Anti-Classicism in Imperial Greece: The Idea of the Archaic


ACLS Fellowship Program


Classical Studies

Named Award

ACLS Barrington Foundation Centennial Fellow named award


Greek culture under the High Roman Empire (27 BCE–235 CE) is known for its ‘classicism’, the admiration for the art, literature, and intellectual achievements of a notionally ‘classical’ era (c. 800–323 BCE), all of which were felt to reflect a set of idealized abstract qualities (e.g., moderation, clarity, harmony, and order) eminently worthy of imitation. My project, however, identifies and investigates a series of non-classical values, that I term ‘archaic’, because they are not only conceived of as anti- but also pre-classical. By showing how Imperial Greek authors deploy notions of the ‘archaic’ to criticize the more normative strictures of the classicizing paradigm, my work aims to reach a more nuanced understanding of how Imperial Greeks interacted with their literary heritage and their history.