Classic Americana: The Greek and Roman Heritage in the United States

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9780814317440: Classic Americana: The Greek and Roman Heritage in the United States

In company with Sallust, Cicero, Tacitus, Livy, you will learn wisdom and virtue. (John Adams to John Quincy Adams)

Were every Greek and Latin book ... consumed in a bonfire the world would be the wiser and better for it. (Benjamin Rush)

How did Americans in the early period of our history view the classics, the legacy of the Greco-Roman world? Venerated by some as one of the most valuable forms of useful know ledge, the classics provided symbols and role models for the new American cultural and political thought. But the wisdom of the classics was also seen as non-utilitarian, without the practical application of such studies as mathematics and "mechanicks," and there was a persistent stream of antagonism to classical studies. The obvious tension between the desire to pattern American government after classical models and the need to cut the ties with the past of the Revolutionary period eventually led to disenchantment with the classical tradition and the abandonment of the search for parallels from antiquity prized by the Founding Fathers, the Federalists, and the Whigs.

In this first comprehensive study of the American classical heritage, Meyer Reinhold discusses the function of the classics in American society, their "use, misuse, and abuse," in a historical approach that details the diversity and uniqueness of American perceptions of antiquity.

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Book Description:

In this first comprehensive study of the American classical heritage, Meyer Reinhold discusses the function of the classics in American society, their "use, misuse, and abuse," in a historical approach that details the diversity and uniqueness of American

About the Author:

Meyer Reinhold, professor emeritus of classical studies and Byler Distinguished Professor at the University of Missouri, is currently Visiting University Professor of Classical Studies at Boston University. Among his many publications are Classics, Greek and Roman (1946); Roman Civilization (1951- 55); Classical Drama (1959); Past and Present: The Continuity of Classical Myths (1972); The Classick Pages: Classical Reading of Eighteenth-Century Americans (1975); Diaspora: The Jews Among the Greeks and Romans (1983).

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Reinhold, Meyer
Published by Wayne State University Press (1984)
ISBN 10: 0814317448 ISBN 13: 9780814317440
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Meyer Reinhold
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