The previous chapter examined, among other things, the growing historical sensibility that informs current sociology's treatment of the classics. In this chapter, I will be summarizing and augmenting another body of literature that is also highly historical in orientation. Essentially, it deals with two related questions. How did the specific body of texts that we today call “classic” come to be recognized as such? And, further, why did some texts achieve that status while others did not? To find answers, we must look at classicality not merely as a function of particular works but as a dialectic in which the text, its evaluation and re-evaluation define what is exemplary.