Classics and Irish Politics, 1916-2016

Isabelle Torrance (Editor), Donncha O'Rourke (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Abstract / Description of output

This collection addresses how models from ancient Greece and Rome have permeated Irish political discourse in the century since 1916. The 1916 Easter Rising, when Irish nationalists rose up against British imperial forces, became almost instantly mythologized in Irish political memory as a turning point in the nation's history that paved the way for Irish independence. Its centenary has provided a natural point for reflection on Irish politics, and this volume highlights an unexplored element in Irish political discourse, namely its frequent reliance on, reference to, and tensions with classical Greek and Roman models. Topics covered include the reception and rejection of classical culture in Ireland; the politics of Irish language engagement with Greek and Roman models; the intersection of Irish literature with scholarship in Classics and Celtic Studies; the use of classical referents to articulate political inequalities across gender, sexual, and class hierarchies; meditations on the Northern Irish conflict through classical literature; and the political implications of neoclassical material culture in Irish society. As the only country colonized by Britain with a pre-existing indigenous heritage of expertise in classical languages and literature, postcolonial Ireland represents a unique case in the field of classical reception. This book opens a window on a rich and varied dialogue between significant figures in Irish cultural history and the Greek and Roman sources that have inspired them, a dialogue that is firmly rooted in Ireland's historical past and continues to be ever-evolving.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages496
ISBN (Print)9780198864486
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2020


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