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Publishers Weekly, 1994-01-10 Eminent classicist Knox mines history for insights into the renewal of cultural traditions in this miscellany of 18 previously published essays, reviews and lectures. In a panoramic survey of ``the Athenian century'' (fifth century B.C.), he assesses the achievements of Greek democracy. In another piece Knox ( The Oldest Dead White European Males ) muses on the Achilles of Homer's Iliad , whose stubborn attachment to an ideal image of self was his downfall. There is an engaging essay on Roman poet Ovid's fruitful exile afer emperor Augustus banished him to what is now Romania, and a meditation on how Plato, Socrates and Sophocles answered the question, ``How shall we live?'' Knox gauges modern encounters with classical tradition, such as T. E. Lawrence's immersion in Greek literature and philosophy, refracted through his travels in Arabia, and Derek Walcott's epic poem Omeros , which appropriates Homeric tradition to tell the saga of villagers in his native Caribbean island of St. Lucia. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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