'Our present appreciation of Greek and Roman literature should be informed and influenced by consideration of what it was originally appreciated for. The past, for all its alienness, affects and changes the present.' The focus of this book - its new perspective - is on the 'receivers' of literature: readers, spectators, and audiences. Six contributors, drawn from both sides of the Atlantic, explore the various and changing interactions between the makers of literature and their audiences or readers from the beginning of the Roman empire to the end of the classical era. The contributors deploy fresh insights to map out lively and provocative, yet accessible, surveys. They cover the kinds of literature which have shaped western culture - epic, lyric, tragedy, comedy, history, philosophy, rhetoric, epigram, elegy, pastoral, satire, biography, epistle, declamation, and panegyric. Who were the audiences, and why did they regard their literature as so important?