Every Year we try to build the collection to help our community in their research needs. This page will highlight new titles to our collection in the past year.
Circe by Madeline Miller#1 New York Times Bestseller " A bold and subversive retelling of the goddess's story, Circe manages to be both epic and intimate in its scope, recasting the most infamous female figure from the Odyssey as a hero in her own right." --- Alexandra Alter, New York Times In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child--not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power--the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves. Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus. But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love. With unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language and page-turning suspense, Circe is a triumph of storytelling, an intoxicating epic of family rivalry, palace intrigue, love and loss, as well as a celebration of indomitable female strength in a man's world.
S. P. Q. R. by Mary BeardAncient Rome was an imposing city even by modern standards, a sprawling imperial metropolis of more than a million inhabitants, a "mixture of luxury and filth, liberty and exploitation, civic pride and murderous civil war" that served as the seat of power for an empire that spanned from Spain to Syria. Yet how did all this emerge from what was once an insignificant village in central Italy? In S.P.Q.R., world-renowned classicist Mary Beard narrates the unprecedented rise of a civilization that even two thousand years later still shapes many of our most fundamental assumptions about power, citizenship, responsibility, political violence, empire, luxury, and beauty. From the foundational myth of Romulus and Remus to 212 ce—nearly a thousand years later—when the emperor Caracalla gave Roman citizenship to every free inhabitant of the empire, S.P.Q.R. (the abbreviation of "The Senate and People of Rome") examines not just how we think of ancient Rome but challenges the comfortable historical perspectives that have existed for centuries by exploring how the Romans thought of themselves: how they challenged the idea of imperial rule, how they responded to terrorism and revolution, and how they invented a new idea of citizenship and nation. Opening the book in 63 bce with the famous clash between the populist aristocrat Catiline and Cicero, the renowned politician and orator, Beard animates this “terrorist conspiracy,” which was aimed at the very heart of the Republic, demonstrating how this singular event would presage the struggle between democracy and autocracy that would come to define much of Rome’s subsequent history. Illustrating how a classical democracy yielded to a self-confident and self-critical empire, S.P.Q.R. reintroduces us, though in a wholly different way, to famous and familiar characters—Hannibal, Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, Augustus, and Nero, among others—while expanding the historical aperture to include those overlooked in traditional histories: the women, the slaves and ex-slaves, conspirators, and those on the losing side of Rome’s glorious conquests. Like the best detectives, Beard sifts fact from fiction, myth and propaganda from historical record, refusing either simple admiration or blanket condemnation. Far from being frozen in marble, Roman history, she shows, is constantly being revised and rewritten as our knowledge expands. Indeed, our perceptions of ancient Rome have changed dramatically over the last fifty years, and S.P.Q.R., with its nuanced attention to class inequality, democratic struggles, and the lives of entire groups of people omitted from the historical narrative for centuries, promises to shape our view of Roman history for decades to come.
Call Number: Stacks Level 4 - DG231 .B43 2015
Publication Date: 2015-11-09
Democracy by Paul CartledgeAncient Greece first coined the concept of "democracy," yet almost every major ancient Greek thinker - from Plato and Aristotle onwards - were ambivalent or even hostile to democracy in any form. The explanation is quite simple: the elite perceived majority power as tantamount to adictatorship of the proletariat.In ancient Greece there can be traced not only the rudiments of modern democratic society but the entire Western tradition of anti-democratic thought. In Democracy: A Life, Paul Cartledge provides a detailed history of this ancient political system. In addition, by drawing out the salientdifferences between ancient and modern forms of democracy he enables a richer understanding of both.Cartledge contends that there is no one "ancient Greek democracy" as pure and simple as is often believed. Democracy surveys the emergence and development of Greek politics, the invention of political theory, and - intimately connected to the latter - the birth of democracy, first at Athens in c.500 BCE and then at its greatest flourishing in the Greek world around 350 BCE. Cartledge then traces the decline of genuinely democratic Greek institutions at the hands of the Macedonians and - subsequently and decisively - the Romans. Authoritative and accessible, Democracy: A Life will beregarded as the best account of ancient democracy and its long afterlife.
The Measure of Homer by Richard HunterHomer was the greatest and most influential Greek poet. In this book, Richard Hunter explores central themes in the poems' reception in antiquity, paying particular attention to Homer's importance in shaping ancient culture. Subjects include the geographical and educational breadth of Homeric reception, the literary and theological influence of Homer's depiction of the gods, Homeric poetry and sympotic culture, scholarly and rhetorical approaches to Homer, Homer in the satires of Plutarch and Lucian, and how Homer shaped ideas about the power of music and song. This is a major and innovative contribution to the study of the dominant literary force in Greek culture and of the Greek literary engagement with the past. Through the study of their influence and reception, this book also sheds rich light on the Homeric poems themselves. All Greek and Latin are translated.
Call Number: Stacks Level 5 PA4037 .H958 2018
Publication Date: 2018-04-28
Mortal Republic by Edward J. WattsA new history of the Roman Republic and its collapse In Mortal Republic, prize-winning historian Edward J. Watts offers a new history of the fall of the Roman Republic that explains why Rome exchanged freedom for autocracy. For centuries, even as Rome grew into the Mediterranean's premier military and political power, its governing institutions, parliamentary rules, and political customs successfully fostered negotiation and compromise. By the 130s BC, however, Rome's leaders increasingly used these same tools to cynically pursue individual gain and obstruct their opponents. As the center decayed and dysfunction grew, arguments between politicians gave way to political violence in the streets. The stage was set for destructive civil wars--and ultimately the imperial reign of Augustus. The death of Rome's Republic was not inevitable. In Mortal Republic, Watts shows it died because it was allowed to, from thousands of small wounds inflicted by Romans who assumed that it would last forever.
Call Number: Stacks Level 4 - DG254.2 .W38 2018
Publication Date: 2018-11-06
The Making of the Odyssey by M. L. WestThe poet of the Odyssey was a seriously flawed genius. He had a wonderfully inventive imagination, a gift for pictorial detail and for introducing naturalistic elements into epic dialogue, and a grand architectural plan for the poem. He was also a slapdash artist, often copying verses from theIliad or from himself without close attention to their suitability. With various possible ways of telling the story bubbling up in his mind, he creates a narrative marked by constant inconsistency of detail. He is a fluent composer who delights in prolonging his tale with subsidiary episodes, yethis deployment of the epic language is often inept and sometimes simply unintelligible.The Making of the Odyssey is a penetrating study of the background, composition, and artistry of the Homeric Odyssey. Martin West places the poem in its late seventh-century context in relation to the Iliad and other poetry of the time. He also investigates the traditions that lie behind it: theorigins of the figure of Odysseus, and folk tales such as those of the One-eyed Ogre and the Husband's Return.