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Confronting the Classics: Traditions, Adventures and Innovations (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 13. März 2014

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With such a champion as Beard to debunk and popularise, the future of the study of classics is assured Daily Telegraph She's pulled off that rare trick of becoming a don with a high media profile who hasn't sold out, who is absolutely respected by the academy for her scholarship ... what she says is always powerful and interesting Guardian witty, erudite collection...To Beard, the classical past is alive and kicking - and she has the great gift of being able to show just why classics is still a subject worth arguing about Sunday Times an irrepressible enthusiast with a refreshing disregard for convention FT She stands in the great tradition of myth-puncturing Latin classicists New York Review of Books Beard is the best...communicator of Classics we have Independent on Sunday highly engaging Sunday Telegraph sparkling The Lady so engaging, and at times so very funny -- Edith Hall Times this is the perfect introduction to classical studies, and deserves to become something of a standard work in the future Observer

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Mary Beard is a professor of classics at Newnham College, Cambridge, and the classics editor of the TLS. She has world-wide academic acclaim. Her previous books include the best-selling, Wolfson Prize-winning Pompeii, The Roman Triumph and The Parthenon. Her blog has been collected in the books It's a Don's Life [9781846682513] and All in a Don's Day [9781846685361].

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29 von 30 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
nothing if not critical 13. November 2013
Von Stanley Crowe - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I enjoyed this book very much, but anyone tempted to buy it should understand what it is: a collection of review essays on classical figures and topics, sensibly organized both chronologically and thematically -- but it is emphatically NOT itself a history of the ancient worlds of Greece and Rome. Those "confronting the classics" are the authors of the books that Beard is reviewing, and throughout Beard reviews them with an eye to their adequacy or otherwise as historians. So the book isn't history -- it's ABOUT history and what it is to try to do history well. That means that it's about how people handle evidence, especially the very fragmentary evidence that we have from so long ago. There are documents, there are artifacts, and there are the results of archeological activity. How do we, in the 21st century, put such stuff together to tell a convincing (aspiring to "true") story about Octavius or Alexander or Boadicea? It's tempting to say that the ancient world had its historians too -- Tacitus, Suetonius, Thucydides et. al. -- but they wrote decades or even centuries after the events they relate, so they have to be looked at with pretty cool scrutiny. So -- to sum up, a general reader who is interested in history and in the problems of writing history will find this book accessible and enjoyable. And you learn things! It's something to know that we know quite a bit about Augustus's life before he took care of Antony and Cleopatra but very little about the four decades of his rule as emperor. Beard speculates interestingly on why that is so. In general, we get a sense of the fragments of knowledge that seem beyond dispute and then are brought face to face with the obvious difficulties of "connecting the dots," as we would now say. Beard also has quite a bit to say about modern representations of historical figures in popular culture ("Cleopatra," "I, Claudius," etc.) and she ties in her discussions of these with the critiques of the usually more serious scholarship represented by the books under review in each chapter. Her style is direct and engaging -- she doesn't assume a lot of prior knowledge on her readers' parts -- and she usually finds the places in the books she reviews where the writer makes plausible connections and claims, but most importantly she has a great eye for the implausible, and she is very clear about when and why we should find this or that claim about Nero, Caligula, Julius Caesar, Cicero and others questionable. And she doesn't seem to have an agenda -- she's not pushing her view of the "truth" about Alexander or Cleopatra or whomever; she's talking about how fascinatingly elusive these figures and their cultures remain. Recommended for the critical reader!
36 von 46 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A collection of book reviews 23. September 2013
Von Michael Gunther - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
"Confronting the Classics" is misdescribed in the publisher's blurb, so to set the record straight - it is mostly a collection of Mary Beard's book reviews from the Times Literary Supplement. Obviously, as someone who is reviewing a book on Amazon, I don't have any objection to book reviews as such! But on the other hand, I don't think that many people would find this book-length collection to be compelling reading. The nature of the book-review format prevents Beard from including much detail about her chosen topics, especially because she often reviews more than one book in the same essay. The result too often appeared, to this reader at least, like a throwaway collection of opinions ("Ancient Athens did not invent democracy") and nit-picking.
9 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Entertaining style 5. Oktober 2013
Von M. DuBroy - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Potential buyers should be aware that, apart from the introduction and the opening essay, this book is a collection of a number of Mary Beard's book reviews. She uses the introduction to frame the reviews into a kind of narrative, a narrative indicating points of contention in our understanding of the classical world. The reviews themselves are arranged in chronological order by subject. While her reviews give you a sense of what the original book says, on some occasions I did find myself thinking, "I need to have read the original to appreciate what the review says." Hence, the reviews that I found most useful and interesting were the reviews of books that I have already read. Nonetheless, Dr. Beard is never dull: she always writes with energy and enthusiasm. Several of her reviews made me want to look up the original books.
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
One of the best books I've read in several years -- briding gaps between readers and scholars and the ancients and today. 22. September 2014
Von R. B. Bernstein - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
This is one of the best books I've read this year, and for several years.

Mary Beard is one of the finest classicists ever, but just as important she is one of the all-time best practitioners of book viewing. This fine book is the kind of book that introduces you to an entire field, a scholarly culture, the craft of reviewing, and the challenge of building bridges between a scholarly community and the general reading public and between the ancients and today -- all at once. Beard's lucid, elegant, and quietly funny prose; her clear concern both for those whom she writes about (historical subjects and authors of reviewed books alike) and for those who will read her; and her gift for explanation all shine from these pages. This book deserves a wide and appreciative audience.
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A great book for the Classical specialist. 24. Dezember 2013
Von J. M. Adams - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Mary Beard is a tough reviewer of scholarship in her area of expertise--the Classics. This is a book of reviews of recent and not-so-recent scholarship in the world of Greek and Roman history. The first half is excellent for anyone interested in the Classics, giving interesting commentary on the background of the authors as well as the history or culture they are addressing. The second half is a bit more esoteric, focusing on less well-known subjects and historiography which won't be of interest to everyone. Throughout, however, her prose is witty, biting and without guile. Hardly anyone gets off without a scratch or bruise or two.
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