These papers were first read and discussed at the Open Colloquium in October 1999. The Open Colloquia, organised by the Reception of Classical Texts Research Project, are informal one day seminars devoted to a figure or work of key importance for research in the modern Reception of Classical Texts and Images. Following the impact of Harrison’s verse film Prometheus, this seemed to us an appropriate time to focus on the broader role of classical referents in his work. In addition to the papers published here, the day also included work-in-progress papers by Dr. Stephen Regan (The Open University) on Fire and Poetry : the Genesis of Prometheus and by Kai Merten (University of Munich) on Margin and Centre: Tony Harrison’s Classical Positionings. We thank them and all the other participants for their contributions, both on the day and subsequently.

I also acknowledge most warmly:

- the grant from the Arts Faculty Research committee of the Open University
which made the Colloquium possible
- the anonymous referees
- the role of Carol Gillespie, Project Officer to the Reception of Classical Texts Project
and Publications Editorial Assistant.

Lorna Hardwick
December 2000