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Chapter 28 of The Cambridge Companion to Sappho examines the Anglophone receptions of Sappho’s poetry in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, examining figures such as Harriette Andreadis, Margaret Goldsmith, Lawrence Durrell, Peter Green, Denys Page, Erica Jong, Michael Field (Katharine Bradley/Edith Cooper), Richard Aldington, Ezra Pound, H.D., Mary Barnard, Jeannette Winterson, Judy Grahn, Anne Carson, Josephine Balmer, and Diane Rayor.
Does the discipline of classical reception studies shirk questions of distinctiveness and value? Such is the gauntlet thrown down by Michael Silk, Ingo Gildenhard, and Rosemary Barrow in their 2014 magnum opus, The Classical Tradition. Full consideration of this important work must be reserved for a later issue. It is nonetheless worth rehearsing its opening distinction between ‘the classical tradition’ and ‘reception’, since thinking about it has informed our reading of a number of the books reviewed below.
The first title in this issue's batch of classical reception publications sees Lucy Pollard take us on an engaging and colourful tour of early modern travellers' experiences in Greece and the Levant. This area of scholarship is well trodden, and many readers will be familiar with David Constantine's Early Greek Travellers and the Hellenic Ideal (1984); but Pollard brings new material to bear by her extensive use of the unpublished diaries of John Covel, the Cambridge scholar and minister who served as chaplain to the Levant Company in Constantinople in the 1670s. These are supplemented with accounts of other seventeenth-century travellers such as George Wheler and Paul Rycaut. Successive chapters cover the logistics of travel, scholarly and archaeological approaches, and perceptions of Greeks and Turks. Pollard tends to let her sources speak for themselves; her arguments about the emergence of a ‘proto-archaeological’ approach to antiquities in the last third of the century, about the importance of perceived religious affinities between Anglican travellers and Orthodox Greeks, and about admiration of the Ottomans as a model for empire are interesting, but made with a light touch. Above all, this provides us with a richly detailed survey of the experiences, challenges, and preoccupations of early modern Englishmen travelling east.
It might seem unduly cautious to consider reception as still an ‘emerging’ sub-discipline within Classics, but a selection of publications from recent years provides evidence of its continuous development and diversification. Edited volumes (the preferred format in reception studies’ infancy) are still very much in evidence, but, as this subject review indicates, an increasing number of monographs bear witness to the confidence and rigour of new work in the field.
The ancient Greek historian Thucydides has had an enormous impact on modern historiography, political theory, international relations and strategic studies, but this influence has never been properly studied. This book brings together leading scholars from a range of disciplines to explore the different facets of Thucydides' modern reception and influence, from the birth of political theory in Renaissance Europe to the rise of scientific history in nineteenth-century Germany and the triumph of 'realism' in twentieth-century international relations theory. Its chapters consider the different national and disciplinary traditions of reading and citing Thucydides, but also highlight common themes and questions; in particular, the variety of images of the historian produced by his modern readers: the scientific historian or the artful rhetorician, the brilliant analyst of society and politics or the great narrator of political and military events, the man of experience and affairs or the man of contemplation and reflection.
The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility of dignity therapy for the frail elderly.
Participants were recruited from personal care units contained within a large rehabilitation and long-term care facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Two groups of participants were identified; residents who were cognitively able to directly take part in dignity therapy, and residents who, because of cognitive impairment, required that family member(s) take part in dignity therapy on their behalf. Qualitative and quantitative methods were applied in determining responses to dignity therapy from direct participants, proxy participants, and healthcare providers (HCPs).
Twelve cognitively intact residents completed dignity therapy; 11 cognitively impaired residents were represented in the study by way of family member proxies. The majority of cognitively intact residents found dignity therapy to be helpful; the majority of proxy participants indicated that dignity therapy would be helpful to them and their families. In both groups, HCPs reported the benefits of dignity therapy in terms of changing the way they perceived the resident, teaching them things about the resident they did not previously know; the vast majority indicated that they would recommend it for other residents and their families.
Significance of results:
This study introduces evidence that dignity therapy has a role to play among the frail elderly. It also suggests that whether residents take part directly or by way of family proxies, the acquired benefits—and the effects on healthcare staff—make this area one meriting further study.
As Vout (2006) has recently reminded us in this journal, Johann Joachim Winckelmann's History of the art of antiquity (Geschichte der Kunst des Alterthums, 1st ed. 1764) is widely considered to be a foundational text in the history of art. Advertising itself as the first ‘systematic’ account of ancient art in relation to its geographical, social and political circumstances, Winckelmann filled out the well-known Plinian chronology of artists with a new analysis in terms of a succession of period styles, providing a satisfyingly scientific justification for the preference his contemporaries were beginning to accord to the art of the Greeks. Small wonder then that the book was lauded as a classic as soon as it appeared in Germany and was quickly translated into French and Italian. Nevertheless, it is also hardly surprising that this text, which promised nothing less than a ‘new paradigm’ for the study of antique culture, has always presented problems to its readers. These are partly caused by its magnitude of ambition. Titled, first and foremost, a ‘history’, Winckelmann's magnum opus in fact attempts to be many things: part systematic exploration of the social and physical factors that condition the development of all art; part impassioned disquisition on the essence of beauty; part antiquarian catalogue of the greatest surviving works of Greek and Roman art; part manual of aesthetic taste for aspiring contemporary artists. Few books since Winckelmann's History can have combined bold claims about their importance as historical scholarship with detailed instructions on how to draw a perfectly beautiful face.
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