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: The Classical Tradition: Greek and Roman Influences on Western Literature (): Gilbert Highet: Books. Gilbert Highet. Oxford University Press and Stella, is not discussed. Otherwise, Highet comprehensively surveys the classical tradition in later Western thought. The Classical Tradition has 90 ratings and 14 reviews. This landmark book will you please provide a full ecopy of the Classical tradition of Gilbert highet?.

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Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. This landmark book explores the ways in which the Greco-Roman tradition has shaped hithet European and American literature. Paperbackpages. Greek and Roman Influences on Western Literature. To see what your friends thought of this cclassical, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Classical Traditionplease sign up. See 1 question about The Classical Tradition….

The Classical Tradition: Greek and Roman Influences on Western Literature

Lists with This Book. Oct 08, David Withun rated it really liked it Shelves: You will have to stop reacting to some archaic social values of the author to start appreciating and learning from the text. The juxtaposition is all to clear: There is some sympathetic treatment of women, but generally education is reserved for boys. There are some reservations and You will have to stop reacting to some archaic social values of the author to start appreciating and learning from the text.

There are some reservations and empathy, but homosexuality is perversion etc. In or earlier? The sheer number of artists “produced” by their era, country, society as well as periods and communities “not capable of producing any” etc. It is fine to treat artists, even the greatest ones, as humans with all the corresponding faults, whims and the like; but sometimes the approach seems to be somewhat excessively judgemental and ad hominem while, to be sure, still somehow always manages to remain respectful and probably fair.

Nevertheless it’s a great book with a huge scope and a staggeringly rich source of information. GH is very particular about clear writing uncluttered by footnotes and scientific layering as well as uncontaminated by professional jargon. In short, here is stimulating, edifying, but enjoyable and very accessible reading.

Sometimes the author is even drawn into the poetic realms – which is probably inevitable giving the subject matter – and soars among lofty metaphors and thrilling dramatic allegories.

The Classical Tradition

Especially gratifying is the treatment of the most modern literature at the time; there is still some bafflement in GH’s analysis of “Ulysses”, delightful respectfulness and light polemic with the living T. Eliot and some more such stuff. Jun 18, Michael rated it it was amazing.

An absolutely intoxicating ride. I quickly ordered several other Highet books coming off of the high. Only the chapter on Modernism slightly disappointed me. May 06, Al rated it it was amazing Shelves: Amazing text on the foundations of western civilization as taught through Greek and Roman philosophy and education. The book is designed to trace the history of thought and provide the modern student an opportunity to be educated in the classical manner by pursuing a classical education through reading and philosophy.

Aug 11, Lillian Chen rated it it was amazing. Jul 31, Andrew Fairweather rated it really liked it Shelves: Gilbert Highet’s ‘The Classical Tradition’ gives its reader a thorough walk through of the parts that Grecco-Roman classics have played in the Western Literary Tradition.

Beyond this, it is a reminder of how the classics of any intellectual tradition, really may function to inspire contemporary works of art, serving to lend a richer understanding of our world. As any author who is enthusiastic about their subject, Highet’s book can read like a conversation of someone who is ultra-caffeinated! Facts, names, dates spurt out from out of nowhere, works are cross examined to no end.


It all makes from some very less-than-casual reading, so beware, you may want to devote some extra special time to this one. I am neither a student, nor a scholar, thankyouverymuch He did not name Guido, any more than Guido named Bennoit! William Caxton turned this into English inand his version together with Chaucer’s poems and Chapman’s Homer—is probably the source of Shakespeare’s ‘Triolus and Cressida’.

Shakespeare’s bitter play is therefore a dramatization of part of a translation in English of the French translation of a Latin imitation of an old French expansion of a Latin epitome of a Greek romance. Still, in this fascinating labyrinth of literary history, the casual reader with a healthy interest in TCT’s subject can’t help but read on.

Enticed by Highet’s impressive mastery of his subject, charmed by his sense of humor, we can’t help but feel a shade of relief at some of the old masters rudimentary grasp of the old texts, which proves to make our own seem, if not less insensible, to at least draw strength from miserable company This must be one of the most drastic punishments for mistranslations ever recorded.

There is, of course, a good way and a bad way of using the classics—indeed, the classics have been used to trump up mediocrity for ages When Shakespeare’s characters speak, only the pedants quote: Who else but Shelley could capture the spirit and energy of Aeschylus!? So, while this work might not reach the truly inspired heights of Jaeger’s ‘Paideia’, it is inspired nonetheless.

TCT is a remarkable survey of Western Literature. Jul 14, Will rated it it was ok.

The Classical Tradition – Gilbert Highet; Harold Bloom – Oxford University Press

Stanley Casson killed in used to say that the present tracition reminded him of one of the latest Roman poets, Sidonius Apollinaris — a Gallic noble who became bishop of Clermont. Sidonius spent classica, years A. The letters, “Whether those days of free exchange of knowledge clqssical men of learning in hkghet countries will return within the next few centuries seems doubtful.

