Cover: The Classical Debt: Greek Antiquity in an Era of Austerity, from Harvard University PressCover: The Classical Debt in HARDCOVER

The Classical Debt

Greek Antiquity in an Era of Austerity

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Product Details


$29.95 • £23.95 • €27.00

ISBN 9780674971547

Publication: May 2017


352 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

26 halftones

Belknap Press


Cleverly connects Western Europe’s investment in ancient Greek origins with the decade-old Greek debt crisis.—A. E. Stallings, The Wall Street Journal

One of the most striking new books about the legacy of Greco-Roman antiquity.—Emily Wilson, New Statesman

This book certainly succeeds in reminding or making the reader aware of the invention of Greek antiquity, and our role in the ongoing survival of that invention. It is lucidly written, with rigorous but not overwhelming detail… It is bold and uncompromising… Hanink has written an important contribution to the ongoing debate about why Classics matters, which is also a wake-up call to encourage us to do Classics in a more critical, thoughtful way, and to hold to account those who use the imagery of an idealized Greek antiquity in a way which does a disservice both to the complexity of the ancient world, and to the modern Greek nation.—Catherine Rozier, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Hanink shows how long-standing ideas about Greece’s idealized past have explosive implications for how Greece’s current crisis is conceived… Hanink provides a penetrating and valuable analysis of how our perceptions of the ancient past can become explosively mixed with politics… Even if Hanink’s book can’t cure Greece of its current woes, it can (and does) offer a stimulating take on a situation that too often has been the recipient of hardened ways of thinking. May it be read vigorously and with an open mind.—Brett Miller, PopMatters

An immensely well-written and provocative book, Johanna Hanink’s The Classical Debt: Greek Antiquity in an Era of Austerity tightly weaves together the threads of past and present like an ancient Greek warp-weighted loom.EuropeNow

Hanink helps us see modern Greece through the eyes of a classicist, and ancient Greece through the eyes of a keen observer of modern Greece—a wonderful and winning combination. The Classical Debt is a clever meditation on if, and why, antiquity still matters.—Mary Beard, author of the New York Times bestseller SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome

Hanink’s new book depicts the pernicious intertwining of Classics with Orientalism during the worst of the Greek economic crisis. Antigone’s determination to violate unjust laws suddenly acquires a fresh interpretation in our post-Brexit Europe.—Yanis Varoufakis, author of And the Weak Suffer What They Must? and former Greek Minister of Finance