Primitivism and Related Ideas in Antiquity was intended to be the first volume of a four-part series of books covering the history of primitivism and related ideas, but the outbreak of World War II, and, later, Lovejoy's death, prevented the other books from being published as originally conceived by the two authors. A documentary and analytical record, the book presents the classical background of primitivism and anti-primitivism in modern literature, historiography, and social and moral philosophy, and comprises chapters that center around particular ancient concepts and authors, including cynicism, stoicism, epicureanism, Plato, Aristotle, Lucretius, and Cicero. According to the authors in their preface, "there is some reason to think that this background is not universally familiar to those whose special field of study lie within the period of the Renaissance to our own time"; this book, in which the original Greek and Latin sources stand side by side with their English translations, will prove useful to scholars from a variety of disciplines who study this period.
If the critical subtlety and the extensive yet thoroughly judicious use of original documents which distinguishes the first volume are maintained, the work as a whole may stand as America's foremost contribution to the history of ideas in this generation. * New York Times * The material contained in this volume is of considerable importance for... the inductive study of ideas and society... The work does much more than fulfill its avowed function. One eagerly awaits the further volumes of this history. * American Sociological Review *