Classics: A Very Short Introduction
Mary Beard and John Henderson
A short, but clever little book co-written by one of my favorite writers, Mary Beard. This is not really an overview of the substance of “Classics” (i.e. the works of the ancient world). Rather, it is an overview of the way we think about the ancient world and how that understanding has changed with time. She cleverly uses the temple at Bassae to investigate how we use the ancient world to understand our world, and the world of our forefathers for the Temple of Basse is one thing in ancient Greece, another in the Victorian era, and something else in the world today.
If you’re looking for an overview of the ancient world, you might be disappointed. If you’re looking for a history of classics, you won’t find one here. But if you’re interested in thinking about how we think about the ancient world, this little book is for you.
Recommended for the enthusiast.