Strange Creatures: Anthropology in Antiquity
Bloomsbury Academic, 2006 M06 8 - 185 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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worse , indulging in the practice of piracy and of slaying strangers , but also ,
because of their intercourse with many peoples , have partaken of the luxury and
the peddling habits of those peoples . But though these things seem to conduce ...
It is the home of the most exotic of all luxury products , and the religions of the rest
of the world are dependent upon Panchaia for one of the most important aspects
of their ceremonies . 38 As I say , Panchaia conforms to what we would expect ...
Moreover , again like in Panchaia , in Taprobane great luxury is also found , in
contrast to what we might expect of the usual cultural primitivism of blessed lands
. 49 Indeed , Pliny feels the need to comment on this : despite the fact that ...
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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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