Finding People in Early Greece

Finding People in Early Greece

Hardback Fordyce W. Mitchel Memorial Lecture

By (author) Carol G. Thomas

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  • Publisher: University of Missouri Press
  • Format: Hardback | 184 pages
  • Dimensions: 158mm x 232mm x 18mm | 381g
  • Publication date: 31 May 2005
  • Publication City/Country: Missouri
  • ISBN 10: 0826215777
  • ISBN 13: 9780826215772
  • Illustrations note: 18 illustrations, index, bibliography

Product description

Progress toward a fuller understanding of preclassical Greece was steady until the 1950s, when a general crisis in all the human-centered disciplines erupted. Scholars undertook a serious reexamination of their tools and data, producing new brands of history, geography, anthropology, archaeology, economics, and sociology. Although these new approaches were widely adopted, the developments also bred a countercurrent beginning in the 1980s and 1990s. The fallout from this backlash was serious in several respects, one of the most important of which was the elimination of the human element in the products of the "new" human-centered disciplines. In Finding People in Early Greece, Carol Thomas addresses these developments and the recent accommodation and rapprochement of the "old" and "new" that has emerged. She then offers two case studies: Jason and the voyage of the Argo, deriving from the "Age of Heroes," and Hesiod, probably the first literate European, who lived ca. 700 BCE during the "Age of Revolution," which catapulted Greece out of its long Dark Age into the vibrant Classical Age. With these two examples, Thomas shows that through a combination of scientific tools and historically oriented scholarship, a larger context in which individual subjects lived can be offered.

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Author information

Carol G. Thomas is Professor of History at the University of Washington in Seattle. She is the author or editor of numerous books, including Myth Becomes History: Pre-Classical Greece and Citadel to City-State: The Transformation of Greece, 1200-700 B.C.E.

Review quote

"Thomas displays great skill in assembling and interpreting a large variety of evidence that argues in compelling fashion for the main thesis of the book: that it is possible to establish the strong likelihood that individual figures known from much later evidence (Jason) or contemporary writings (Hesiod) were in fact historical. Finding People in Early Greece is a rich historiographical foray into intellectual history, which will provide a useful introduction to the subject for those with little knowledge of it, and an equally valuable discussion for the more informed readers." - Charles Hamilton"