Synopses & Reviews
Social or collective memory has recently become a much debated subject in academic disciplines and in the popular media. People in antiquity surely possessed similar shared memories, but except for the limited accounts of elite authors--they are notoriously difficult to recover. This book explores how material culture, in particular the evidence of landscape and of monuments, can reveal commemorative practices and collective amnesias in past societies. Three case studies are considered--Greece in the early Roman period, Hellenistic and Roman Crete, and Messenia from Archaic to Hellenistic times.
"[T]his important book, whose open-minded approach eschews glib labels and thus gives plenty of space for the imaginative interpretations essential to the theme, is relevant for cultural and political history...[Alcock] writes with confidence and authority to suggest new and diverse ways to approach what was surely an important part of the ancient world." Bryn Mawr Classical Review
Social memory - the memories shared among groups of people - is a powerful political and emotional force. But how can we recover what long-gone societies, such as the ancient Greeks, remembered about their past? This book argues that archaeology, in particular the evidence of landscape and of monuments, can help us to trace past patterns in commemoration and forgetfulness. This is the first archaeological study to explore this subject in relation to the classical world and employs three detailed case studies, drawn from different regions and time periods in Greek history.
Explores social memory in the ancient Greek world using the evidence of landscapes and monuments.
Table of Contents
1. Archaeologies of memory; 2. Old Greece within the Empire; 3. Cretan inventions; 4. Being Messenian; 5. Three short stories about Greek memory.