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Modern Prejudice

M.I. Finley, 2 December 1982

Blood for the Ghosts: Classical Influences in the 19th and 20th Centuries 
by Hugh Lloyd-Jones.
Duckworth, 312 pp., £24, May 1982, 0 7156 1500 9
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Classical Survivals: The Classics in the Modern World 
by Hugh Lloyd-Jones.
Duckworth, 184 pp., £18, May 1982, 0 7156 1517 3
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History of Classical Scholarship 
by U. von Wilamowitz-Moellendorf, edited by Hugh Lloyd-Jones, translated by Alan Harris.
Duckworth, 189 pp., £18, February 1982, 0 7156 0976 9
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... Of the 53 short essays, book reviews, lectures and obituaries assembled in Hugh Lloyd-Jones’s two volumes, two were published in the year before he assumed the Regius Professorship of Greek in the University of Oxford, one was his Inaugural Lecture of 1960, and the remainder were written subsequently. I say this not as a prelude to yet another bad joke about ‘the other place’ but because it is impossible to appreciate the two volumes without some understanding of the course of Classical studies in 20th-century Britain and of the author’s role in them ...


M.I. Finley, 22 December 1983

Death and Renewal. Sociological Studies in Roman History: Vol. II 
by Keith Hopkins.
Cambridge, 276 pp., £19.50, May 1983, 0 521 24991 0
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... was de facto, not de jure: there were no hereditary titles, no peerage in the formal sense. The main offices of state, in which there was no distinction between civilian and military posts, were monopolised by the aristocracy, except when they themselves sponsored ‘new men’ for admission, the most famous, or at least the most self-advertised, of whom ...

Slaves and Citizens

Jon Elster, 3 June 1982

Ancient Slavery and Modern Ideology 
by M.I. Finley.
Chatto, 202 pp., £10, June 1980, 0 7011 2510 1
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Economy and Society in Ancient Greece 
by M.I. Finley.
Chatto, 326 pp., £15, April 1981, 0 7011 2549 7
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The Legacy of Greece: A New Appraisal 
edited by M.I. Finley.
Oxford, 479 pp., £8.95, August 1981, 0 19 821915 6
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... years ago, in the course of reading up the history of technology, I came across an article by M.I. Finley, of whom I then knew nothing, on ‘Technical Innovation and Economic Progress in the Ancient World’, reprinted in his essays on Economy and Society in Ancient Greece. Looking up my notes, and rereading the article today, I now see that I missed most of ...

Qui êtes-vous, Sir Moses?

C.R. Whittaker, 6 March 1986

Ancient History: Evidence and Models 
by M.I. Finley.
Chatto, 131 pp., £12.95, September 1985, 0 7011 3003 2
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... write the biography of a friend you must do it as if you were taking revenge for him.’ Sir Moses Finley has been my teacher, colleague and friend for close on twenty years, and while I am not intent on taking revenge on his behalf, I can’t claim to be able to write dispassionately about his work, on the occasion of the publication of his new book, Ancient ...

Speaking up for Latin and Greek

Mary Beard, 9 May 1991

Changes in the Roman Empire: Essays in the Ordinary 
by Ramsay MacMullen.
Princeton, 399 pp., $35, December 1990, 0 691 03601 2
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... Twenty-five years ago M.I. Finley made a plea in the TLS for ‘unfreezing the Classics’. The discipline of ancient history, he argued, was in crisis: submerged in the stultifying traditions of old-fashioned Classical philology, cut off from dialogue with ‘proper’ history, political science and sociology, it was no longer part of any wider cultural debate ...

Defence of poetry

Hugh Lloyd-Jones, 3 July 1980

Enemies of Poetry 
by W.B. Stanford.
Routledge, 181 pp., £8.95, February 1980, 0 7100 0460 5
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The Idea of a Theatre: the Greek Experience 
by M.I. Finley.
British Museum, 16 pp., £95, February 1980, 0 7141 1267 4
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... theatre, in a handsomely illustrated pamphlet which gives amazing value for its price, Sir Moses Finley also protests against historicist depreciation of poetry. ‘It is currently fashionable among some classical scholars in this country,’ he writes, ‘including some of the most highly reputed, to underrate, and even denigrate, the content of the ...

Odysseus One, Oligarchs Nil

Michael Kulikowski: Class in Archaic Greece, 20 March 2014

Class in Archaic Greece 
by Peter Rose.
Cambridge, 439 pp., £70, December 2012, 978 0 521 76876 4
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... tacitly adhering instead to the Weberian understanding of ancient economic life advocated by M.I. Finley, rather than the insights of G.E.M. de Ste Croix’s The Class Struggle in the Ancient Greek World (1981). That masterpiece is a touchstone for Peter Rose, who like de Ste Croix insists that the formation of the state apparatus in the early Greek polis and ...

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