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Project Summary

ProjectThe Politics of Censorship in Antiquity
ResearchersAssociate Professor Han Baltussen & Associate Professor Peter Davis
Funding SourceAustralian Research Council
SummaryThis project aims to offer a new analysis of the dynamics of censorship in the classical world by focusing on the social and intellectual contexts of political decisions leading to the banning of ideas or destruction of books. Existing literature usually provides data collections instead of analysis and contextualisation, and it is fair to say that the material from antiquity has not yet been dealt with in a comprehensive way from the perspective of intellectual and cultural history. In addition to offering a critical account of the neglected history of ancient censorship and its contexts based on literary and philosophical writings, we aim to provide a conceptual analysis of the goals of rulers and effectiveness of censorship as well as a cross-cultural account of the phenomenon of censorship, clarifying the recurring clashes and various causes of this perennial conflict in order to extract lessons for the modern age.
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