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The Classical Tradition (Harvard University Press Reference Library) First Edition Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0674035720
ISBN-10: 0674035720
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Product Details

  • Series: Harvard University Press Reference Library (Book 21)
  • Hardcover: 1088 pages
  • Publisher: Belknap Press; First Edition edition (October 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674035720
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674035720
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 2.5 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #447,496 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Richard W. Hoover Sr. on January 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fills admirably the tremendous gap on the impact of classical events and personalities down to the present time. Was most recently useful to me while finishing up a talk on the American painter Benjamin West. Helpful articles,for example, on history painting, neo-classicism, Winckelmann, the Apollo Belvedere and on West too. Good and useful mentions also of West-contemporaries such as Cardinal Allessandro Albani, nephew of Martin XI, art dealer and the Curia' s curator/ art authority.

Grafton's great work is not only a detailed source, say, on the last generations, such as West's, to live and breathe Classical literature, history and art, but on the Renaissance humanists as well.

I would take serious issue with one of the foregoing critics who complained that he could not find "Greece" in the index. I think he misses the point: "The Classical Tradition" is not about Greece, but about it's impact. He should have persevered and read the entries under "Greek, Ancient; Greek, Modern; Greek Anthology; and Greek Revival."

However, as one detractor justly complained, this is a heavy book. I wish it had been published in two volumes! FIVE STARS!!!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Anyone interested in Western classical history would like this book. 1000 pages of entries from Aesthetics to Zeno's Paradoxes. No need to read from cover to cover, just open it up and be enlightened and entertained. It's no small thing these days to find a book beautiful presented, with a good binding and attractive pages. Something would be lost if it were an "e book". A nice gift for a history buff.
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A thoroughly impressive book. It is more than a great reference book. It provides the historian and student of history with a clear guide of Roman and Greek antiquity that contributed to future cultures. Biographies, events, and terminologies are all in this indispensible book.

Items in the book are listed alphabetically, making it user-friendly. I suggest using it as an introductory guide to whatever ancient texts you may be reading. For an example, reading Plutarch's Lives, I would find Plutarch, then, the listing covering the personality I was to read about. The book places events in perspective and in relation to other events occuring at the same time.

If you are an historian, or just love history, this is definitely your book!
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This book has everything you need to completely understand books within which Western cultural references appear. Or if you have a deep love for the Classical World, you can find definitions, explanations, etc. for any reference within the entire tradition. Or anytime you have a few minutes, just open the book at any page and you will find interesting things to learn and enjoy. It's a must for any home library, and there may not be another one like this, or anywhere near this good.
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This is a fascinating book. I love how the authors discuss not only the classical concepts, authors, literature, artifacts, etc. but also discuss how they have been incorporated into various cultures over time. They include references to great scholars who interpreted the classical tradition for their own times. The Oxford Dictionary of Classics is a fantastic resource if you want only the information about the classics themselves. If you want to know more about how the classics were used, transformed and reviewed over time, this is your book.

If you are the kind of person who likes to read random articles in the encyclopedia or random pages in the dictionary, this is for you. We pick up the book and read a few articles at random, just for the fun of it. Always enlightening.

If you are researching classical influences in a given period of history, let's say, the influences of the classical period on aesthetics over time, this is for you.

The cover art is perfect, showing many aspects of the classical tradition - all in one painting. Well done.
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Very complex plot and characters, if you think the past has plot and characters. If you enjoy flipping through one volume encyclopedias, this one is a bargain. Fine group of editors and contributors.
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It's encyclopedic in feel and format, an A-to-Z compendium of topics (Astronomy, Collecting, Laocoon, Pederasty, Sports, Warfare). For each, a separate expert (and they pulled in dozens and dozens for this project), has written an encyclopedia-like entry on how that topic draws from or relates to the Classical world (Greece and Rome). Some lovely color plates, too. A hefty volume, something you can read from front to back (as I did) or just dipping in here and there.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
... and heavy enough to be a weapon in 'Clue.' The typical entry summarize an aspect of classical culture (e.g. 'Hercules'), then runs through its literary and artistic afterlife from medieval times down to yesterday. Although you'll come across the occasional shout-out to 'Xena: The Warrior Princess,' the editors expect the reader to have a fairly comprehensive grasp of medieval and early modern intellectual history. Which is a roundabout way of saying this tome is good, but demanding. Have a good dictionary on hand for looking up e.g. architectural terms.
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