Confronting the Classics

Traditions, Adventures and Innovations

Author: Mary Beard

Publisher: Profile Books

ISBN: 1847658881

Category: History

Page: 310

View: 5025

Mary Beard is one of the world's best-known classicists - a brilliant academic, with a rare gift for communicating with a wide audience both though her TV presenting and her books. In a series of sparkling essays, she explores our rich classical heritage - from Greek drama to Roman jokes, introducing some larger-than-life characters of classical history, such as Alexander the Great, Nero and Boudicca. She invites you into the places where Greeks and Romans lived and died, from the palace at Knossos to Cleopatra's Alexandria - and reveals the often hidden world of slaves. She takes a fresh look at both scholarly controversies and popular interpretations of the ancient world, from The Golden Bough to Asterix. The fruit of over thirty years in the world of classical scholarship, Confronting the Classics captures the world of antiquity and its modern significance with wit, verve and scholarly expertise.
Posted in History

Confronting the Classics: Traditions, Adventures, and Innovations

Author: Mary Beard

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0871407477

Category: History

Page: 320

View: 5030

A National Book Critics Circle Award finalist, this is “the perfect introduction to classical studies, and deserves to become something of a standard work” (Observer). Mary Beard, drawing on thirty years of teaching and writing about Greek and Roman history, provides a panoramic portrait of the classical world, a book in which we encounter not only Cleopatra and Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar and Hannibal, but also the common people—the millions of inhabitants of the Roman Empire, the slaves, soldiers, and women. How did they live? Where did they go if their marriage was in trouble or if they were broke? Or, perhaps just as important, how did they clean their teeth? Effortlessly combining the epic with the quotidian, Beard forces us along the way to reexamine so many of the assumptions we held as gospel—not the least of them the perception that the Emperor Caligula was bonkers or Nero a monster. With capacious wit and verve, Beard demonstrates that, far from being carved in marble, the classical world is still very much alive.
Posted in History

Classics: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Mary Beard,John Henderson

Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks

ISBN: 9780192853851

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 145

View: 7262

Explores the relationship between the contemporary world and the ancient one.
Posted in Literary Criticism

It's a Don's Life

Author: Mary Beard

Publisher: Profile Books

ISBN: 1847652468

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 277

View: 2450

Mary Beard's by now famous blog A Don's Life has been running on the TLS website for nearly three years. In it she has made her name as a wickedly subversive commentator on the world in which we live. Her central themes are the classics, universities and teaching -- and much else besides. What are academics for? Who was the first African Roman emperor? Looting -- ancient and modern. Are modern exams easier? Keep lesbos for the lesbians. Did St Valentine exist? What made the Romans laugh? That is just a small taste of this selection (and some of the choicer responses) which will inform, occasionally provoke and cannot fail to entertain.
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

Women & Power

A Manifesto

Author: Mary Beard

Publisher: Profile Books

ISBN: 1782834532

Category: Social Science

Page: 74

View: 3050

Britain's best-known classicist Mary Beard, is also a committed and vocal feminist. With wry wit, she revisits the gender agenda and shows how history has treated powerful women. Her examples range from the classical world to the modern day, from Medusa and Athena to Theresa May and Hillary Clinton. Beard explores the cultural underpinnings of misogyny, considering the public voice of women, our cultural assumptions about women's relationship with power, and how powerful women resist being packaged into a male template. A year on since the advent of #metoo, Beard looks at how the discussions have moved on during this time, and how that intersects with issues of rape and consent, and the stories men tell themselves to support their actions. In trademark Beardian style, using examples ancient and modern, Beard argues, 'it's time for change - and now!' From the author of international bestseller SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome.
Posted in Social Science

