Strange Creatures: Anthropology in Antiquity
Bloomsbury Academic, 2006 M06 8 - 256 pages
Traces the anthropological and ethnological theories of the ancient Greeks and Romans from the creation of the world to the invention of the Americas. In ancient Greek and Roman thinking, whether the world is flat or spherical it will have imaginary boundaries and liminal areas where the norms of nature and culture are thought to break down. Analogies are constantly drawn between 'primitive' peoples at the 'edges of the world' and 'primitive' people in prehistory. Distance, both in time and space, leads to difference, and the idea that strange things happen out there or happened back then dominates Greek and Roman thinking on other cultures. This book examines ancient ideas of the creation of the world, the beginnings of life and origin of species, humans and animals, utopias and blessed islands, and 'barbarian' cultures beyond the Mediterranean world, before going on to trace the influence of ancient anthropological and ethnological thought on the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.We begin with primordial chaos and end with the invention of the Americas, taking in on the way many strange creatures, among them the noble or ignoble savages of Britain, Gaul and Ireland, the Man-faced Ox-creatures of Empedocles, the Dog-heads of India, the Amazons, Centaurs, Columbus, and the Tupinamba of Brazil.
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... ( Diodorus Siculus , Library of History 1.8 ) Diodorus ' picture of the lives of the first humans is less violent than Moschion's but essentially follows the same pattern : the gradual develop- ment of culture over time in response to ...
... Diodorus leaves out any mention of hunting or meat eating which is frequently present in rationalist prehistories.22 There is , however , conflict between humans and animals , unlike in some accounts of the golden age when humans and ...
... ( Diodorus Siculus 2.51.2-4 ) For Diodorus it is the greater heat of the sun in such places as Egypt , Libya and India that causes them to be more productive not only of larger beasts than elsewhere but also of stranger beasts , including ...
The Origin of Life and the Origin of Species
Ancient Theories of Prehistory and the Evolution of Society
Blessed Islands and Blessed Lands
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