The letters, which are bright and interesting, somehow survived the many centuries of savagery, massacre, gang-rule, and primitivism which followed his death. The odd thing is that Sidonius did not foresee those centuries, or anything like them: Every now and then he mentioned that a woman had been carried off by outlaws and sold, or described a half-civilized northern barbarian potentate who was more powerful than any Roman.

But he did not understand that the barbarians and the outlaws were going to become more and more numerous and powerful; that the rich civilized cities were going to be attacked and destroyed in repeated wars and invasions; that the trades-routes would be broken, and remain broken for centuries; that the map was not rearranging its colors, but breaking up into isolated fragments; that law, and science, and philosophy, and cultivated codes of behavior, and of course the treasures of literature and art which he himself loved, were about tradirion dissolve, most of them apparently for ever, some to survive in gross transformations half-understood, some to be preserved in monasteries like the relics of dormant seeds, gilebrt become alive only highwt they were restored to the light, hundreds of years later.

Are these shadows on so many of our horizons the outriders of another long night, like that which was closing in upon Sidonius? We cannot yet tell. But modern scholars must regret that they have to work during a time when, instead tradituon that generous supra-national comradeship which helped to build the learning and culture of the sixteenth hihet nineteenth centuries, it is becoming more and more classival to exchange opinions across the world, to bring from distant countries books where new and vital points of view are freely expressed, to carry on many-sided correspondences with far-off scholars and encounter no difficulties other than those involved hhe the common search for truth, and to feel oneself part of a world-wide structure of art and learning, greater than all the things that divide mankind: Aug 19, Christian V rated it it was amazing.

A very enlightening book. A sweeping, bird’s eye view tracing the currents, cross-currents and influences of ancient Greek and Roman literature through the centuries, from the Dark Ages to the early twentieth. Professor Highet transmits a luminous passion and offers a breathtaking range of insights into the ways in which the classics are profoundly embedded in every aspect of Western literature.


For instance, how in the Renaissance the simple act of translating Homer’s Iliad, Vergil’s Aeneid, Ovid’s Metamorphoses or Cicero’s speeches brought a flood of linguistic elements into the English, French and Spanish vernaculars, elements which we use in every sentence we utter today. This may be common knowledge, but the intricacy of influences as laid out by the author is certainly not.

He describes how Greek and Latin were so big in their heft of thought and idea that translators had no choice but to stretch their own language just to make room, enriching their vernaculars by light years in the process. He tells of the many ways in which tragedy, satire, epic, ode, pastoral,lyric poetry were emulated and imitated but rarely surpassed their ancient originals. He goes into stunning detail about how Shakespeare, Rabelais, Montaigne, Milton, Wordsworth, Keats, Shelley, Byron, Hugo, Goethe and others each had their favorites among the ancients and incorporated them in various and subtle ways, always walking a fine line between enrichment and mere imitation.

Shakespeare loved Seneca and Travition, and lifted the storylines of several of his historical plays from Sir Thomas North’s translation of Plutarch’s Lives, but infused them with an unparalleled vibrancy. Highet portrays Shakespeare as not as learned in Latin and Greek as one would have thought, pointing out instead hhe it was his sheer linguistic inventiveness and brilliance that brought anything he did learn to life. I would have loved to hear one of Gilbert Highet’s lectures, apparently his students were transfixed by his performances in the lecture hall.

classixal He makes you want to set yourself the task of learning both Greek and Latin, just for its own sake. At one point he tells of how Tolstoy “began to learn Greek at forty-two Jun 24, Colin rated it it was amazing Shelves: I read this on my Kindle.

This magisterial opus attempts to provide some framework for understanding the massive influence of Greek and Latin literature on later Western literature, from the fall of Rome up to fairly modern times. It is a tremendous undertaking, not to be undertaken lightly, and it is to be expected, perhaps, that any author would fall short. Sometimes Highet does fall short, but only sometimes, and often, in my opinion, because his prose style te not as polished as that of th I read this on my Kindle.

Sometimes Highet does fall short, but only sometimes, and often, in my opinion, because his dlassical style is not as polished as that of the great classical authors about whom he writes. I would recommend this for any apologist for classics, and for any student of Western literature who does not feel that they adequately understand the debt to Greece and Rome.

Apr 27, J. Guapster rated it it was amazing Shelves: Best overview of western lit I have ever read. Highet’s clear writing style allows him to condense a massive amount of information into short chapters. Makes a nice read of literary history from cover to cover and then serves highhet an invaluable reference. Definitely a book one wants to keep forever.

Allusion to prior writers is a big part of great literature. Until I read Highet, I did not realize how much I was missing out on. I’m surprised this book was not assigned in any of my college literatu Best overview of western lit I have ever read. I’m surprised this book was not assigned in any of my college literature courses.

It should have been. Sep 09, David Allsopp rated it it was amazing.