Christopher Allen reviews 'Palmyra: An irreplaceable treasure' by Paul Veyne, translated by Teresa Lavender Fagan

Christopher Allen reviews 'Palmyra: An irreplaceable treasure' by Paul Veyne, translated by Teresa Lavender Fagan

Palmyra: An irreplaceable treasure

by Paul Veyne, translated by Teresa Lavender Fagan

University of Chicago Press (Footprint), $44.99 hb, 128 pp, 9780226427829

France’s higher education system can seem arcane to outsiders, especially those from the English-speaking world. Although the Sorbonne is coeval with Oxford and Cambridge, there is far greater prestige in attending one of the Grandes Écoles such as Polytechnique or the École Normale Supérieure, only accessible by notoriously difficult entrance examinations. Perhaps even less familiar is the Collège de France, established by François Ier in the sixteenth century as a secular alternative to the Church-dominated Sorbonne; the Collège today is essentially a research university whose professors, elected by their peers, represent the élite of senior French academics.

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Christopher Allen

Christopher Allen

Christopher Allen is currently Senior Master in Academic Extension at Sydney Grammar School. He is the national art critic for The Australian.
Published in March 2018, no. 399

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