Yankee She-Men and Octoroon Electra

David Lupher and Elizabeth Vandiver

in Ancient Slavery and Abolition

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780199574674
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191728723 | DOI:

Series: Classical Presences

Yankee She-Men and Octoroon Electra

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This chapter discusses the writings of the eminent 19th-century American classicist Basil Lanneau Gildersleeve, founder of the first graduate program in classics in the United States and apologist for the Southern cause during the American Civil War. The chapter surveys Gildersleeve’s use of classics as exempla in his polemical and apologetic writings on the South and his use of the South as an exemplum in his writings on classics. It discusses the comparisons that Gildersleeve explicitly drew between the Peloponnesian War and the Civil War, and examines the wider connections between his pro-Southern writings and his classical scholarship, focusing on his views on slavery, abolition, and the Old South. The chapter pays particular attention to Gildersleeve’s writings on miscegenation and his scorn for the egalitarian views expressed in the famous abolitionist “man and brother” motto.

Keywords: abolition; American Civil War; American classicists; Basil Lanneau Gildersleeve; classics; man and brother; miscegenation; Old South; Peloponnesian War; slavery

Chapter.  12471 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical History

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