Cultural Identity

Cultural Identity : In the Ancient Mediterranean

By (author) Erich S. Gruen

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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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  • Paperback | 572 pages
  • 177.8 x 251.46 x 35.56mm | 1,587.57g
  • 25 Jan 2011
  • Getty Trust Publications
  • Getty Research Institute,U.S.
  • Santa Monica CA
  • English
  • 97 black & white illustrations
  • 0892369698
  • 9780892369690
  • 498,194

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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.

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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""

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