A new set of essays, edited by Professor Paulina Kewes, and published in a special issue of the Huntington Library Quarterly, reconsiders how the Roman heritage shaped the assumptions and attitudes of rulers and the ruled from the late sixteenth century to the mid-seventeenth.

Paulina Kewes
Professor Paulina Kewes

The essays collected in Ancient Rome in English Political Culture, ca. 1570-1660 break new ground by showing in remarkable detail the complexity, sophistication, and selectivity of that cross-cultural and trans-historical traffic. A contribution to both the wider area of classical reception and energetic debate about early modern political thought,

Paulina says, “This volume blends conceptual themes with focused case studies that expose the diverse dynamics of engagement with ancient Rome in canonical texts - Jonsons’s Roman tragedy Catiline and Clarendon’s History of the Rebellion, for example, or at moments of political crisis, such as the late Elizabethan succession controversy.”

Collectively, the essays work to complicate, refine, or supplement the current ‘republican’ turn in early modern studies. She adds, “Transcending a simple binary between Protestant and Catholic, the volume offers a more fine-grained analysis of the inflections given to Roman history, literature, and politics across the religious spectrum.”

Ancient Rome in English Political Culture, ca. 1570-1660 is now available on line via Project Muse here.