Introduction: Classical Antiquity, Media Histories, Media Theories

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This chapter sketches out some of the features of the encounter between media theory and Greco-Roman antiquity in two complementary ways: as a field of knowledge awaiting further systematic exploration and analysis, but also as a set of methods that under the banner of ‘cultural transmission’ brings together practices for producing and processing knowledge that are fundamental to the way in which ancient cultures become ‘classical’. The discussion begins with the concept of the medium and the promise it holds for analytical work in the study of the past. It then moves on to the role of mediation in thinking about the cultural significance of communication across time and perception. It continues with a consideration of classical studies and media studies as disciplines, focusing on the kinds of research that can be pursued at their intersection. The chapter concludes with an overview of the contributions that follow.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationClassics and Media Theory
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780198846024
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2020

Structured keywords

  • Institute of Greece, Rome, and the Classical Tradition


  • medium as a concept
  • media theory
  • Greco-Roman antiquity
  • the classical
  • cultural transmission


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