Andrew Reeves: "A really, really good sign that someone has read neither Thucydides, Tacitus, Homer, nor Plato is when that person talks about how Greek and Roman literature teach us about the Greatness of the West...
...Much of Tacitus could be summed up as, "Are we the baddies?" Thucydides is about the failure of the poleis and the community of Hellenes. Plato spends much of his time picking apart Athenian society and institutions. And Homer (which I love) is violent and nearly amoral. "Why don't we teach The Greatness of Rome anymore?" I mean, sure, the Bible refers to Rome as a dragon with seven heads and Roman literature itself is deeply ambiguous about what Empire did to the culture and character of Rome, but by all means, let's do a sanitized Rome. I mean, sure, maybe Thucydides was a "leftist postmodernist" for outlining the faults and failures of Athenian leadership. Plato didn't cheer for Athens; he thought it was terrible for having killed his beloved mentor.
When publishers of journals whose names rhyme with Gillette talk about ancient literature, the main thing they reveal is that they haven't read any. This has been your rant from someone whose happiest undergrad classroom memories are from learning Ancient Greek.
#shouldread #publicsphere #orange-hairedbaboons