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Race and Ethnicity in the Classical World by
Publication Date: 2013-09-15
By offering fluent, accurate translations of extracts and fragments from a wide assortment of ancient texts, this volume allows a comprehensive overview of ancient Greek and Roman concepts of otherness, as well as Greek and Roman views of non-Greeks and non-Romans. A general introduction, thorough annotation, maps, a select bibliography, and an index are also included.
Barbarians in the Greek and Roman World by
Publication Date: 2018-09-15
What did the ancient Greeks and Romans think of the peoples they referred to as barbari ? Did they share the modern Western conception--popularized in modern fantasy literature and role-playing games--of "barbarians" as brutish, unwashed enemies of civilization? Or our related notion of "the noble savage?" Was the category fixed or fluid? How did it contrast with the Greeks and Romans' conception of their own cultural identity? Was it based on race? In accessible, jargon-free prose, Erik Jensen addresses these and other questions through a copiously illustrated introduction to the varied and evolving ways in which the ancient Greeks and Romans engaged with, and thought about, foreign peoples--and to the recent historical and archaeological scholarship that has overturned received understandings of the relationship of Classical civilization to its "others."
Divine Institutions by
Publication Date: 2020-10-13
How religious ritual united a growing and diversifying Roman Republic Many narrative histories of Rome's transformation from an Italian city-state to a Mediterranean superpower focus on political and military conflicts as the primary agents of social change. Divine Institutions places religion at the heart of this transformation, showing how religious ritual and observance held the Roman Republic together during the fourth and third centuries BCE, a period when the Roman state significantly expanded and diversified. Blending the latest advances in archaeology with innovative sociological and anthropological methods, Dan-el Padilla Peralta takes readers from the capitulation of Rome's neighbor and adversary Veii in 398 BCE to the end of the Second Punic War in 202 BCE, demonstrating how the Roman state was redefined through the twin pillars of temple construction and pilgrimage. He sheds light on how the proliferation of temples together with changes to Rome's calendar created new civic rhythms of festival celebration, and how pilgrimage to the city surged with the increase in the number and frequency of festivals attached to Rome's temple structures. Divine Institutions overcomes many of the evidentiary hurdles that for so long have impeded research into this pivotal period in Rome's history. This book reconstructs the scale and social costs of these religious practices and reveals how religious observance emerged as an indispensable strategy for bringing Romans of many different backgrounds to the center, both physically and symbolically.
Roman Homosexuality by
Publication Date: 2010-02-01
Ten years after its original publication, Roman Homosexuality remains the definitive statement of this interesting but often misunderstood aspect of Roman culture. Learned yet accessible, the book has reached both students and general readers with an interest in ancient sexuality. This secondedition features a new foreword by Martha Nussbaum, a completely rewritten introduction that takes account of new developments in the field, a rewritten and expanded appendix on ancient images of sexuality, and an updated bibliography.
Engendering Rome by
Publication Date: 2000-02-24
Heroism has long been recognised by readers and critics of Roman epic as a central theme of the genre from Virgil and Ovid to Lucan and Statius. However the crucial role female characters play in the constitution and negotiation of the heroism on display in epic has received scant attention in the critical literature. This study represents an attempt to restore female characters to visibility in Roman epic and to examine the discursive operations that effect their marginalisation within both the genre and the critical tradition it has given rise to. The five chapters can be read either as self-contained essays or as a cumulative exploration of the gender dynamics of the Roman epic tradition. The issues addressed are of interest not just to classicists but also to students of gender studies.
Goddesses, Whores, Wives, and Slaves by
Publication Date: 1995-01-17
"The first general treatment of women in the ancient world to reflect the critical insights of modern feminism. Though much debated, its position as the basic textbook on women's history in Greece and Rome has hardly been challenged."--Mary Beard, Times Literary Supplement. Illustrations.
The Invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity by
Publication Date: 2013-01-01
There was racism in the ancient world, after all. This groundbreaking book refutes the common belief that the ancient Greeks and Romans harbored "ethnic and cultural," but not racial, prejudice. It does so by comprehensively tracing the intellectual origins of racism back to classical antiquity. Benjamin Isaac's systematic analysis of ancient social prejudices and stereotypes reveals that some of those represent prototypes of racism--or proto-racism--which in turn inspired the early modern authors who developed the more familiar racist ideas. He considers the literature from classical Greece to late antiquity in a quest for the various forms of the discriminatory stereotypes and social hatred that have played such an important role in recent history and continue to do so in modern society. Magisterial in scope and scholarship, and engagingly written, "The Invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity" further suggests that an understanding of ancient attitudes toward other peoples sheds light not only on Greco-Roman imperialism and the ideology of enslavement (and the concomitant integration or non-integration) of foreigners in those societies, but also on the disintegration of the Roman Empire and on more recent imperialism as well. The first part considers general themes in the history of discrimination; the second provides a detailed analysis of proto-racism and prejudices toward particular groups of foreigners in the Greco-Roman world. The last chapter concerns Jews in the ancient world, thus placing anti-Semitism in a broader context.
