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.
Results 1-3 of 13
... of grace and now must struggle toiling up the steep and rocky path of laborious virtue to try and regain something of this lost blessedness.3 As Hesiod's genealogy of the gods in the Theogony continues it also includes humans .
theory , but that the continuum of the great chain of being does not stop at the level below humans but continues to the very top is shown by the position of women in the chain . They are degraded men , occupying a subordinate position ...
As his prehistory continues we see the foundation of the first cities , but in his account they are not founded for mutual protection but selfishly by the powerful for the own protection.37 Then these people become the first kings ...
What people are saying - Write a review
The Origin of Life and the Origin of Species
Ancient Theories of Prehistory and the Evolution of Society
Blessed Islands and Blessed Lands
5 other sections not shown