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By G.W. Bowersock

For a number of a long time G. W. Bowersock has been one among our prime historians of the classical global. This quantity collects seventeen of his essays, every one illustrating how the classical previous has captured the mind's eye of a few of the best figures in glossy historiography and literature. The essays right here variety throughout 3 centuries, the eighteenth to the 20 th, and are divided chronologically.

the nice Enlightenment historian Edward Gibbon is largely the unifying strength of this assortment as he seems to be prominently within the first 4 essays, starting with Bowersock's enticing advent to the equipment and genius at the back of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Gibbon's profound impression is printed in next essays on Jacob Burckhardt, the nineteenth-century student well-known for his heritage of the Italian Renaissance yet whose paintings on past due antiquity is barely now being totally liked; the fashionable Greek poet Constantine Cavafy, whose annotations on Gibbon's Decline and Fall let us know a lot approximately his personal ancient poems; and eventually W. H. Auden, whose poem and little recognized essay "The Fall of Rome" have been, in quirky methods, tributes to Gibbon. the gathering reprints Auden's poem and essay in full.

the result's a wealthy survey of the early smooth and sleek makes use of of the classical previous via one among its most crucial modern commentators.

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