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Classics in ProgressEssays on Ancient Greece and Rome$
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T. P. Wiseman

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780197263235

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197263235.001.0001

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New texts and old theories

New texts and old theories

(p.38) (p.39) 3 New texts and old theories
Classics in Progress

Peter Parsons

British Academy

This chapter describes how the concept of ‘classical’ changes over time by the discovery of new texts. Renaissance scholars collected and printed what they could find. Yet returns soon diminished; and the new science of archaeology could apparently do little to help. However, it gradually became apparent that the cities of the Egyptian Greeks preserved in quantity original books and documents in a way not possible in their motherland. And in one aspect, the papyri are an epiphenomenon of Hellenistic and Roman culture. The twentieth century added to the stock of Greek and Latin literature, slowly and piecemeal. Such finds reminds one how much is lost, and how here and there the lost may be found: new pleasures, new contexts, new interpretations, and new blood for the Classics.

Keywords:   Egypt, Greek immigrants, papyrus, Classics, Renaissance

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