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Between the two World Wars, many European countries propagated nationalist and racist narratives based on idealized images of a distant past. The role of ancient history (both as a scientific discipline and as a repository of figures, places, people) in the elaboration of these narratives in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany is well-documented, whereas significantly less is known about how ancient history was studied and mobilized in other national contexts during the Interwar period. The comparative approach of this study is invited by the substantial agreement among contemporary historians about the international nature of Fascism as a nationalism longing for a palingenetic and modernist refoundation of the nation in the contemporary age. The racist and nationalist use of the past is functional to this project of constructing a national and racial identity that, originated in antiquity, projects itself into the future. In this edited volume, the authors aim to contribute to the discussion on the study and use of ancient history by exploring historiographical traditions and historical narratives on the ancient world from a transnational and interdisciplinary perspective including studies on underinvestigated geographical areas.
Emilio Zucchetti, Newcastle University, Newcastle (UK) / Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies, London (UK); Andrea Avalli, Scuola Superiore di Studi Storici - Università degli Studi della Repubblica di San Marino, San Marino, Republic of San Marino.
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