Ancient History & Civilisation


In most cases, the obvious place to find out more, or to follow up the issues raised in my own discussions, is in the book under review. This section is not a systematic bibliography. It includes fuller references to some of the most important other works, or themes, that I have mentioned; and it offers a few pointers to (even) further reading – concentrating, I admit, on some personal favourites.

Introduction. Gary Wills’s discussion of Christopher Logue’s Homer can be found in the NYRB 23 April, 1992.

Section One

Chapter 1. The career of Duncan Mackenzie is the subject of Nicoletta Momigliano’s Duncan Mackenzie: A Cautious, Canny Highlander (Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies, Supplement 63, 1995). The first two volumes (more have been promised) of Martin Bernal’s Black Athena: the Afroasiatic roots of classical civilization were published in 1987 and 1991 (London and New Brunswick, NJ); Bernal stressed – not without controversy – the Egyptian, African and Semitic origins of classical Greek culture. One of the most stimulating recent treatments of the ‘Knossos phenomenon’ is C. Gere, Knossos and the Prophets of Modernism (Chicago, 2009).

Chapter 3. Important recent literary studies of Thucydides include: V. Hunter, Thucydides: The Artful Reporter (Toronto, 1973); T. Rood, Thucydides: Narrative and Explanation (Oxford, 1998); E. Greenwood, Thucydides and the Shaping of History (London, 2006).

Chapter 4. James Davidson’s famous essay on Alexander appeared in the LRB 1 November, 2001. For those who would like some basic information on ‘the duties of a satrap’ and other aspects of ancient Persian society, T. Holland, Persian Fire: The First World Empire and the Battle for the West (London, 2005) or M. Brosius, The Persians (London, 2006) should fill in some of the gaps. Hadrian and Antinous are well discussed in C. Vout, Power and Eroticism in Imperial Rome (Cambridge, 2007).

Chapter 5. A selection of jokes in the Philogelos is translated in W. Hansen (ed.), Anthology of Ancient Greek Popular Literature (Indiana, 1998); a translation of the full text is provided by B. Baldwin, The Philogelos or Laughter-Lover (Amsterdam, 1983).

Section 2

Chapter 6. Arnaldo Momigliano’s essay on Romulus and Aeneas (‘How to Reconcile Greeks and Trojans’) can most easily be found in his On Pagans, Jews, and Christians (Middletown. CT., 1987).

Chapter 8. A. Richlin, ‘Cicero’s head’, in J. I. Porter (ed.), Constructions of the Classical Body (Ann Arbor, 1999) is an excellent exploration of Cicero’s decapitation; to go with S. Butler, Hand of Cicero (London, 2002).

Chapter 9. Careful, technical studies of other themes in Cicero’s attacks on Verres (showing just how tendentious some of Cicero’s invective was) can be found in J. R. W. Prag (ed.), Sicilia Nutrix Plebis Romanae: Rhetoric, Law, and Taxation in Cicero’s Verrines(Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies, Supplement 97, 2007).

Section 3

Chapter 11. J. P. Hallett, ‘Perusinae glandes and the changing image of Augustus’, American Journal of Ancient History 2 (1977), 151–71 is a detailed (and frank) study of the sling stones from Perugia.

Chapter 12. The papyrus recording Germanicus’ speech is translated and discussed by Dominic Rathbone, in World Archaeology 36 (2009), available online at Adrian Goldsworthy’s ‘double biography’ isAnthony and Cleopatra (London, 2010). Horace’s ‘demented queen’ features in his Odes 1, 37 (though the rest of that poem suggests a rather more nuanced view of the queen).

Chapter 13. I discuss the political background to Carcopino’s work in the introduction to a second edition of his Daily Life in Ancient Rome (New Haven and London, 2003).

Chapter 14. Philo’s description of his embassy to Caligula is in his On the Embassy to Gaius (translated in Volume 10 of the Loeb Classical Library edition of the work of Philo, and available online at XLIV and following). Walter Scheidel’s discussion of the Roman Empire’s bloody record in the transfer of power was part of a lecture given in Cambridge in 2011 ( Pliny, Letters 4, 22 tells of the notorious dinner party with the emperor Nerva.

Chapter 15. The long-term history of the Colosseum plays a large part in K. Hopkins and M. Beard, The Colosseum (London, 2005).

Chapter 17. Roland Barthes’s essay is conveniently reprinted in S. Sontag (ed.), Barthes: Selected Writings (London, 1982). Woodman’s translation of the Annals was published in 2004 (Indianapolis); Grant’s ‘ever popular’ Penguin translation was finally replaced in late 2012 by Cynthia Damon’s new Penguin version. Seneca’s joke is in his skit on the deification of the emperor Claudius, Apocolocyntosis, Chapter 11. The complicated (and sometimes murky) history of the ancestral tomb of Piso is the subject of P. Kragelund, M. Moltesen and J. Stubbe Ostergaard, The Licinian Tomb. Fact or Fiction (Copenhagen, 2003); the sculptures also feature in a Royal Academy Exhibition catalogue, Ancient Art to Post-Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Ny Carlsberg Glypotek (London, 2004).

Chapter 18. The material culture of the reign of Hadrian is lavishly illustrated in T. Opper, Hadrian. Empire and conflict (London, 2008); and the erotic dimension is discussed in C. Vout, Power and Eroticism in Imperial Rome (Cambridge, 2007).

Section 4

Chapter 19. L. Hackworth Petersen, The Freedman in Roman Art and Art History (Cambridge, 2006) offers a sharp and well illustrated analysis of scholarly snobbery on the art of the ex-slave (quoting Howard Colvin on the ‘egregious monument’ of Eurysaces).

Chapter 20. A translation of The Oracles of Astrampsychus (and other selections of ancient popular literature) is included in W. Hansen (ed.), Anthology of Ancient Greek Popular Literature (Indiana, 1998).

Chapter 22. The Benjamin Britten score for Auden’s lyrics is to be reprinted by Charlotte Higgins in Under Another Sky: Journeys through Roman Britain (London, 2013). The clearest introduction to the Vindolanda documents is A. Bowman, Life and Letters on the Roman Frontier: Vindolanda and its People (London, 1994).

Chapter 23. There is a magnificent new edition, with translation, of some of the bilingual dialogues by Eleanor Dickey, entitled (rather alarmingly) The Colloquia of the Hermeneumata Pseudodositheana: Volume 1, Colloquia Monacensia-Einsidlensia, Leidense-Stephani, and Stephani (Cambridge, 2012).

Section 5

Chapter 24. Christopher Morrissey discussed the re-use of the passage of Aeschylus at a Classical conference in Canada in 2002; his paper is summarised at

Chapter 25. Hölscher’s satirical article on Laocoon (‘Laokoon und das Schicksal des Tiberius: Ein Akrostikon’) was published in Antike Welt 31 (2000).

Chapter 26. The major account of the life of Leigh Fermor is now A. Cooper, Patrick Leigh Fermor (London, 2012).

Chapter 27. Dwyer has published a fuller account of the plaster casts in Pompeii’s Living Statues: Ancient Roman Lives Stolen from Death (Ann Arbor, 2010); the recent history and reception of Pompeii is the subject of illustrated exhibition catalogue, V. C. Gardner Coates, K. Lapatin, J. L. Seydl (eds), The Last Days of Pompeii: Decadence, Apocalypse, Resurrection (Malibu, 2012).

Chapter 31. C. Goudineau, Par Toutatis!: que reste-t-il de la Gaule? (Paris, 2002) offers a spirited French debunking of the myths of French history represented by Astérix’s plucky struggles against the Romans.

If you find an error please notify us in the comments. Thank you!