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Classics: A Very Short Introduction by Mary…

Classics: A Very Short Introduction (1995)

by Mary Beard, John Henderson

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Interesting overview of the field of Classics through the lens of the temple at Bassae.
  ritaer | Oct 22, 2016 |
Quite an unusual approach to the topic, with deep reflection on what it means for us to read the classics from such a distant point in time and culture. I found it very hard to follow what they were trying to accomplish in the final chapter ‘Et in Arcadia Ego’ - I think it's something about understanding the classics as a kind of mythological grand tour landscape, but it's not clear.

If you want to see another angle on the grand tour landscape, I recommend the television Time Team Special episode 28 "Secrets of the Stately Garden".

Unabridged audiobook:
Julia Whelan reads Elg-in (as in Elgin Marbles) as El-gin
  rakerman | Aug 28, 2016 |
Using the temple at Bassae in Arcadia and its sculptured frieze as a starting point, the authors discuss the relationship of the Roman civilization with that of Classical Greece and of both of them with modern Europe since the Renaissance. For such a small book its scope is wide; the writing is thought-provoking. ( )
2 vote gibbon | Apr 16, 2008 |
Interesting. Not so much about the Greeks and the Romans as about how the Greeks and Romans are the same as and different from us and the similarities and differences between the ways people have regarded them in different generations. A lot to get through in just 120 pages. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Jan 20, 2008 |
This bppk is very short, but it deals more with our relationship with classics than with the classics themselves. Nobody could fail to be informed and entertained. In language accessible to non-specialist and student alike, Beard and Henderson illustrate how Classic encompasses not just a study of the ancient world, but also of its traditions of scholarship and its influence on the culture of the western world. This book does not fail to challenge and provoke. Nor does it ignore the problems and current issues that beset the subject and its teaching, but presents them even handedly and with humour, eschewing propaganda.
2 vote antimuzak | May 29, 2007 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mary Beardprimary authorall editionscalculated
Henderson, Johnmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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This introduction to Classics begins with a brief visit to a museum.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0192853856, Paperback)

We are all classicists--we come into touch with the classics on a daily basis: in our culture, politics, medicine, architecture, language, and literature. What are the true roots of these influences, however, and how do our interpretations of these aspects of the classics differ from their original reality? This introduction to the classics begins with a visit to the British Museum to view the frieze which once decorated the Apollo Temple a Bassae. Through these sculptures John Henderson and Mary Beard prompt us to consider the significance of the study of Classics as a means of discovery and enquiry, its value in terms of literature, philosophy, and culture, its source of imagery, and the reasons for the continuation of these images into and beyond the twentieth century. Designed for the general reader and student alike, A Very Short Introduction to Classics challenges readers to adopt a fresh approach to the Classics as a major cultural influence, both in the ancient world and twentieth-century--emphasizing the continuing need to understand and investigate this enduring subject.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:52 -0400)

Oxford's Very Short Introductions series offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects -- from Islam to Sociology, Literary Theory to History, and Archaeology to the Bible. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume provides trenchant and provocative -- yet always balanced and complete -- discussions of the central issues in a given discipline or field. Every Very Short Introduction gives a readable evolution of the subject in question, demonstrating how the subject developed and how it influenced society. Eventually, the series will encompass every major academic discipline, offering all readers an accessible and abundant reference library. Whatever area of study one deems important or appealing, whatever topic fascinates the general reader, the Very Short Introductions series has a handy and affordable guide that will likely prove indispensable.… (more)

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