exalted), in aesthetics, a term applied to the quality of transcendant greatness, whether physical, moral, intellectual or artistic. It is specially used for a greatness with which nothing else can be compared and which is beyond all possibility of calculation or measurement. Psychologically the effect of the perception of the sublime is a feeling of awe or helplessness. The first study of the value of the sublime is the treatise ascribed to Longinus (q.v.), On the Sublime (strictly Περὶ ὕψους). Burke and Kant both investigated the subject (cf. Burke's Essay on the Sublime and Beautiful, 1756) and both distinguished the sublime from the beautiful. Later writers tend to include the sublime in the beautiful (see Aesthetics).