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A pathbreaking study of the role played by ancient Greek and Roman sources and voices in the struggle to abolish transatlantic slavery and in representations of that struggle in the twentieth century. Thirteen essays by an interdisciplinary team of specialists from three continents, led by the Centre for the Reception of Greece and Rome at Royal Holloway University of London, ask how both critics and defenders of slavery in media ranging from parliamentary speeches to poetry, fiction, drama, and cinema have summoned the ghosts of the ancient Spartans, Homer, Aristotle, Aeschylus, Pliny, Spartacus, and Prometheus to support their arguments.
About the Author
Edith Hall is Research Professor, Royal Holloway University of London.
Richard Alston is Professor of Roman History, Royal Holloway University of London.
Edith Hall is Research Professor, Royal Holloway University of London
Justine McConnell is Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Northwestern University.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: 'A Valuable Lesson', Edith Hall
2. The Good Master: Pliny, Hobbes, and the Nature of Freedom, Richard Alston
3. Appropriations of Spartan Helotage in British Antislavery Debates of the 1790s, Stephen Hodkinson & Edith Hall
4. The Influence of Classical Ideas on the Anti-Slavery Debate at the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa (1795-1834), John Hilton
5. A Stronger Muse: Classical Influences on Eighteenth-Century Abolitionist Poetry, Brycchan Carey
6. The Politics of Classicism in the Poetry of Phillis Wheatley, Emily Greenwood
7. Between Victimhood and Agency: Nydia the Slave in Bulwer's 'The Last Days of Pompeii', Leanne Hunnings
8. The Problem with Prometheus: Myth, Abolition, and Radicalism, Edith Hall
9. Recollecting Aristotle: Proslavery Thought in Antebellum America and the Argument of Politics Book I, S. Sara Monoson
10. The Auctoritas of Antiquity: Debating Slavery through Classical Exempla in the Antebellum USA, Margaret Malamud
11. Yankee She-Men and Octoroon Electra: Basil Lanneau Gildersleeve on Slavery, Race, and Abolition, David Lupher & Elizabeth Vandiver
12. Universal Slave Revolts: C.L.R. James' use of Classical Literature in 'The Black Jacobins', Lydia Langerwerf
13. Eumaeus and Eurycleia in the Deep South: Odyssean Slavery in 'Sommersby', Justine McConnell
Postscript: Slavery, Abolition, Modernity, and the Past, Ahuvia Kahane