Greeks and Barbarians
How did the Greeks view foreign peoples? This book considers what the Greeks thought of foreigners and their religions, cultures and politics, and what these beliefs and opinions reveal about the Greeks.
The Greeks were occasionally intrigued by the customs and religions of the many different peoples with whom they came into contact; more often they were disdainful or dismissive, tending to regard non-Greeks as at best inferior, and at worst as candidates for conquest and enslavement. Facing up to this less attractive aspect of the classical tradition is vital, Thomas Harrison argues, to seeing both what the ancient world was really like and the full nature of its legacy in the modern. In this book he brings together outstanding European and American scholarship to show the difference and complexity of Greek representations of foreign peoples - or barbarians, as the Greeks called them - and how these representations changed over time.
The book looks first at the main sources: the Histories of Herodotus, Greek tragedy, and Athenian art. Part II examines how the Greeks distinguished themselves from barbarians through myth, language and religion. Part III considers Greek representations of two different barbarian peoples - the allegedly decadent and effeminate Persians, and the Egyptians, proverbial for their religious wisdom. In part IV three chapters trace the development of the Greek-barbarian antithesis in later history: in nineteenth-century scholarship, in Byzantine and modern Greece, and in western intellectual history.
Of the twelve chapters six are published in English for the first time. The editor has provided an extensive general introduction, as well as introductions to the parts. The book contains two maps, a guide to further reading and an intellectual chronology. All passages of ancient languages are translated, and difficult terms are explained.
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It remains to point out one last detail , which seems to me to be decisive , namely
the Barbarian origin of Agamemnon himself . In fact , when Achilles is quite
confident of preventing Agamemnon from laying a hand on Iphigenia , even with
The question of Cadmus ' eastern origin – the echo of a historical reality
according to some , pure ' mirage ' I57 according to others – has long been
debated by the moderns , from K . O . Müller to R . B . Edwards . 158 What is
certain is that , in ...
79 According to fourth - century theories about the origin of civilisation ,
cannibalism or the eating of raw flesh bore witness to the brutish state of primitive
man , a state from which the Barbarians living on the fringes of the civilised world
had in ...
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3 the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden fig 4 the Museum
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