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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Print on Demand

$41.00 • £35.95 • €37.95

ISBN 9780674971547

Publication Date: 05/22/2017


352 pages

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

26 halftones

Belknap Press


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The Classical Debt is a fascinating foray into the process by which Europeans molded their own and modern Greek identity on the basis of ancient Greek ideals, and this shared culture helps explain the antagonism towards the Greeks when their path seems to veer away from that of the rest of Europe.—John Psaropoulos, The Times Literary Supplement

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

[A] fascinating study.—Louis A. Ruprecht, Jr., Arion

The Classical Debt is valuable book that traces the history of the concept of ancient Greece as the cradle of western civilization, ranging from its origins of this notion to the impact that it has had on contemporary perceptions of Greece… It deserves to be read by anyone who may have once questioned or marveled at the alleged wonder that was Greece.—Charlotte Van Regenmortel, Economic History Review

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 demonstrates enviable skill in harnessing complicated knowledge in a way that makes it accessible to all readers. Her book, while being valuable to specialists, is written so that it could be read and enjoyed by a wider audience.—Myrto Malouta, Journal of Greek Media and Culture

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

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