Feminism and the Classics: Apollo and Dionyses, 1974, page 2

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other literature—centered disciplines, Classics is still by an% large
cemented in the Dark Ages of pure descriptive criticism. The more
modern trends in Archetypal, Conceptual and Thematic criticism have
only recently brushed across Classics, which still, like Art History,
ascribes to superstar, single author, single century and single dis-
cipline studies. Women have been in the vanguard of more contemporary

forms‘of criticism and have been tremendously effective in introducing

new and more holistic perspectives from which ancient literature can

.be_examined.._The works of Jacqueline de Romilly, Helen North, Jacque-

Tine Duchemin, Ann Lebeck, Mae Smethurst, Mary Lefkowitz, the womenls

‘issue of Arethusa, and many others, reflect this trend. I do hot

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intend to suggest that only women have this perspective, but that the

perspective itself is a feminist one. é
Classics has always had its own unique mystique and has been used

by countless civilizations, cultures and generations as the standard

by which contemporary institutions, people and moral codes aregjudged.

That 45C B.C. was the zenith of western (and some feel world)_Culture

has been bought to the extent that it is now, like the fiible, a common-

place. —Therefore, politicians, moral leaders and scholars alike have

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read_and interpreted the Classics in a manner reflective of contemporary

propaganda, social movements, economic issues, etc. For the Germans
the Greeks were Aryans whose gods later migrated west to initiate the
Renaissance. For Napoleon the Greeks were French. For Americans the

Greeks and Romans were Anglo Saxon pioneers with decidedly’ British

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