Cultural Identity: In the Ancient Mediterranean

Cultural Identity: In the Ancient Mediterranean

Paperback Issues & Debates (Paperback)

By (author) Erich S. Gruen

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  • Publisher: Getty Research Institute,U.S.
  • Format: Paperback | 572 pages
  • Dimensions: 178mm x 251mm x 36mm | 1,588g
  • Publication date: 25 January 2011
  • Publication City/Country: Santa Monica CA
  • ISBN 10: 0892369698
  • ISBN 13: 9780892369690
  • Illustrations note: 97 black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 495,490

Product description

This is an illuminating collection of essays that explore the idea of cultural identity in the ancient Mediterranean. Cultural identity is a slippery and elusive concept. When applied to the collective self-consciousness among people or nations, it becomes all the more difficult to define or grasp. In recent decades scholars have focused on the 'other' - the alien, the unfamiliar, the different, perceived or conceived as the opposite - to highlight the virtues and advantages of the self. While this influential idea continues to hold sway, the time has come for a more nuanced and complex understanding of how the various societies of the ancient Mediterranean shaped their sense of identity. The twenty-four essays in this volume examine the subject from a variety of angles, encompassing a broad range of cultures: Greek, Persian, Jewish, Phoenician, Egyptian, Roman, Gallic, and German - and an impressive array of topics.

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Author information

Erich S. Gruen is the Gladys Rehard Wood Professor Emeritus of History and Classics at the University of California, Berkeley.

Review quote

"Gruen's pragmatic approach allows for greater accessibility than many recent volumes on identity. . . . This volume is a welcome addition to studies of identity, particularly (but not exclusively) within the ancient Mediterranean."--"Bryn Mawr Classical Review"