Pompeii

The Life of a Roman Town

Author: Mary Beard

Publisher: Profile Books

ISBN: 1847650643

Category: History

Page: 368

View: 1412

WINNER OF THE WOLFSON HISTORY PRIZE 2008 'The world's most controversial classicist debunks our movie-style myths about the Roman town with meticulous scholarship and propulsive energy' Laura Silverman, Daily Mail The ruins of Pompeii, buried by an explosion of Vesuvius in 79 CE, offer the best evidence we have of everyday life in the Roman empire. This remarkable book rises to the challenge of making sense of those remains, as well as exploding many myths: the very date of the eruption, probably a few months later than usually thought; or the hygiene of the baths which must have been hotbeds of germs; or the legendary number of brothels, most likely only one; or the massive death count, maybe less than ten per cent of the population. An extraordinary and involving portrait of an ancient town, its life and its continuing re-discovery, by Britain's favourite classicist.
Posted in History

All in a Don's Day

Author: Mary Beard

Publisher: Profile Books

ISBN: 1847658636

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 311

View: 4451

Her central themes are the classics, universities and teaching - and much else besides. In this second collection following on from the success of It's a Don's Life, Beard ponders whether Gaddafi's home is Roman or not, we share her 'terror of humiliation' as she enters 'hairdresser country' and follow her dilemma as she wanders through the quandary of illegible handwriting on examination papers and 'longing for the next dyslexic' - on whose paper the answers are typed, not handwritten. Praise for It's a Don's Life 'Delightful... it has the virtues of brevity, eclecticism and learning worn lightly... if they'd had Mary Beard on their side back then, the Romans would still have their empire' Daily Mail
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

Classical Art

From Greece to Rome

Author: John Henderson

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780192842374

Category: Art

Page: 298

View: 8323

'The book is part of a series of introductory studies intended to bring the latest developments in art history to students and general readers. But it offers something new to the specialist reader too [...] the quantity of illustrations is impressive for such a slim and inexpensive book ...Classical Art is illuminating, playful, provocative, and often (literally) iconoclastic' -Times Higher Education Supplement
Posted in Art

How Do We Look: The Body, the Divine, and the Question of Civilization

Author: Mary Beard

Publisher: Liveright Publishing

ISBN: 1631494414

Category: History

Page: 240

View: 2828

From prehistoric Mexico to modern Istanbul, Mary Beard looks beyond the familiar canon of Western imagery to explore the history of art, religion, and humanity. Conceived as a gorgeously illustrated accompaniment to “How Do We Look” and “The Eye of Faith,” the famed Civilisations shows on PBS, renowned classicist Mary Beard has created this elegant volume on how we have looked at art. Focusing in Part I on the Olmec heads of early Mesoamerica, the colossal statues of the pharaoh Amenhotep III, and the nudes of classical Greece, Beard explores the power, hierarchy, and gender politics of the art of the ancient world, and explains how it came to define the so-called civilized world. In Part II, Beard chronicles some of the most breathtaking religious imagery ever made—whether at Angkor Wat, Ravenna, Venice, or in the art of Jewish and Islamic calligraphers— to show how all religions, ancient and modern, have faced irreconcilable problems in trying to picture the divine. With this classic volume, Beard redefines the Western-and male-centric legacies of Ernst Gombrich and Kenneth Clark.
Posted in History

The Classical World

An Epic History from Homer to Hadrian

Author: Robin Lane Fox

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465003664

Category: History

Page: 672

View: 1850

The classical civilizations of Greece and Rome once dominated the world, and they continue to fascinate and inspire us. Classical art and architecture, drama and epic, philosophy and politics-these are the foundations of Western civilization. In The Classical World, eminent classicist Robin Lane Fox brilliantly chronicles this vast sweep of history from Homer to the reign of Hadrian. From the Peloponnesian War through the creation of Athenian democracy, from the turbulent empire of Alexander the Great to the creation of the Roman Empire and the emergence of Christianity, Fox serves as our witty and trenchant guide. He introduces us to extraordinary heroes and horrific villains, great thinkers and blood-thirsty tyrants. Throughout this vivid tour of two of the greatest civilizations the world has ever known, we remain in the hands of a great master.
Posted in History

