The contemporary study of classical antiquity is always hard pressed, both on and off campuses. Smartphones and social media war with literature and history. Continuing stagnant university enrollments, political correctness, a perennially tight job market, and new financial pressures on colleges crowd out and discourage formal study of the ancient world.

Classics needs all the friends it can get.

So it is ostensibly good news that the well-known screenwriter and octogenarian essayist Frederic Raphael offers Antiquity Matters to encourage and excite those uninitiated in the richness of the ancient world:

Antiquity Matters is more a montage than any kind of a textbook. If it serves the readers as a primer, in the sense of both a place to start from and what might cause an...


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