A Classical Education

Round about the 1970’s pop culture images circulating of the Greek and Roman classical world were something like this:


A couple more pics because there’s something so lovely and cartoony and delicate and humane about the illustrations.  Hera, Argus, Io:
daulairesGkp25 Hera 001Prometheus:
daulairesGkp71 001

2. There was a disco-decadent classical vibe as well, quite prevalent, but a bit hard to specify/diagnose.  Bianca Jagger and Halston (it’s a small photo; yes, that is a gilt laurel wreath in her hair):

Bianca Jagger and Halston

3. A key figure:

4.  Last but not least:

OK, maybe that’s an excessively idiosyncratic take.  That was my version of the classical world at about the age of 8, at any rate.  But what would a current kid’s vision be? Not a rhetorical question; I have no idea.  300 and Gladiator? They seem a little smug and severe to me.

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Posted in art, history
6 comments on “A Classical Education
  1. Anonymous says:

    A lot of my “classical” education in the 70s and 80s came from Ray Harryhausen films – the SInbad series and the original Clash of the Titans. Edith Hamilton played a role as well.
    As did toga parties.

    I really geeked out a lot on Greek and Roman Mythology from around the ages of 9-15.

    Today’s youth have the Clash Of The Titans reboot, with snazzier CGI effects, as well as the 300’s and Gladiators of the world.

    I wonder if there are any good comics/graphic novels incorporating the subject as well?
    300 was originally a graphic novel, right?

  2. sonicmooks says:

    oh yeah, not sure if it matters but the comment above is from me. i forgot to sign on, and posted as “anonymous”.

  3. HS says:

    Yes to Asterix and monumental movies (Spartacus, Ben Hur, etc.) as far as my own education is concerned. With respect to “current kid’s vision” I have no clue. You’ll have to ask them or someone who owns one. Whatever I could tell you would not have much merit for a journal.

  4. jacksundance says:

    Yeah Edith Hamilton from school and the Ray Harryhausen movies definitely figured prominently in the 70s. Also, Wonder Woman TV show from the 70s was based on the Amazon myth from Greece, IIRC…yeah Linda Carter pretty much jump-started my puberty. 🙂 Moving to the 80s the Original ‘Clash…’ The new version didn’t quite do it for me…they left out the annoying owl…which I actually liked (OK, so ‘Bubo’ did have a quick cameo). haha

  5. I’m a great fan of a classical education. Thanks for the post and for following Malcolm’s Corner.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Don’t forget the Bible, King of Kings, Ben Hur: My first exposure to the classical world was an empire confident enough to take on God himself!

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