The Roman Triumph

Author: Mary Beard

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674020597

Category: History

Page: 448

View: 8359

A radical reexamination of the most extraordinary of ancient ceremonies, this book explores the magnificence of the Roman Triumph--but also its darker side, as it prompted the Romans to question as well as celebrate military glory. This richly illustrated work is a testament to the profound importance of the triumph in Roman culture--and for monarchs and generals ever since.
Posted in History

In Bed with the Romans

Author: Paul Chrystal

Publisher: Amberley Publishing Limited

ISBN: 1445643529

Category: History

Page: 304

View: 7897

An entertaining and intriguing account of sex in Rome and the exploits of some of Rome’s celebrated exponents of sexual permissiveness and perversion
Posted in History

Laughter in Ancient Rome

On Joking, Tickling, and Cracking Up

Author: Mary Beard

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520287584

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 3002

What made the Romans laugh? Was ancient Rome a carnival, filled with practical jokes and hearty chuckles? Or was it a carefully regulated culture in which the uncontrollable excess of laughter was a force to fear—a world of wit, irony, and knowing smiles? How did Romans make sense of laughter? What role did it play in the world of the law courts, the imperial palace, or the spectacles of the arena? Laughter in Ancient Rome explores one of the most intriguing, but also trickiest, of historical subjects. Drawing on a wide range of Roman writing—from essays on rhetoric to a surviving Roman joke book—Mary Beard tracks down the giggles, smirks, and guffaws of the ancient Romans themselves. From ancient “monkey business” to the role of a chuckle in a culture of tyranny, she explores Roman humor from the hilarious, to the momentous, to the surprising. But she also reflects on even bigger historical questions. What kind of history of laughter can we possibly tell? Can we ever really “get” the Romans’ jokes?
Posted in History

The Public Voice of Women

A London Review of Books Winter Lecture

Author: Mary Beard

Publisher: epubli

ISBN: 3737543720

Category: History

Page: N.A

View: 1560

I want to start very near the beginning of the tradition of Western literature, and its first recorded example of a man telling a woman to ‘shut up’; telling her that her voice was not to be heard in public. I’m thinking of a moment immortalised at the start of the Odyssey. We tend now to think of the Odyssey as the story of Odysseus and the adventures and scrapes he had returning home after the Trojan War – while for decades Penelope loyally waited for him, fending off the suitors who were pressing for her hand. But the Odyssey is just as much the story of Telemachus, the son of Odysseus and Penelope; the story of his growing up; how over the course of the poem he matures from boy to man. The process starts in the first book with Penelope coming down from her private quarters into the great hall, to find a bard performing to throngs of her suitors; he’s singing about the difficulties the Greek heroes are having in reaching home. She isn’t amused, and in front of everyone she asks him to choose another, happier number. At which point young Telemachus intervenes: ‘Mother,’ he says, ‘go back up into your quarters, and take up your own work, the loom and the distaff ... speech will be the business of men, all men, and of me most of all; for mine is the power in this household.’ And off she goes, back upstairs.​ Mary Beard reflects on the way women are heard – and have been heard – in public, from Homer’s Odyssey through Margaret Thatcher to internet trolls.
Posted in History

The Islamic Enlightenment: The Struggle Between Faith and Reason, 1798 to Modern Times

Author: Christopher de Bellaigue

Publisher: Liveright Publishing

ISBN: 1631493337

Category: History

Page: 560

View: 5578

“The finest Orientalist of his generation” (Wall Street Journal) rewrites everything we thought we knew about the modern history of the Islamic world. In this “stylishly written, surprisingly moving chronicle” (Harper’s), Christopher de Bellaigue presents an absorbing account of the political and social reformations that transformed the lands of Islam in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. “The best sort of book for our disordered days” (Pankaj Mishra), The Islamic Enlightenment “is at once new, fascinating and extraordinarily important” (Wall Street Journal) as it challenges ossified perceptions in Western culture that self- righteously condemn the Muslim world as hopelessly benighted. This false perception belies the fact that Islamic civilization has long been undergoing its own anguished transformation, and that the violence of an infinitesimally small minority is the blowback from this process. In reclaiming the stories of the “fascinating . . . individuals who would grapple with reform and modernization” (New York Times Book Review), de Bellaigue’s “eye-opening, well-written, and very timely” (Yuval Harrari) history shows the folly of Westerners demanding modernity from people whose lives are already drenched in it.
Posted in History

