Published: 1 Dec 96
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There are twenty longer essays, including two previously unpublished, on Homer's poetics and on Thucydides' tragic vision, and some dozen shorter pieces. The three most prominent authors are Thucydides, Horace, and Gregory of Nyssa; but Macleod's extraordinary range included Aeschylus, Catullus, Propertius, and Origen, among many others. He left marginal notes towards any second edition, and these have been collected as an appendix. There is also a list of his many book reviews.
This volume has a powerful coherence which comes from Macleod's fusion of scrupulous scholarship with a passionately intense search for wisdom in the creations of the past. He sees great writers, of prose and verse, as using myth, history, theology, and rhetoric as access to some understanding of the human condition. Careful readers will find that these essays have within them deeply-felt insights into society, love, suffering, and death.
Colin Macleod , late Fellow and Tutor, Christ Church, Oxford, from 1968 to 1981