Introduction

Classics has had a strong presence in the press. As Hardwick and Harrison (2013) remark, “Greek and Roman texts, material culture and ideas have always been widely and radically used and re-used by individuals and by societies, and in recent centuries this has gradually included more people who have not had a formal classical education of any kind.” More recently, popular culture and the media have engaged with antiquity for centuries (cf. Jenkins 2015), yet it is currently difficult to search for and document the places where that engagement takes place. One can Google “Plato and Trump” or “Xenophon and leadership”, but the search results can often be too unwieldy and lacunose to be of much productive use.

In order to document the great collective impact that our discipline has had and continues to have on public ways of thinking, we have created the Online Public Classics Archive, a public media Classics database that archives and organizes the public media engagement with antiquity on the Internet. This e-resource is linked to the way we search on the Internet. If someone wants to search for "Epictetus” in Google, one sees the Wikipedia entry and a few other philosophy e-resources on the first search page. If one filters search results through the “news” option, one sees some recent blog posts and articles. But what if one wants to find out how many times reporters, columnists, bloggers, and other public writers have discussed Epictetus from 2007-2017? On a daily basis we see many of these articles circulating on social media but they often end up sitting alone and abandoned as bookmarks or downloaded PDFs only on our own computers.

Our database succeeds in providing a space (that is searchable by keywords and tags and can be filtered by date) for both Classicists and the public to examine just how much of an impact the ancient world has had on contemporary thought. Though it is currently in the initial stages of development, it is already clear that a substantial body of public scholarship discussing antiquity has a robust and important presence in public discourse.

The Online Public Classics Archive collects articles from across the internet and from a variety of media sources. The views expressed in these media are those of the authors and their publishers, and are not endorsed in any way by the Paideia Institute. However, the Paideia Institute Institute strongly condemns hateful language or attitudes directed at individuals or groups based upon their nationality, race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation. We welcome anyone with an interest in ancient Greece and Rome, and strive to create a learning environment in which individuals can pursue that interest without being demeaned or attacked for who they are. As a result, articles which use the Classics to attack individuals or groups for their identity or beliefs are not included in the archive.


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