Rethinking the Other in Antiquity by
Publication Date: 2010-11-01
Prevalent among classicists today is the notion that Greeks, Romans, and Jews enhanced their own self-perception by contrasting themselves with the so-called Other--Egyptians, Phoenicians, Ethiopians, Gauls, and other foreigners--frequently through hostile stereotypes, distortions, and caricature. In this provocative book, Erich Gruen demonstrates how the ancients found connections rather than contrasts, how they expressed admiration for the achievements and principles of other societies, and how they discerned--and even invented--kinship relations and shared roots with diverse peoples. Gruen shows how the ancients incorporated the traditions of foreign nations, and imagined blood ties and associations with distant cultures through myth, legend, and fictive histories. He looks at a host of creative tales, including those describing the founding of Thebes by the Phoenician Cadmus, Rome's embrace of Trojan and Arcadian origins, and Abraham as ancestor to the Spartans. Gruen gives in-depth readings of major texts by Aeschylus, Herodotus, Xenophon, Plutarch, Julius Caesar, Tacitus, and others, in addition to portions of the Hebrew Bible, revealing how they offer richly nuanced portraits of the alien that go well beyond stereotypes and caricature. Providing extraordinary insight into the ancient world, this controversial book explores how ancient attitudes toward the Other often expressed mutuality and connection, and not simply contrast and alienation.
Greek Homosexuality by
Publication Date: 2016-05-19
Hailed as magisterial when it first appeared, Greek Homosexuality remains an academic milestone and continues to be of major importance for students and scholars of gender studies. Kenneth Dover explores the understanding of homosexuality in ancient Greece, examining a vast array of material and textual evidence that leads him to provocative conclusions. This new release of the 1989 second edition, for which Dover wrote an epilogue reflecting on the impact of his book, includes two specially commissioned forewords assessing the author's legacy and the place of his text within modern studies of gender in the ancient world.
From Shame to Sin by
Publication Date: 2013-06-10
When Rome was at its height, an emperor's male beloved, victim of an untimely death, would be worshipped around the empire as a god. In this same society, the routine sexual exploitation of poor and enslaved women was abetted by public institutions. Four centuries later, a Roman emperor commanded the mutilation of men caught in same-sex affairs, even as he affirmed the moral dignity of women without any civic claim to honor. The gradual transformation of the Roman world from polytheistic to Christian marks one of the most sweeping ideological changes of premodern history. At the center of it all was sex. Exploring sources in literature, philosophy, and art, Kyle Harper examines the rise of Christianity as a turning point in the history of sexuality and helps us see how the roots of modern sexuality are grounded in an ancient religious revolution. While Roman sexual culture was frankly and freely erotic, it was not completely unmoored from constraint. Offending against sexual morality was cause for shame, experienced through social condemnation. The rise of Christianity fundamentally changed the ethics of sexual behavior. In matters of morality, divine judgment transcended that of mere mortals, and shame?a social concept?gave way to the theological notion of sin. This transformed understanding led to Christianity's explicit prohibitions of homosexuality, extramarital love, and prostitution. Most profound, however, was the emergence of the idea of free will in Christian dogma, which made all human action, including sexual behavior, accountable to the spiritual, not the physical, world.
The Politics of Latin Literature by
Publication Date: 2001-11-13
This is the first book to describe the intimate relationship between Latin literature and the politics of ancient Rome. Until now, most scholars have viewed classical Latin literature as a product of aesthetic concerns. Thomas Habinek shows, however, that literature was also a cultural practice that emerged from and intervened in the political and social struggles at the heart of the Roman world. Habinek considers major works by such authors as Cato, Cicero, Horace, Ovid, and Seneca. He shows that, from its beginnings in the late third century b.c. to its eclipse by Christian literature six hundred years later, classical literature served the evolving interests of Roman and, more particularly, aristocratic power. It fostered a prestige dialect, for example; it appropriated the cultural resources of dominated and colonized communities; and it helped to defuse potentially explosive challenges to prevailing values and authority. Literature also drew upon and enhanced other forms of social authority, such as patriarchy, religious ritual, cultural identity, and the aristocratic procedure of self-scrutiny, or existimatio. Habinek's analysis of the relationship between language and power in classical Rome breaks from the long Romantic tradition of viewing Roman authors as world-weary figures, aloof from mundane political concerns--a view, he shows, that usually reflects how scholars have seen themselves. The Politics of Latin Literature will stimulate new interest in the historical context of Latin literature and help to integrate classical studies into ongoing debates about the sociology of writing.
The Making of Late Antiquity by
Publication Date: 1978-12-12
Peter Brown presents a masterly history of Roman society in the second, third, and fourth centuries. Brown interprets the changes in social patterns and religious thought, breaking away from conventional modern images of the period.