Classical Culture and the Idea of Rome in Eighteenth-Century England

Overview

This book is the first to look at the aristocratic adoption of Roman ideals in eighteenth-century English culture. In the century following the Revolution of 1688, the ruling class promoted—by way of its patronage—a classical frame of mind embracing all the arts, on the foundations of "liberty" and "civic virtue". Ayres' study shows that the propensity to adopt the self image of virtuous Romans was the attempt of a newly empowered oligarchy to dignify and vindicate itself by association with an idealized image of...

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Overview

This book is the first to look at the aristocratic adoption of Roman ideals in eighteenth-century English culture. In the century following the Revolution of 1688, the ruling class promoted—by way of its patronage—a classical frame of mind embracing all the arts, on the foundations of "liberty" and "civic virtue". Ayres' study shows that the propensity to adopt the self image of virtuous Romans was the attempt of a newly empowered oligarchy to dignify and vindicate itself by association with an idealized image of Republican Rome.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Review of the hardback: 'Classical Culture and the Idea of Rome in Eighteenth-Century England is an elegant book of just the right size that pays proportionate attention to the various aspects with the right amount of references and quotations. The aesthetic pleasure of a well produced book adds to the intellectual joy.' Mnemosyne

Review of the hardback: 'Extremely well researched and convincingly argued, this ambitious book is a very welcome addition to scholarship. The argument is clearly thought through.' Latomus

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521105798
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 3/19/2009
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 245
  • Sales rank: 1,053,569
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface; List of abbreviations; List of plates; 1. Oligarchy of virtue - liberty and the Roman analogy; Civic virtue and the Roman analogy; Literary personae: Pope, Swift, Johnson, Thomson, Fielding, Burke; 2. Virtue made visible - sensibility, sculpture, political gardens and temples; 3. Britannia Romana - Romano-British archaeology: pioneers; The Roman Knights and the recruitment of the aristocracy; Architect as archaeologist: Burlington; 4. Britannia Romana revived - architecture, collections, the numinous in landscape and house; 5. Beyond the mainstream: classical nostalgia and freethinking; Conclusion; Appendix: books on archaeology owned by Burlington: an annotated shelf-list; Bibliography; Notes; Index.

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