Cover: Beyond Greek: The Beginnings of Latin Literature, from Harvard University PressCover: Beyond Greek in HARDCOVER

Beyond Greek

The Beginnings of Latin Literature

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Product Details


$35.00 • £28.95 • €31.50

ISBN 9780674055230

Publication Date: 01/04/2016


400 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches


Manages to make strange an entire narrative of Western literature. It takes an origin myth accepted as logical, ‘the creation of a Roman literature on Greek models,’ and through its patient, stylish, precise investigation demonstrates how in fact this was ‘one of the strangest and most unlikely events in Mediterranean history,’ a phenomenon of pure contingency.—Adam Thirlwell, The Times Literary Supplement

Feeney is to be congratulated on his willingness to put Roman literary history in a big comparative context… It is a powerful testimony to the importance of Denis Feeney’s work that the old chestnuts of classical literary history—how the Romans got themselves Hellenized, and whether those jack-booted thugs felt anxiously belated or smugly domineering in their appropriation of Greek culture for their own purposes—feel fresh and urgent again.—Emily Wilson, The Times Literary Supplement

[Feeney’s] bold theme and vigorous writing render Beyond Greek of interest to anyone intrigued by the history and literature of the classical world.The Economist

Beyond Greek is a string of revelations about how the Romans busied themselves building a new literature for their new position on the world stage. It takes all the familiar characterizations of ancient Roman literature—as parvenu, as derivative, as a series of ham-handed imitations of a superior culture—and turns them inside-out in some wonderfully thoughtful ways.—Steve Donoghue, Open Letters Monthly

Formidably learned, but at the same time an exceptionally good read… Feeney shows mid-third century BC Romans undertaking a deliberate project of refashioning their world within international cultural networks. In so doing, he illustrates the value of cultural openness and multilingualism and the role of ‘cultural brokers.’ Committed supporters of an international outlook will find much of relevance here.—Christopher Smith, History Today

A magisterial and innovative study of the beginnings of Latin literature. It is sure to get noticed, to provoke, and to rankle. It will be the standard, go-to book on the topic for many years to come. Feeney does not hold back.—Kirk Freudenburg, Yale University

By putting Roman literature into a global context, Denis Feeney shows that the Romans, far from being cultural imitators, were actually the innovators of a new form of cultural transmission. This is the study of world literature at its finest.—Martin Puchner, Harvard University

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