The Colosseum

Author: Keith Hopkins,Mary Beard

Publisher: Profile Books

ISBN: 1847650457

Category: History

Page: 256

View: 9272

The Colosseum was Imperial Rome's monument to warfare. Like a cathedral of death it towered over the city and invited its citizens, 50,000 at a time, to watch murderous gladiatorial games. It is now visited by two million visitors a year (Hitler was among them). Award winning classicist, Mary Beard with Keith Hopkins, tell the story of Rome's greatest arena: how it was built; the gladiatorial and other games that were held there; the training of the gladiators; the audiences who revelled in the games, the emperors who staged them and the critics. And the strange after story - the Colosseum has been fort, store, church, and glue factory.
Posted in History

The Best Land Under Heaven: The Donner Party in the Age of Manifest Destiny

Author: Michael Wallis

Publisher: Liveright Publishing

ISBN: 0871407701

Category: History

Page: 320

View: 1861

Cutting through 160 years of mythmaking, best-selling historian Michael Wallis presents the ultimate cautionary tale of America’s westward expansion. "WESTWARD HO! FOR OREGON AND CALIFORNIA!" In the eerily warm spring of 1846, George Donner placed this advertisement in a local newspaper as he and a restless caravan prepared for what they hoped would be the most rewarding journey of a lifetime. But in eagerly pursuing what would a century later become known as the "American dream," this optimistic-yet-motley crew of emigrants was met with a chilling nightmare; in the following months, their jingoistic excitement would be replaced by desperate cries for help that would fall silent in the deadly snow-covered mountains of the Sierra Nevada. We know these early pioneers as the Donner Party, a name that has elicited horror since the late 1840s. Now, celebrated historian Michael Wallis—beloved for his myth-busting portraits of legendary American figures—continues his life’s work of parsing fact from fiction to tell the true story of one of the most embroidered sagas in Western history. Wallis begins the story in 1846, a momentous "year of decision" for the nation, when incredible territorial strides were being made in Texas, New Mexico, and California. Against this dramatic backdrop, an unlikely band of travelers appeared, stratified in age, wealth, education and ethnicity. At the forefront were the Donners: brothers George and Jacob, true sons of the soil determined to tame the wild land of California; and the Reeds, headed by adventurous, business-savvy patriarch James. In total, the Donner-Reed group would reach eighty-seven men, women, and children, and though personal motives varied—bachelors thirsting for adventure, parents wanting greater futures for their children—everyone was linked by the same unwavering belief that California was theirs for the taking. Skeptical of previous accounts of how the group ended up in peril, Wallis has spent years retracing its ill-fated journey, uncovering hundreds of new documents that illuminate how a combination of greed, backbiting, and recklessness led the group to become hopelessly snowbound at the infamous Donner Pass in present-day California. Climaxing with the grim stories of how the party’s paltry rations soon gave way to unimaginable hunger, Wallis not only details the cannibalism that has in perpetuity haunted their legacy but also the heroic rescue parties that managed to reach the stranded, only to discover that just forty-eight had survived the ordeal. An unflinching and historically invaluable account of the darkest side of Manifest Destiny, The Best Land Under Heaven offers a brilliant, revisionist examination of one of America's most calamitous and sensationalized catastrophes.
Posted in History

Hadrian's Wall

Everyday Life on a Roman Frontier

Author: Patricia Southern

Publisher: Amberley Publishing Limited

ISBN: 1445640341

Category: History

Page: 464

View: 6351

The building, military use and descent into ruin of the most important Roman frontier ever built.
Posted in History