This introductory chapter outlines the role that ancient Greece and Rome — as both cultural ideals and antitypes — have played and continue to play in the construction of Caribbean cultural identity in anglophone Caribbean literature. It contends that to overlook dialogues between the Caribbean and ancient Greece and Rome is to perpetuate an odd occlusion in the Caribbean's cultural space and suggests that, rather than projecting alien influences onto the Caribbean, these dialogues might help us to better understand the distinctiveness of anglophone Caribbean literature and may also contribute fresh insights to the study of ancient Greece. Accordingly, the apparent tension in the compound term ‘Afro‐Greeks’ is used to open up an exchange of ideas between spheres of culture that are seemingly incommensurable.
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