Geopolitical shifts and economic shocks, from the Early Modern period to the 21st century, are frequently represented in terms of classical antecedents. In this book, an international team of contributors - working across the disciplines of Classics, History, Politics, and English - addresses a range of revolutionary transformations, in England, America, France, Haiti, Greece, Italy, Russia, Germany, and a recently globalised world, all of which were accorded the classical treatment.

The chapters investigate discrete cases of classicising crisis, while the Introduction highlights patterns among them. The book asks: are classical equations a prized ideal, when evidence warrants, or linkages forced by an implacable will to power, or good faith attempts to make sense of events otherwise bafflingly unfamiliar and dangerous? Finally, do the events thus classicised retain, even increase, their power to disturb and energise, or are they ultimately contained?

Classicising Crisis: The Modern Age of Revolutions and the Greco-Roman Repertoire is essential reading for students and scholars of classics, classical reception, and political thought in Europe and the Americas.

chapter |18 pages


ByBarbara Goff, Michael Simpson

chapter 1|21 pages

‘Innovation’ and revolution in seventeenth-century England

ByRachel Foxley

chapter 2|15 pages

Classicising the American crisis, 1760–89

ByNicholas Cole

chapter 4|18 pages

The night of the statues

Revolution and classicism in Alejo Carpentier’s The Kingdom of this World
ByAdam Lecznar

chapter 5|19 pages

Classicising the woman question in nineteenth-century Greece

ByKaterina Kitsi-Mitakou, Vasiliki Misiou

chapter 6|19 pages

‘What’s the Roman Republic to me, or I to the Roman Republic?’

Victorian classicism and the Italian Risorgimento
ByIsobel Hurst

chapter 7|20 pages

Classics, crisis and the Soviet experiment to 1939

ByHenry Stead, Hanna Paulouskaya

chapter 8|20 pages

Seeking new classics in a crisis

Modernity as ancient history in German thought1
ByBenjamin Gray

chapter 9|18 pages

Of Minotaurs and macroeconomics

Greek myth and common currency
ByMichael Simpson