The Edinburgh Companion to Ancient Greece and Rome

The Edinburgh Companion to Ancient Greece and Rome

The Edinburgh Companion to Ancient Greece and Rome

The Edinburgh Companion to Ancient Greece and Rome


The study of classics and ancient history in universities in Europe and North America is, contrary to expectation, not dying but thriving. However, as Greek and Latin are unavailable to the majority of students and the range of modern foreign languages through which study of classics is disseminated is remarkably wide, much of the literature that students are asked to read and the secondary evidence they are urged to use is currently inaccessible to them. The purpose of this Edinburgh Companion is to help bridge the gap between students and scholars by providing a reliable, accessible and up-to-date source of practical reference for students of classics and ancient history, and one which their teachers may also find valuable.

The book aims to impart basic information clearly and concisely: it will help students to navigate the sometimes tricky landscape of the ancient world and should enable them to value and enjoy the contrasting perspectives and methods of several disciplines that seek to interpret the world of ancient Greece and Rome.

The book is divided into four parts. Part One gives an overview of modern approaches to the various aspects of the classics. Study, understanding and interpretation are constantly changing; emphases alter and the appearance of fresh evidence, original ideas or influence from the contemporary world may open up new avenues for research and investigation. The civilisations of Greece and Rome are currently seen, rather more than they used to be, in the context of their relationships with neighbouring peoples, and the chronological spread of the subject is much wider than was usual in past scholarship.

Part Two looks at the material background to the two peoples. This denotes the land, the sea and the built environment, together with the surviving material evidence, whether that be in the form of architecture, sculpture, metalwork, or texts that continue to be unearthed: papyri or inscriptions (usually on stone and metal, but occasionally on wood). Part Three covers the wide spectrum of literary genres, from Greek epic at the start of the history of Greek literature to the more rarely studied Latin and Greek technical, scientific and legal textbooks, giving a taste of the full range of Graeco-Roman culture.

Finally, Part Four is intended to provide a practical resource: guides to such items as names, measures, writing systems or metre, as well as maps, time-charts, a glossary of ancient and modern terms, details of textbooks and other (print and web) resources for the study of the classical world, and a full list of abbreviations – all intended to help readers to find their own way through publications in the various disciplines of classics.

The Edinburgh Companion is a gateway to the fascinating world of ancient Greece and Rome. Wideranging in its approach and pragmatic in its method, it reveals the multifaceted nature of the classical enterprise and shows something of the rewards and satisfactions to be gained by drawing together the perspectives and methods of different disciplines, from philosophy to history, poetics to archaeology, art history to numismatics, and many more.


All authors grappling with the classical world find themselves face to face with the problem of the . . .

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