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Freyja Cox Jensen

Placing the reading of history in its cultural and educational context, and examining the processes by which ideas about ancient Rome circulated, this study provides the first assessment of the significance of Roman history, broadly conceived, in early modern England. The existing scholarship, preoccupied with republicanism in the decades before the Civil Wars, and focusing on the major drama of the period, has distorted our understanding of what ancient history really meant to early modern readers. This study articulates the connections between the history of education, reading and writing, and challenges the schools of historical thought which associate a particular classical source with one set of readings; here, for the first time, is an in-depth analysis of the role of Roman history in creating an English latinate culture which encompassed far wider debates and ideas than the purely political.