This paper brings together some considerations concerning the reconciliation of modern
literary theory and ancient literature. Modern theories reflecting on the hermeneutic act
such as (critical) discourse analysis, rhetorical theory, reception studies, and New Historicism
are discussed in order to improve classical scholars’ awareness of their own interpretative
assumptions when dealing with ‘classical’ literature. Moreover, attention is paid
to the peculiar character of classical literary studies as an essentially historical undertaking.
Attempts to focus on the ancient Greeks’ and Romans’ Otherness, to use a deconstructionist
term, might offer a sensible academic antidote for the reductionist character
of many popular discourses concerning the classical world.