1st Edition

Classicising Crisis The Modern Age of Revolutions and the Greco-Roman Repertoire

Edited By Barbara Goff, Michael Simpson Copyright 2021
    240 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    240 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Geopolitical shifts and economic shocks, from the Early Modern period to the 21st century, are frequently represented in terms of classical antecedents. In this book, an international team of contributors - working across the disciplines of Classics, History, Politics, and English - addresses a range of revolutionary transformations, in England, America, France, Haiti, Greece, Italy, Russia, Germany, and a recently globalised world, all of which were accorded the classical treatment.

    The chapters investigate discrete cases of classicising crisis, while the Introduction highlights patterns among them. The book asks: are classical equations a prized ideal, when evidence warrants, or linkages forced by an implacable will to power, or good faith attempts to make sense of events otherwise bafflingly unfamiliar and dangerous? Finally, do the events thus classicised retain, even increase, their power to disturb and energise, or are they ultimately contained?

    Classicising Crisis: The Modern Age of Revolutions and the Greco-Roman Repertoire is essential reading for students and scholars of classics, classical reception, and political thought in Europe and the Americas.

    Introduction Barbara Goff and Michael Simpson

    1. ‘Innovation’ and revolution in seventeenth-century England Rachel Foxley

    2. Classicising the American Crisis, 1760–1789 Nicholas Cole

    3. Virtue, Representation, and the Politics of Ancient Greek History during the 1790s in Britain Sebastian Robins

    4. The Night of the Statues: revolution and classicism in Alejo Carpentier’s The Kingdom of this World Adam Lecznar

    5. Classicising The Woman Question in Nineteenth-Century Greece Katerina Kitsi-Mitakou and Vasiliki Misiou

    6. ‘What’s the Roman Republic to me, or I to the Roman Republic?’: Victorian Classicism and the Italian Risorgimento Isobel Hurst

    7. Classics, Crisis and the Soviet Experiment to 1939 Henry Stead and Hanna Paulouskaya

    8. Seeking New Classics in a Crisis: Modernity as Ancient History in German Thought Benjamin Gray

    9. Of Minotaurs and Macroeconomics: Greek myth and common currency Michael Simpson.



    Barbara Goff is Professor of Classics at the University of Reading, UK. She is the author of Your Secret Language: Classics in the British Colonies of West Africa (2013). With Michael Simpson she is co-author of Crossroads in the Black Aegean: Oedipus, Antigone and Dramas of the African Diaspora (2007) and co-editor of Thinking the Olympics: the Classical Tradition and the Modern Games (2011).

    Michael Simpson is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London, UK. He is currently completing a single-authored book titled Lost Plots: Romanticism and the Distractions of Reading, and is collaborating with Barbara Goff on a major project called Working Classics: Greece, Rome, and the British Labour Movement.