The origins of this collection, and of the whole Tolkien and the Classics project, are twofold. First, there is the ever-growing awareness of the importance of making scholars and critics realize how much J.R.R. Tolkien is, in all respects, a great literary classic, comparable to those already accepted as 'canonical'. Second, the desire to offer a publication that could be enjoyed, and made actual use of, by students and teachers of secondary schools and universities. This collection of mainly short essays, each one exploring a parallel between Tolkien and the Classics of Western literature, is divided into three sections: - Tolkien and Authors from Antiquity (four essays) - Tolkien and Authors from the Middle Ages (six essays) - Tolkien and Authors from the Modern Period (eleven essays) The present volume has its origin in the endeavours of the Study Group organised by the Associazione Italiana Studi Tolkieniani (AIST = Italian Association of Tolkien Studies), a team of scholars who periodically decide on a common topic of research that, as a consequence, will be the subject of meetings in which each contributor presents his or her results to the others. The criticisms, comments, and suggestions provided in these meetings are then taken into account for the revisions and incorporated into the final versions of the essays.