E. RICHARDSON,CLASSICAL VICTORIANS: SCHOLARS, SCOUNDRELS AND GENERALS IN PURSUIT OF ANTIQUITY.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press,2013. Pp. xvi + 227, illus.isbn9781107026773. £55.00.Journal of Roman Studies


Richard Hingley
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ANTIQUITY.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press,2013.

Pp. xvi + 227, illus.isbn9781107026773. £55.00.

Richard Hingley

Journal of Roman Studies / Volume 104 / November 2014, pp 300 - 301

DOI: 10.1017/S0075435814000586, Published online: 13 October 2014

Link to this article: http://journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S0075435814000586

How to cite this article:

Richard Hingley (2014). Review of RM Morris 'Church and State in Twenty-rst Century Britain:

The Future of Church Establishment' Journal of Roman Studies, 104, pp 300-301 doi:10.1017/


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Downloaded from http://journals.cambridge.org/JRS, IP address: on 03 Apr 2015 seminal works on the architecture and antiquities of the cities they visited. The chapter is fascinating, but it feels displaced — more like an appendix. Not because it is irrelevant, but because it might usefully have been incorporated into other chapters, as these gures were contemporaries of

Piranesi and inuenced him. It also shows the pivotal rôle of Rome as a place where those who were interested in antiquity met and worked together.

Speaking Ruins frequently adopts the tone of a panegyric with P. sometimes too hastily crediting

Piranesi as a pioneer. Piranesi is said to have understood ruins as ‘engaged in an epic and an unending battle with the forces of nature’ (117). But relationship between ruin and nature was not new, and

Pope Pius II had already seen Hadrian’s Villa in a similar light in 1461. Perhaps more worrying is the fact that P. does not acknowledge Pirro Ligorio as the rst to name the buildings of Hadrian’s

Villa after the terms used in the Historia Augusta. P. seems to imply that Piranesi was the rst to do so (159).

Footnotes and bibliography could have been more accurate. Frustratingly, the individual works of each author are not ordered chronologically; recent bibliography on art dealing in Rome and on

Hadrian’s Villa is also missing. It seems odd too that P. chooses to use a secondary bibliography to quote important texts like Piranesi’s views on the parlanti ruine that gave the book its title (1) or quotes Winckelmann from a translation (2 n. 4). Although not free from faults, P.’s Speaking

Ruins is a valuable book, particularly for its aim to include architecture in the eld of the classical reception and for successfully presenting an overview of Piranesi’s work.

Department of Greece and Rome, The British Museum Rosario Rovira Guardiola crovira@britishmuseum.org doi:10.1017/S0075435814000574


GENERALS IN PURSUIT OF ANTIQUITY. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013. Pp. xvi + 227, illus. ISBN 9781107026773. £55.00.

This engagingly written and entertaining study of the reception of classical antiquity in Victorian

Britain is the rst volume to be published in a new series entitled ‘Classics after Antiquity’. The book is introduced by a ‘Series editors’ preface’ written by the three editors (Alastair Blanchard,

Shane Butler and Emily Greenwood), placing Richardson’s volume within the new tradition of exploring ‘horizontal studies’ of classical reception (xiv). Thus R. addresses a number of individuals from the sidelines of Victorian classical scholarship — the scholars, scoundrels and generals of his title. Mostly, but not entirely, male, some were drunkards, or murderers. As soon as I began to read, I was swiftly drawn into R.’s narrative and responded enthusiastically to the lives and activities of his characters and themes.

I shall dwell on three particular issues among the wealth of fascinating material. First, the book provides a very well informed and thoughtful contribution to the growing body of work on classical reception. R.’s contemplation of gures on the margin of the history of study clearly articulates an interest in the complexities of how people have drawn upon the classical past. I was particularly struck by his attempt to contextualize the development of ‘the unbroken line’ in classical scholarship and the argument that this was predominantly a development of the later nineteenth century (165–5). This was a time when elds of scholarship were developing their own disciplinary rules and boundaries to exclude the uninitiated. In this context, the direction taken in this book returns to an alternative tradition of study by exploring Romanticism’s revival of the classical past as tentative and fragile (102), a theme that R. pursues through his case studies.

Second, I found the section of the book that focuses on the links between military activity and archaeological research particularly rewarding. Although R. concentrates mostly on classical learning and language, he brings out clearly the relevance of the material remains of classical civilization to a Victorian gentleman. He addresses the way that the British characterized the

Crimean War (1854–6) as an attempt to recreate the classical Greek past of that region. R.’s sustained analysis draws upon military tactics, journalistic reports and a programme of archaeological research undertaken by Duncan McPherson to create a narrative for how classical knowledge informed British actions during this conict. Rival conceptions of the classical past motivated both sides in the war — a British wish to recreate classical Greek civilization in the

Crimea and a Russian desire to recreate the region as part of a New Byzantium (85).


Indeed, the recovery of the classical past in Britain was as signicant for Victorians and I was expecting to see some of the familiar names of antiquarians and archaeologists amongst R.’s scholars, scoundrels and generals, but I noticed none (cf. Richard Hingley, The Recovery of