Rewriting the Ancient World looks at how and why the ancient world, including not only the Greeks and Romans, but also Jews and Christians, has been rewritten in popular fictions of the modern world. The fascination that ancient society holds for later periods in the Western world is as noticeable in popular fiction as it is in other media, for there is a vast body of work either set in, or interacting with, classical models, themes and societies. These works of popular fiction encompass a very wide range of society, and the examination of the interaction between these books and the world of classics provides a fascinating study of both popular culture and example of classical reception.
Lisa Maurice, Ph.D. (2001) is senior lecturer at Bar-Ilan University in Israel. She is the author of
The Teacher in Ancient Rome: The Magister and His World (Lexington 2013), many articles, and editor of two more Brill Metaforms volumes.
Contributors are: Eran Almagor, Emily Chow-Kambitsch, Claudia Caia Julia Fratini,
Lily Glasner, Tal Ilan, Anat Koplowitz-Breier, Lisa Maurice, Haim Perlmutter, Amanda Potter, Anne Sinha, Hamish Williams, Dor Yacobi.
Acknowledgements List of Contributors
Introduction: The Ancient World and Popular Fiction Lisa Maurice
Part 1: Rewriting the Classics in Crime Fiction and Thrillers
From I, Claudius to Private Eyes: Rome and the Detective in Popular Fiction Lisa Maurice
A Roman and a Foreigner: Lindsey Davis’s New Roman Detective Series Anat Koplowitz-Breier
“An Open Account from the Past Always Needs to be Settled”: Chimaira (2001) / The Ancient Curse (2010) and Receiving the Past Claudia Fratini
Part 2: Rewriting the Ancient World in a Modern Setting
Going Home: Xenophon’s Anabasis in Sol Yurick’s The Warriors (1965) Eran Almagor
The Eagle and the Mockingjay: Reality Television as Roman Gladiator Culture Dor Yaccobi
“Atalanta Just Married”: A Case Study in Greek Mythology-Based Fan Fiction Amanda Potter
Part 3: Rewriting Myths of Classical Literature
The Loves of Achilles: From Epic to Popular Fiction Anne Sinha
“Home Is Behind, The World Ahead”: Reading Tolkien’s The Hobbit as a Story of Xenia or Homeric Hospitality Hamish Williams
Cupid and Psyche: A Love Story (?) in Comics and Children’s Literature Lily Glasner
Part 4: Rewriting Jews and Christians in the Ancient World
Sadducee and Pharisee in “The Antagonists” by E.K. Gann Haim Perlmutter
Emotion and Reception of the Ancient World in Lew Wallace’s Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1880) Emily Chow-Kambitsch
Jewish Women Writing Historical Novels Based on Rabbinic Sources Tal Ilan
Some Concluding Thoughts Index
All interested in Classical Reception Studies, comparative literature, historical fiction or wider popular fiction. Also academic libraries, institutes, graduate students, undergraduate students and educated laymen.