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Gilbert Murray ReassessedHellenism, Theatre, and International Politics$
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Christopher Stray

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199208791

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199208791.001.0001

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The Classicist as Liberal Intellectual: Gilbert Murray and Alfred Eckhard Zimmern *

The Classicist as Liberal Intellectual: Gilbert Murray and Alfred Eckhard Zimmern *

Chapter:
(p.261) 13 The Classicist as Liberal Intellectual: Gilbert Murray and Alfred Eckhard Zimmern*
Source:
Gilbert Murray Reassessed
Author(s):

Julia Stapleton

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199208791.003.0015

This chapter considers Murray's conception of Hellenism in relation to the vicissitudes of 20th-century liberalism, both political and intellectual, and explores his tireless work on its behalf. It examines his early influence on classical scholarship at Oxford, and the wider pursuit of cultural and political improvement to which he believed Classics was inextricably tied. The chapter analyses the quarters of society in which Murray and Zimmern sought to spread the Hellenist message as they understood it, and the extent of their success. It further emphasizes Murray's growing attachment to the historic English nation as an example of his later conservatism which has often been overlooked. Finally, it sets Murray's enhanced cultural pessimism during the interwar period in the context of the decline of a particular type of ‘public intellectual’ in Britain: the liberal intellectual, whose role it was to cultivate selflessly liberal habits of mind throughout Britain and beyond, and in increasingly adverse climates of opinion.

Keywords:   Murray, Zimmern, internationalism, social reform, Hellenism, liberalism

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