Carneades and the conceit of Rome: transhistorical approaches to imperialism

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    Abstract

    In a recent contribution to Greece & Rome, Thomas Harrison illustrated how the conceit of the United States as the 'New Rome' colours our knowledge of both the ancient world and our own. His deceptively light-hearted approach and examples illustrated that the transhistorical approach is certainly one that can be used for fun; however, at its core, the article poses a much more serious question - can the transhistorical approach to imperialism be used for profit? Or, as Harrison posed the question, 'Can an understanding of ancient imperialisms cast light on contemporary experience?' Acutely, Harrison points to the symbiosis between interpretations of the past and the present, illustrating the abundance of what might be termed 'palimpsestic' readings of modern empires, which are generated by writing through the history of past empires.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-20
    Number of pages20
    JournalGreece & Rome
    Volume57
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010

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