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Wrestling with the past, Gwynaeth McIntyre

Athens to Aotearoa: Greece and Rome in New Zealand Literature and Society
Diana Burton, Simon Perris and Jeff Tatum (eds)
Victoria University Press, $40.00,
ISBN 9781776561766

Athens to Aotearoa’s cover image, Herakles Wrestles the Taniwha, epitomises the very essence of this edited volume. As the editors state in their preface, they sought papers “exhibiting a sharp awareness of the pretensions, the impositions and the frictions that are all part of the reality of New Zealand’s confrontation with ancient Greece and Rome.” It is an analysis of this confrontation and the ways in which each paper wrestles with the relationship between Aotearoa New Zealand and its classical heritage that unites the volume.

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