Sign in  |  Register

The New Criterion

The New Criterion is probably more consistently worth reading than any other magazine in English.
- The Times Literary Supplement

Features

February 1997

Possessing the golden key

by John Herington

The sixth in a series on “The future of the European past,”

Prelude: decline & fall

Students of the ancient classics have this in common with fishermen: they are often to be overheard lamenting the much bigger one that got away—the loss, long ago, of entire literary genres, or of once-famous masterpieces like Aeschylus’s tragic trilogy on Achilles and Patroklos, or Ennius’s thunderous epic on the history of Rome. More than the students of most other subjects, they are forced to be constantly aware of the appalling fragility of culture. There are reminders at every turn, even if one is only faced with a mutilated sentence in a poem or with a gap in a temple frieze, of how much was lost and the way it was lost, whether through indifference or ignorance or deliberate malice. Hence it seems reasonable, before speculating on the future of the classical component in the European past, to consider ...

This article is available to subscribers and for individual purchase

Subscribe to TNC (Print and Online editions)

Subscribe to TNC (Online only)

Purchase article credit and clip this article

If you already have an account login first

John Herington


more from this author

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 15 February 1997, on page 4

Copyright © 2014 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.com

http://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/Possessing-the-golden-key-3383

E-mail to friend


The New Criterion

By the author

Losing Virgil

by John Herington

Review of Virgil in English edited by K. W. Gransden

Davenport's pleiad

by John Herington

On Seven Greeks: Archilochos, Sappho, Alkman, Anakreon, Herakleitos, Diogenes, Herondas edited by Guy Davenport, New Directions, 241 pages, $16.95.

Apologies for the ancients

by John Herington

A review of The Norton Book of Classical Literature edited by Bernard Knox.

You might also enjoy

The second assassin

by Edward Jay Epstein

Was JFK killed because America planned to assassinate Castro?

Team players

by Denis Donoghue

On Shakespeare's collaborations with other writers

All in the family

by Bruce Bawer

On the life and work of Marianne Moore

Most popular

view more >

Subscribe to our newsletter!

* indicates required

Webcasts

Introduction to The Kennedy Phenomenon
Roger Kimball introduces The Kennedy Phenomenon, a conference presented by The New Criterion on Tuesday, November 19.


The Kennedy Phenomenon: "Watching the Kennedy Train-Wreck"
Roger Kimball reads Peter Collier’s paper on oft-overlooked unsavory details of the Kennedys' lives. Much of the paper is drawn from Collier’s book, coauthored with David Horowitz, The Kennedys: An American Drama.


The Kennedy Phenomenon: "The Many Misjudgments of Richard Hofstadter"
Fred Siegel discusses his new book The Revolt against the Masses and the myriad oversights of the historian Richard Hofstadter.