Antiquity, as the term has been understood and used over the centuries by scholars, political and religious figures, and ordinary citizens, is far from a single, molithic concept. Rather than reflecting a stable, shared understanding about the past and its meaning, the idea of antiquity is instead varying and multiple, taking on different meanings and deployed to different effects depending on the context in which it is being considered. In this volume, historians from a wide range of specialties offer a comparative assessment of the multiple perceptions of antiquity that have shaped modern European cultures and national identities, deploying a new methodological approach, histoire croisee, which considers these questions in light of the development of cultural diversity across Europe.
Gabor Klaniczay is professor of medieval history at the Central European University and permanent fellow at the Collegium Budapest. Michael Werner is professor of modern European cultural history at the Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences sociales and research director at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique in Paris.