Classics and Religious Studies


Date of this Version



Published in Prairie Schooner 50 (Winter, 1976), p. 275. Copyright 1977 University of Nebraska Press. Used by permission.


C. R. Beye, Ancient Greek Literature and Society, Anchor, 1975.

The book attempts a synthesis of several areas: the Homeric (a recap of Beyeʹs earlier Iliad, Odyssey and Epic Tradition, with some other material), forty pages of good background material on fifth‐century Athens, Herodotus and Thucydides, Tragedy (including Euripides), Comedy (also including Euripides. Justly, I think), and, for the sake of the contrast, Professor Beye includes the Alexandrian literature, a good choice. Plato, though aptly fitted into the warp of the warp and woof of fifth‐century Athens, is otherwise deliberately omitted, another good choice. The Attic Orators are also consciously omitted, dismissed as fodder for a very few afficionados of good prose—a bad choice for a book dealing with the society.

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