Ancient Greek Ideas on Speech, Language and Civilization

Ancient Greek Ideas on Speech, Language and Civilization

Hardback

By (author) Deborah Levine Gera

List price $174.40

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Hardback | 272 pages
  • Dimensions: 145mm x 218mm x 20mm | 386g
  • Publication date: 11 December 2003
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0199256160
  • ISBN 13: 9780199256167

Product description

The source and nature of earliest speech and civilization are puzzles which have intrigued people for many centuries. This study explores ancient Greek views on the source and nature of the world's first society and first language. Two of the book's chapters are based on close readings of passages in Homer and Herodotus, while the remaining chapters are broader surveys of a variety of Greek literary texts. Topics covered include the nature of the language used both by men and animals in the idyllic golden age, accounts of humans' ascent to civilized life and their acquisition of language, and exotic creatures and peoples who have only limited linguistic capacities. Discussions of Enlightenment thinkers and modern theories of glottogenesis and language acquisition set Greek assumptions in a wider perspective.

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Author information

Deborah Levine Gera is Senior Lecturer and Chair of the Classics Department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Review quote

Review from other book by this author this is a lively and interesting book, and one more widely informative than its title might suggest...I have to admit that I myself have never yet read more than the odd bit of it. Nevertheless this lucid and lively book succeeds in leaving me with the strong feeling that, by not reading more, I am missing a rare treat. Greece and Rome ...it contains much that is worth reading. I myself found a number of points at which useful and enlightening information was presented. Antony G Keen, Bryn Mawr Classical Review 4.6 1993 G.'s exploration of the Cyropaedia provides a different and richly documented mode of reading Xenophon's most ambitious work. Philip A. Stadter, University of North Carolina, Chapel HIll, The Classical Review, Vol. XLIV, No. 2, 1994 this immensely learned and well-organised book will be indispensable. Journal of Hellenic Studies

Table of contents

1. Polyphemus the Linguist ; 2. Language in the Golden Age ; 3. Psammetichus' Children ; 4. The Invention of Language ; 5. Between Language and Speech