"Confronting the Classics" lives up to the claim on the cover that it is "learned, trenchant and witty";we have come to expect nothing less from the classy classicist Mary Beard. However, we all have our favourite areas of the classics and if Ancient Greece is yours then you might come away feeling a trifle short-changed. I am a devotee of the Romans, so I was not too concerned about this, and the middle three sections of the book were a delight. I could not see where Section Five fitted into the scheme of things. It looked very much as if this omnium- gatherum had been tacked on to the end of the book simply to pad it out.
An extended version of Sections Two, Three and Four devoted solely to the Romans would have been a better bet, and would have gained five stars I am sure.