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Ancient Ethnography: New Approachesby Eran Almagor
Synopses & Reviews
Ethnographic writing has become all but ubiquitous in recent years. Although now considered a thoroughly modern and increasingly indispensable field of study, Ethnography's roots go all the way back to antiquity. This volume brings together eleven original essays exploring the wider intellectual and cultural milieux from which ancient ethnography arose, its transformation and development in antiquity, and the way in which 19th century receptions of ethnographic traditions helped shape the modern study of the ancient world. Finally, it addresses the extent to which all these themes remain inextricably intertwined with shifting and often highly contested notions of culture, power and identity. Its chapters deal with the origins of the term 'barbarian', the role of ethnography in Tacitus' Germania, Plutarch's Lives, Xenophon's Anabasis, and Athenaeus' Deipnosophistae, Herodotean storytelling, Henry and George Rawlinson, and Megasthenes' treatise on India.
At a time when modern ethnographies are becoming increasingly prevalent, wide-ranging, and experimental in their approach to describing cultural difference, this book encourages us to think about ancient ethnography in new and interesting ways, highlighting the wealth of material available for study and the complexities underpinning ancient and modern notions of what it meant to be Greek, Roman or 'barbarian'.
A series of essays by high-profile contributors discussing ancient ethnographic thought.
By providing a platform for scholars working in a variety of fields, this volume presents cutting-edge research dealing with various aspects of ancient ethnographic thought: its formation and devlopment, its intellectual and cultural milieux, the later reception of ethnographic traditons, and the extent to which these represent major constitutive elements of shifting notions of culture, power and identity.
About the Author
Eran Almagor is Lecturer in History at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel.
Joseph Skinner is Lecturer in Ancient Greek History at Newcastle University, UK.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Ancient Ethnography Through the Ages
Eran Almagor (Ben Gurion University of the Negev) and Joseph Skinner (University of Liverpool, UK)
Part One: Beginnings
The Invention of the 'Barbarian' in Late Sixth-century BC
Ionia Hyun Jin Kim (University of Sydney, Australia)
The Stories of the Others: Storytelling and inter-cultural Communication in the Herodotean Mediterranean
Kostas Vlassopoulos (University of Nottingham, UK)
Part Two: Responses
An Achaemenid Ethnography? Dress, Costume, and Race on the Apadana Reliefs at Persepolis
Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones (University of Edinburgh, UK)
Looking at the other: Vision, Travel and Greek Identity in Xenophon's Anabasis
Rosie Harman (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland)
From the Indus to the Ganges: Apology and Analogy in Megasthenes' Indica
Paul J. Kosmin (Harvard University, USA)
Monstrous Aetolians and Aetolian Monsters - a Politics of Ethnography?
Jacek Rzepka (Warsaw University, Poland)
The Ethnographic Map in Early Rabbinic Literature
Eyal Ben Eliyahu (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel)
Part Three: Transformations
Ethnographic Digressions in Plutarch's Lives
Eran Almagor (Ben Gurion University of the Negev)
Ethnography and the Gods in Tacitus' Germania
Greg Woolf (University of St. Andrews, UK)
Ethnography and Authorial Voice in Athenaeus' Deipnosophistae
Katerina Oikonomopoulou (University of Patras, Greece)
Part Four: Receptions
From Imagined Ethnographies to Invented Ethnicities: The Example of the Homeric
Halyzones Anca Dan (Institute of Neohellenic Research, Greece)
Imperial Visions, Imagined Pasts: Ethnography and identity on India's North-west Frontier
Joseph Skinner (University of Liverpool, UK)
A Tale of Two Rawlinsons
Thomas Harrison (University of Liverpool, UK)
Postscript: The Past and Future of Ancient Ethnography
Emma Dench (Harvard University, USA)
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