Confronting the Classics by Mary Beard

76%

5 Critic Reviews

The selection of essays that make up the book are written with all the intellectual assurance and wit for which Beard is known. Offering a sweeping selection of insights into ancient Greece and Rome, Beard makes the archaic seem accessible...
-Guardian

Synopsis

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.

 

About Mary Beard

See more books from this Author
Mary Beard is a professor of classics at Newnham College, Cambridge, and the classics editor of the TLS. Her books include the acclaimed Pompeii [9781846684715] which is translated into nine languages, The Roman Triumph and The Parthenon [9781846683497], part of the 'Wonders of the World' series of which she is general editor.
 
Published March 7, 2013 by Profile Books. 321 pages
Genres: History, Travel, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Confronting the Classics
All: 5 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Excellent
on Jun 08 2013

...we learn that the ancients weren’t that great; they just had good spin doctors. Remember, the winner always writes the history. A top-notch introduction to some fairly arcane material, accessible but not patronizing.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Alexander Larman on Mar 24 2013

The selection of essays that make up the book are written with all the intellectual assurance and wit for which Beard is known. Offering a sweeping selection of insights into ancient Greece and Rome, Beard makes the archaic seem accessible...

Read Full Review of Confronting the Classics | See more reviews from Guardian

Blog Critics

Above average
Reviewed by Natalie Bennett on May 12 2013

...overall this is still a collection of rather mixed essays, not in the class of Beard’s magisterial Pompei...

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WSJ online

Above average
Reviewed by Maxwell Carter on Nov 15 2013

Using Terence Rattigan's 1948 play about an aging classics teacher, "The Browning Version," as her point of departure, Ms. Beard lays out the case for ancient study...Ms. Beard's careful selection and revision, including numerous cross-references, produce an unexpectedly coherent whole.

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NPR

Above average
Reviewed by Annalisa Quinn on Sep 12 2013

...perhaps elision is the price to pay for a book that so expertly straddles the line between scholarly and accessible. In a field that can so often be dominated by minutiae, Mary Beard is unafraid to go big.

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Reader Rating for Confronting the Classics
75%

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