The Classics and Colonial India
The Classics and Colonial India by Phiroze Vasunia (OUP) £85
This extraordinary book provides a detailed account of the relationship between classical antiquity and the British colonial presence in India. It examines some of the great figures of the colonial period such as Gandhi, Nehru, Macaulay, Jowett, and William Jones, and covers a range of different disciplines as it sweeps from the eighteenth century to the end of the British Raj in the twentieth. Using a variety of materials, including archival documents and familiar texts, Vasunia shows how classical culture pervaded the thoughts and minds of the British colonizers. His book highlights the many Indian receptions of Greco-Roman antiquity and analyses how Indians turned to ancient Greece and Rome during the colonial period for a variety of purposes, including anti-colonialism, nationalism, and collaboration. Offering a unique cross-cultural study, this volume will be of interest to literary scholars and historians of the classical world, the British Empire, and South Asia.