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Fifty Key Classical Authors (Fifty Key Thinkers) [Paperback]

By Alison Sharrock (Editor) & Rhiannon Ash (Editor)
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Item Number 157660  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   240
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.74" Width: 5.32" Height: 0.99"
Weight:   1.2 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 1, 2002
Publisher   Routledge
ISBN  0415165113  
EAN  9780415165112  

Availability  0 units.

Routledge Key Guides - Full Series Preview
Image Title Price Stock Qty Add To Cart
  Cultural Theory: The Key Thinkers (Routledge Key Guides)   $ 134.40   In Stock  
  Fifty Key Classical Authors (Fifty Key Thinkers)   $ 134.40   In Stock  

Item Description...
A chronological guide to influential Greek and Roman writers, Fifty Key Classical Authors is an invaluable introduction to the literature, philosophy and history of the ancient world. Including essays on Sappho, Polybius and Lucan, as well as on major figures such as Homer, Plato, Catullus and Cicero, this book is a vital tool for all students of classical civilization.

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More About Alison Sharrock & Rhiannon Ash

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Alison Sharrock is Professor of Classics at the University of Manchester. She is also the author of Seduction and Repetition in Ovid's Ars Amatoria 2 (1994) and Fifty Key Classical Authors (with Rhiannon Ash, 2002), and co-editor of Intratextuality: Greek and Roman Textual Relations (with Helen Morales, 2000) and The Art of Love: Bimillennial Essays on Ovid's Ars Amatoria and Remedia Amoris (with Roy Gibson and Steven Green, 2006).

Alison Sharrock has an academic affiliation as follows - University of Manchester, UK University of Manchester University of Ma.

Alison Sharrock has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Routledge Key Guides

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A very literary history  Sep 16, 2003
The classical world of Greece and Rome furnished early written works in poetry, philosophy, mathematics, history, plays, and the natural sciences. By explaining the lives of FIFTY KEY CLASSICAL AUTHORS, this book gives the historical setting in which intertextuality had 1,000 years of allusion and the dynamics of appropriation to produce meanings which were not isolated but interactive. I would consider the authors of this book young, as the Notes at the end of the Introduction reveal that a book on Virgil by Otis which was published in 1964 was written "before either of the authors of this book were born." (p. xxi).

Back in 1964, I was taking Latin in high school, but my high school only offered two years of Latin, so after tenth and eleventh grades, I gave it up. I avoided reading the great Greek plays studied by the honors students at the University of Michigan in 1965-66 by enrolling in the College of Engineering, which had its own English courses, in which ancient civilizations were not the key to what we were supposed to learn, though writing one paper about something that was supposed to be funny was as challenging as sticking to the factual approach for which technocrats would become famous, in the event they ever escaped being anonymous.

Philosophy is much more aware of its origin in the Greek world, and Plato and Aristotle show up in this book, after the early poets, writers of the great tragedies, a historian, the comic Aristophanes, "the best of the writers of Old Comedy," (p. 84), a speechwriter who is called a logographer, and the versatile Xenophon, who even gets credit for writing "Socratic texts." (p. 103). Socrates was not a writer, so he is not discussed as a main character in FIFTY KEY CLASSICAL AUTHORS, but the index reveals that he was mentioned on 16 pages, similar to Suetonius, who is mentioned on 15 pages before having his own section on pages 365-70.

The index is mainly names, with more people than places. Many names which appear in the text are not to be found in the index, especially names of two words. Though "the epic poet Silius Italicus" (p. 274) can be found in the index between Sicily and similes on page 420, modern names are listed under the last name, as in Shakespeare, William; Shelley, Mary; and Shelley, Percy. There is an Alphabetical List of Contents on pages viii-ix in which Julius Caesar appears between Aristotle and Callimachus, then Cassius Dio before Catullus. In the index, the first entry starting with a C is Calabria, and Julius Caesar shows up between Julia (daughter of Augustus) and Juno on page 417.

There is no listing in the index for mathematics, but plenty for madness, manuscripts, marriage, Megalopolis, metaphor, metre, misogyny, mothers, Muses, and mutiny. Following a single entry for Rabelais, there are multiple pages for readers, reading, realism, reception, recognition, a single entry for recusatio, many for repetition, revenge and reversal of fortune/peripeteia, but only a few for Rhodes and ring composition.

Occasionally the point of view in FIFTY KEY CLASSICAL AUTHORS is very British. In discussing Seneca the Younger, "whose work dominated the Roman literary scene of the first century AD," (p. 301), the book introduces him by saying, "However, it was during the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras that Seneca really came into his own. Seneca's tragedies superseded their Greek models, which were less accessible to a community who knew Latin much better than Greek." (p. 300). For those who missed seeing a recent performance, take comfort in knowing that the 1968 adaptation of Seneca's OEDIPUS by Ted Hughes "was revived in April 1998 at the Northcott Theatre in Exeter." (p. 301). My interest in Seneca might be like Ezra Pound's, who wrote about him in his ABC OF READING in 1934, in which Pound "saw Seneca's writings as symptomatic of a nation `losing a grip of its empire and of itself.' Yet Pound's condemnation of Seneca didn't prevail." (p. 301). Could it be that the authors of this book stopped their timeline with the "Death of Cassius Dio" in post-AD 229 (p. 411) because they are not fond of those who blame the Roman Empire for falling apart? Perhaps they want us to think that they do not approve or are not familiar with a history of Rome called HISTORY OF THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE, by someone named Edward Gibbon, who does not appear in the index of this book. This book might be better than that one for people who are looking for useful information, but decline can also be found in the index of this book. Even the works of Homer are not unaware of the fall of Troy, and the fall of Carthage gets a few sympathic words from the writers in this book who thought that Rome might well be damned by the rest of the world for doing something like that, so arrogant.


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