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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... simply human constructs and so may be challenged . Indeed , the suggestion is that since there was no political hierarchy in the Garden of Eden the present dispen- sation is impious . Compare the fourth - century BC historian Theopompus ...
... simply leave them where they lie and only the blood is used for the sacrifice , which , while it is perfectly understandable as a life - force nutrient for Ares , seems rather wasteful at least . From a Greek point of view this lack of ...
... simply that there are too many variations from European norms for them all to be found taxonomic boxes and given labels , but that there are no European taxonomic boxes into which the animals of America can fit . His solution is at ...
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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