A sharp, often surprising, view of the classical world by a major classics scholar at Cambridge and author of The Glittering Prizes
This book is the culmination of more than sixty years of a writing life during which Frederic Raphael has returned again and again to the literature and landscape of the ancient world. In his new book, Raphael deploys his renowned wit and erudition to give us a vivid mosaic of the complexities and contradictions underlying Western civilization and its continuing influence upon contemporary society. Tackling a broad range of topics, from the presumed superiority of democracy to the momentum behind today's gay rights movement, Raphael's often daringly heterodox view of the Greek and Roman world will provoke, surprise, and, at the same time, entertain readers. He shows how the interplay of fiction and reality, rhetorical aspiration and practical cunning, are threaded through modern culture.