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 ... read moreand 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.
Reading the Roman Republic. -- "The attaining of humane learning": education and Roman history -- Editions and translations: the publishing and circulation of Roman history -- Evidence of reading: catalogues and inventories -- Evidence of reading: commonplace books, notebooks and marginalia -- Re-imagining Rome. -- From Pharsalus to Philippi: stories of Pompey and Caesar -- "You are his heirs": Antony, Octavian and Cleopatra after the ides -- Caesar Augustus: "how happely he governed"? -- Conclusion. "[A]nother Rome in the West?"
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