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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'.
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.
Introduction Eran Almagor and Joseph Skinner Part 1: Beginnings The Invention of the 'Barbarian' in Late 6th 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 2: Responses Looking at the Other: Visual Mediation and Greek Identity in Xenophon's Anabasis Rosie Harman (University College London, UK) Apologetic Ethnography: Megasthenes' Indica and the Seleucid Elephant Paul J. Kosmin (Harvard University, USA) Monstrous Aetolians and Aetolian Monsters - A Politics of Ethnography? Jacek Rzepka (Warsaw University, Poland) Part 3: Transformations Ethnography and the Gods in Tacitus' Germania Greg Woolf (University of St. Andrews, UK) 'But This Belongs to Another Discussion': Ethnographic Digressions in Plutarch Eran Almagor (Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel) Ethnography and Authorial Voice in Athenaeus' Deipnosophistae Katerina Oikonomopoulou (University of Patras, Greece) Part 4: Receptions Imperial Visions, Imagined Pasts: Ethnography and Identity on India's North-Western Frontier Joseph Skinner (University of Newcastle, UK) Exploring Virgin Fields: Henry and George Rawlinson on Ancient and Modern Orient Thomas Harrison (University of Liverpool, UK) The Scope of Ancient Ethnography Emma Dench (Harvard University, USA) Index
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