When Confucius was asked by his disciples how they should become wise, he would enjoin them to study the classics; over two millennia later and much closer to home, Winckelmann declared that it was only by imitating the supreme masterpieces of the Greeks that we too might one day become inimitable – putting his finger on the paradox that the greatest originality always has deep roots in the past.
Restoring the classics
Confronting the Classics: Traditions, Adventures and Innovations
by Mary Beard
Profile Books (Allen & Unwin), $49.99 hb, 320 pp, 9781781250488
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By this contributor
- Christopher Allen reviews 'Keeping Their Marbles: How the treasures of the past ended up in museums ... and why they should stay there' by Tiffany Jenkins
- Christopher Allen reviews 'Palmyra: An irreplaceable treasure' by Paul Veyne, translated by Teresa Lavender Fagan
- Christopher Allen reviews 'Imperial Triumph: The Roman world from Hadrian to Constantine' by Michael Kulikowski
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