Books of the month

March - 2020


The Golden Ass, by Apuleius (trans. Ruth Guimarães, prologue by Adriane da Silva Duarte, São Paulo, Editora 34, 2019, R$ 88) is the only Latin novel from Antiquity to survive in full to this day. It narrates the misfortunes of young Lucius, who, paying the price of his curiosity for magic, turns himself into a donkey, but without losing his intelligence. Abducted by a band of robbers and later passing by several owners, this unsuspecting observer describes the lives of men and women from all social classes, including the subaltern and marginalized groups little portrayed in ancient literature. Bilingual edition, with the original Latin text and the Portuguese translation by Ruth Guimarães, the book also has an excellent introduction by Adriane da Silva Duarte.


A People's History of Classics, by Edith Hall and Henry Stead (London and New York, Routledge, 2020, £ 26.39, softcover) explores the influence of the classic past on the lives of working class people in Britain and Ireland from the end of the 17th century to the beginning of the 20th century. Using various sources of information, published and unpublished, in archives, museums and libraries in the UK and Ireland, Hall and Stead examine the experience of classical culture in the working class, from the 1689 Bill of Rights to the outbreak of World War II . As the authors show, classical education does not have to be elitist or reactionary. If it was often the curriculum of the empire, the interest of the workers and the workers' movement in the classics shows us that it can also be the curriculum of liberation.

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