Echoes of Two Cultures tells of the transmission of two cultures through legend, and how the ideals and moralities of ancient Greece and Rome have inspired and informed successive civilizations to the present day.
Classical mythology came west from Greece, bearing the thoughts, feelings, and distilled experiences of ancient peoples that have, in turn, been formed by the skilled hands of artists into tangible creations of beauty and significance. Young examines nine legends-Perseus and Andromeda; Demeter and Persephone; Pyramus and Thisbe; Pygmalion and Galatea; Daedalus and Icarus; Atlanta and Hippomenes; Philemon and Baucis; Echo and Narcissus; and Pomona and Vertumnus-explaining the legends themselves and tracing their dissemination through centuries and civilizations and across various art forms.
Young provides a “biography” of the greatest of the classical legends, the story of the fall of Troy. Young’s text is beautifully illustrated with examples of art inspired by the legend, from literature, painting, ceramics, tapestry, sculpture, and the opera, with fresh interpretations of their meaning. In deepening our knowledge of classic texts and their changing interpretations over time, Young argues, we enhance our understanding both of the classics and of the successive civilizations they have influenced.