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In this "magnificent book" (T. S. Eliot), Ernst Robert Curtius (1886-1956), one of the foremost literary scholars of this century, examines the continuity of European literature from Homer to Goethe, with particular emphasis on the Latin Middle Ages. In an extensive new epilogue, drawing on hitherto unpublished material, Peter Godman analyzes the intellectual and political context and character of Curtius's ideas.
"We have in [this work] a vast store of significant learning, and many new and important insights into the humane literary heritage and its precarious transmission."—Francis Fergusson, The Hudson Review
"A balanced introduction to Curtius studies, putting this masterpiece in context as the work of a German academic 'mandarin' whom family history, character, and intellectual training made an advocate for an elite European cultural cosmopolitanism."—Sixteenth Century Journal