HISTORY

The Trojan Horse and Other Stories: Ten Ancient Creatures That Make Us Human

Cambridge Univ Feb. 2024. 380p. ISBN 9781009411387. $34.99. HIST
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In this deeply insightful and erudite work, Kindt (ancient history, Univ. of Sydney; Rethinking Greek Religion) interrogates the perceived boundaries between humans and other animals as defined by both classical and modern thinkers. Each of the book’s 10 essays begins with a deft retelling of a classical myth and its conventional interpretations. That’s followed by a careful analysis and, at times, deconstruction. This thoughtful engagement and strong grasp of both ancient and modern sources encourages deeper thinking on the part of readers. An essay on the minotaur and the works of Picasso particularly stands out and reads like the best of Mary Beard, recalling her book How Do We Look. Additionally, this work serves as a powerful apologia for the utility of classics in a time when many, even within the discipline itself, claim that the field is a buttress for white supremacy. Kindt makes a careful appeal to what meaningful decolonization would look like and how the field still has relevance and applicability.
VERDICT Highly recommended for both disciples and skeptics of classics. It’s also perfect for fans of nonfiction by Natalie Haynes.
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