Diana Burton, Jeff Tatum & Simon Perris, eds

Athens to Aotearoa: Greece and Rome in New Zealand Literature and Society

ISBN: 9781776561766

November 2017

What do ancient Greece and Rome have to do with New Zealand? More than you might think. Athens to Aotearoa collects essays from some of New Zealand’s most important artistic and critical voices reflecting on their engagement with Greece and Rome and taking aim at New Zealand’s ongoing, sometimes fraught, and always complicated take on its classical heritage.

Athens to Aotearoa is an illuminating and provocative collection for any reader interested in the various relationships between classics, art, literature and New Zealand identity.


  • Witi Ihimaera: What if Cyclops was Alive and Well and Living in a Cave in Invercargill?
  • Karen Healey: Girls Going Underground: Navigating Mythologies in Aotearoa’s Literary Landscape
  • Anna Jackson: ‘I, Clodia’: I had a Dream I was a Ghost
  • Marian Maguire: A Fabricated History of Graeco-New Zealand Interaction
  • Greta Hawes: Discussions with Mountains in Marian Maguire’s A Taranaki Dialogue
  • Tom Stevenson: Julius Caesar in Xena: Warrior Princess
  • Simon Perris: Orpheus, Māui and the Underworld in New Zealand Literature
  • Geoff Miles: ‘The Darkly Recurrent and Improbable Dream’: James K. Baxter and the Venus/Anchises Story
  • Sharon Matthews: Dionysus, Christ and the Publican: Ambiguous Gods in The Day That Flanagan Died
  • Peter Whiteford: Anna Seward’s Elegy on Captain Cook
  • Maxine Lewis: C.K. Stead Writes Catullus: Persona, Intention, Intratext and Allusion
  • John Davidson: Horace, Catullus, Lucretius and Mason
  • Matthew Trundle: The Reception of the Classical Tradition in New Zealand War Reporting and Memory in the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries
  • Arlene Holmes-Henderson: Classical Subjects in Schools: A Comparative Study of New Zealand and the United Kingdom

Diana Burton
, Simon Perris and Jeff Tatum are members of the Classics programme at Victoria University of Wellington. Diana works on Greek religion and material culture. Her recent publications have examined the iconography of Zeus at Olympia and the nature and cults of Hades throughout the ancient Greek world, the subject of a monograph she is currently writing. Simon works on Greek tragedy and the classical tradition; he recently published The Gentle, Jealous God: Reading Euripides’ Bacchae in English (2016) and is currently writing a book on classical themes in Māori literature. Jeff concentrates on Roman history, Latin literature and Greek literature during the Roman Empire. His books include The Patrician Tribune: Publius Clodius Pulcher (1999), Always I Am Caesar (2008), A Caesar Reader (2012) and Plutarch: The Rise of Rome (2013). He is writing a biography of Mark Antony.

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