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Robert Graves and the Classical Tradition$
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A. G. G. Gibson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198738053

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198738053.001.0001

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Graves on War and the Late Antique

Graves on War and the Late Antique

Count Belisarius and his World

(p.98) (p.99) 5 Graves on War and the Late Antique
Robert Graves and the Classical Tradition

Jon Coulston

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores Graves’s interest in the late antique world of the general Belisarius, subject of his novel Count Belisarius. It evaluates Graves’s use of literary sources, principally the writings of Procopius, in the light of his other historical novels and poetry. It also relates the military content to the author’s Great War experiences and his contribution to modern Great War reception, his friendship with T. E. Lawrence, his fascination with archery, and the deployment of cavalry in both ancient and early twentieth-century warfare. Presentation in the novel of the ancient partners Justinian and Theodora, and Belisarius and Antonina, are considered in the light of Graves’s convoluted relationship with Laura Riding.

Keywords:   archery, Belisarius, cavalry, Constantinople, Graves, Great War, Justinian, Procopius, T. E. Lawrence, Theodora

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