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Civilisations

Imprint: Profile Books
Pages: 288
Subject: History & Classics
Illustrations: Fully illustrated throughout

Civilisations

How Do We Look / Eye of Faith

Mary Beard

Hardback(Preorder only)
9781781259993 (Published 1 Mar 2018)
£16.99

About the book

Kenneth Clark's 1969 BBC series Civilisation (note the singular) is perhaps the most celebrated documentary series ever made, except that it was entirely of its time: patrician to the exclusion of women and western to the exclusion of all other cultures. Spring 2018 sees an ambitious BBC re-make, presented by Britain's foremost historians, embracing global civilisations and exploring different themes in the universal histories of art and culture.

In Civilisations, Mary Beard investigates two aspects of what it means to be human. In Part I, How Do We Look, she focuses on some of the earliest human figures in art - from the Olmec heads of pre-historic Mexico to the first nudes of the ancient Greek world, asking what were these images for, how they were understood by people in the past and why were they sometimes so dangerous and unsettling. Why have cultures all over the world invested so heavily in images of the body?

In Part II, The Eye of Faith, Beard shows how for millennia art has inspired religion as much as religion has inspired art. Together, across different cultures, they have given us some of the most famous and breath-taking images ever made. Yet there are fundamental problems, which all religions share, in making God visible in the human world. Ranging from Angkor Wat to Ravenna, from idolatry to iconoclasm, Mary Beard explores the often problematic interface between art and religion.

About the author

Mary Beard is a professor of classics at Newnham College, Cambridge, and the classics editor of the TLS. She has world-wide academic acclaim. Her previous books include the bestselling, Wolfson Prize-winning Pompeii, The Parthenon, Confronting the Classics and most recently, SPQR (which has sold over 140,000 copies and been translated into twenty-two languages).Find her on Twitter @wmarybeard

Reviews

Praise for Mary Beard: What she says is always powerful and interesting

- Guardian

An irrepressible enthusiast with a refreshing disregard for convention

- Financial Times

If they'd had Mary Beard on their side back then, the Romans would still have their empire

- Daily Mail

[She] implicitly invites us to think about our own world, and about our answers to the question of what makes us human

- Sydney Morning Herald

With such a champion as Beard to debunk and popularise, the future of the study of classics is assured

- Daily Telegraph

Additional Information

Imprint: Profile Books
Pages: 288
Subject: History & Classics
Illustrations: Fully illustrated throughout

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