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The Classical Tradition


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Table of Contents

Foreword Preface Abbreviations Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 2: The Dark Ages: English Literature Chapter 3: The Middle Ages: French Literature Chapter 4: Dante and Pagan Antiquity Chapter 5: Towards the Renaissance: Petrarch, Boccaccio, Chaucer Chapter 6: The Renaissance: Translation Chapter 7: The Renaissance: Drama Chapter 8: The Renaissance: Epic Chapter 9: The Renaissance: Pastoral and Romance Chapter 10: Rabelais and Montaigne Chapter 11: Shakespeare Chapter 12: The Renaissance and Afterwards: Lyric Poetry Chapter 13: Transition Chapter 14: The Battle of the Books Chapter 15: A Note on Baroque

About the Author

Gilbert Highet (1906-1978) was Professor of Greek and Latin and Anthon Professor of Latin Language and Literature at Columbia University. Harold Bloom is Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University.


"Solidly grounded and solidly built...[Highet] deals with every period, every movement, every individual, and every separate work as an interesting special case for which he tries to find the special explanation."--The New Yorker "An excellent outline...[an] intelligent, erudite, perceptive interpretation...a book for the times."--The Nation "It is Highet's appreciate of good literature...which gives a special charm to his book...[It] will be read with gratitude by many."--Times Literary Supplement "Having reread Gilbert Highet's The Classical Tradition, I am once again under its spell. The book, like Curtius' European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages, is a monument to a certain moment of mid-20th-century classicism, deeply humane, fundamentally conservative, committed to putting back together what seemed like the shattered pieces of Western civilization in the wake of Nazi barbarism. It is its vast scope, its capacious overview, that gives it its power."--Stephen Greenblatt, Harvard University "More than sixty years after Gilbert Highet's book first appeared, it remains the best single guide to the whole afterlife of Greek and Latin literature. The Classical Tradition does full justice to the complexity of this millenial story: Highet shows us both how ancient books shaped later readers, and how medieval and modern writers used classical elements to build their own, distinctive literatures. Learned, epigrammatic, and humanely opinionated, Highet's book is as readable as it is comprehensive."--Anthony Grafton, Princeton University

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