Antiquity Matters

Frederic Raphael

View Inside Price: $26.00


September 26, 2017
376 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
ISBN: 9780300215373
Hardcover

A sharp, often surprising, view of the classical world by a major classics scholar at Cambridge and author of The Glittering Prizes

This book is the culmination of more than sixty years of a writing life during which Frederic Raphael has returned again and again to the literature and landscape of the ancient world. In his new book, Raphael deploys his renowned wit and erudition to give us a vivid mosaic of the complexities and contradictions underlying Western civilization and its continuing influence upon contemporary society. Tackling a broad range of topics, from the presumed superiority of democracy to the momentum behind today's gay rights movement, Raphael's often daringly heterodox view of the Greek and Roman world will provoke, surprise, and, at the same time, entertain readers. He shows how the interplay of fiction and reality, rhetorical aspiration and practical cunning, are threaded through modern culture.

A major scholar in Classics at Cambridge, Frederic Raphael is an Oscar-winning screenwriter (Darling), a biographer, a translator, and the author of many books, including The Glittering Prizes.

"Utterly dazzling in his erudition, Frederic Raphael displays an extraordinary depth of knowledge across the aeons, profound wisdom of Gibbonian epithets, and a total mastery of that fascinating territory between myth and pre-history."—Andrew Roberts, War Studies Department, King’s College, London
 

"From Plato's fictional Atlantis to Joseph Mankiewicz's Julius Caesar, Oscar laureate Frederic Raphael covers the waterfront of Graeco-Roman history and culture and their legacies, unmasking with jovial irony a multitude of things hidden from the foundation of the ancient—and our—worlds."—Paul Cartledge, author of Democracy: A Life and Senior Research Fellow, Clare College, Cambridge
 

"Evoking classical Greek and Roman heroes and villains with his special—not to say unique—literary and scholarly oomph, Frederic Raphael defends civilisation."— David Pryce-Jones, novelist and historian

“Minus the explicit polemic, Raphael is a scholar in Catullus’s mould, concerned more with reinterpreting the classics for his own pleasure than masquerading as one of the ‘old, learned, respectable bald heads’ whom W.B. Yeats mocked. “—Daisy Dunn, Standpoint