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China from the Ruins of Athens and Rome – Classics, Sinology, and Romanticism, 1793-1938 - Oxford Scholarship Online
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China from the Ruins of Athens and Rome: Classics, Sinology, and Romanticism, 1793-1938

Chris Murray


Fascinated and often baffled by China, Anglophone writers turned to classics for answers. In poetry, essays, and travel narratives, ancient Greece and Rome lent interpretative paradigms and narrative shape to Britain’s information on the Middle Kingdom. While memoirists of the diplomatic missions in 1793 and 1816 used classical ideas to introduce Chinese concepts, Roman history held ominous precedents for Sino–British relations according to Edward Gibbon and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. John Keats illuminated how peculiar such contemporary processes of Orientalist knowledge-formation were. In Brit ... More

Keywords: China, Sinology, Romanticism, classics, classical reception, Victorian literature, Orientalism, postcolonial, empire

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780198767015
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2020 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198767015.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Chris Murray, author
Lecturer in Literary Studies, Monash University