The Uses and Abuses of Antiquity

Front Cover
This multi-disciplinary volume brings together essays illustrating the diversity of forms in which the legacy of Antiquity has been used, and abused, by the Modern West. Here classicists and non-classicists combine to show how historiography, anthropology, philosophy, political thought, archaeology, poetry, drama, the novel, music, architecture, sculpture, painting, photography, and film can be rewardingly juxtaposed as sites rich in the appropriation of Greco-Roman culture. The book has a chronological span running from the 17th to the late-20th century, and it ranges geographically from Britain to Europe and the USA. The authors remind us that it is often not the past itself so much as constructed images thereof which do most to mould our cultural consciousness. The collection discloses the pluralism and flexibility of Antiquity as an important modern symbolic source, and the variety of socio-cultural circumstances which have oriented us towards it. At many points these essays also analyse signs of a certain desire for release from a tradition viewed as troublesome and constraining. Yet they also tend to confirm that, whenever we seek to escape classical culture, we are still likely to be held within its trammels - that, even when we think that we have thrown it off, we seem fated to remain within its protean thrall.

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Contents

List of Illustrations
7
using and abusing antiquity
13
Boadicea and English
19
Copyright

11 other sections not shown

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About the author (1999)

The editors are based at the University of Reading, where Maria Wyke (born 1957) is Senior Lecturer in Classics and Michael Biddiss (born 1942) is Professor of History.

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