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Rethinking Revolutions through Ancient Greece


Robin Osborne, James Davidson, Jas' Elsner, Caroline Vout, Thomas Harrison, Simon Goldhill, Carolyn Dewald, Danielle Allen, Catherine Osborne, Helen King, Armand D'Angour
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  • Date Published: August 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521154581

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About the Authors
  • From the time of the Roman Empire onwards, fifth- and fourth-century Greece have been held to be the period and place in which civilization as the West knows it developed. Classical scholars have sought to justify these claims in detail by describing developments in fields such as democratic politics, art, rationality, historiography, literature, philosophy, medicine and music, in which classical Greece has been held to have made a revolutionary contribution. In this volume a distinguished cast of contributors offers a fresh consideration of these claims, asking both whether they are well based and what is at stake for their proposers and for us in making them. They look both at modern scholarly argument and its basis and at the claims made by the scholars of the Second Sophistic. The volume will be of interest not only to classical scholars but to all who are interested in the history of scholarship.

    • Examines claims about Greece foundational to Western civilization
    • Offers a searching analysis of the rhetoric of revolution
    • Emphasises continuity between ancient and modern scholarly endeavour
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: 'Rethinking Revolutions is a wide-ranging and stimulating collection of papers that do much to cause us not only to look at frequently-touted aspects of antiquity with fresh eyes, but to re-examine how the narratives of the past have been constructed by later ages, including our own. … Readers of this book will have their critical faculties sharpened and become privy to a number of new ways of thinking about ancient Greek culture and about what we and other have made of it. Talk of Greek revolution(s) may never be the same again.' POLIS: The Journal of the Society for Greek Political Thought

    Review of the hardback: 'The volume provides some interesting insights on the history of classical scholarship and serves as a useful reminder of the extent to which contemporary issues and the history of interpretation shape our understanding of the past.' Classics Ireland

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2010
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521154581
    • length: 336 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.45kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction Robin Osborne
    1. When was the Athenian democratic revolution? Robin Osborne
    2. Revolutions in human time: age-class in Athens and the Greekness of Greek revolutions James Davidson
    3. Reflections on the 'Greek Revolution' in art: from changes in viewing to the transformation of subjectivity Jas' Elsner
    4. What's in a beard? Rethinking Hadrian's Hellenism Caroline Vout
    5. Religion and the rationality of the Greek city Thomas Harrison
    6. Rethinking religious revolution Simon Goldhill
    7. Paying attention: history as the development of a secular narrative Carolyn Dewald
    8. Talking about revolution: on political change in fourth-century Athens and historiographic method Danielle Allen
    9. Was there an Eleatic revolution in philosophy? Catherine Osborne
    10. The origins of medicine in the second century AD Helen King
    11. The 'New Music' - so what's new? Armand D'Angour.

  • Editors

    Simon Goldhill, University of Cambridge

    Robin Osborne, University of Cambridge


    Robin Osborne, James Davidson, Jas' Elsner, Caroline Vout, Thomas Harrison, Simon Goldhill, Carolyn Dewald, Danielle Allen, Catherine Osborne, Helen King, Armand D'Angour

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