The Greeks: A Portrait of Self and Others

The Greeks: A Portrait of Self and Others

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By (author) Paul Cartledge

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  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks
  • Format: Paperback | 288 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 196mm x 20mm | 227g
  • Publication date: 1 January 2003
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0192803883
  • ISBN 13: 9780192803887
  • Edition: 2
  • Edition statement: 2nd ed.
  • Illustrations note: 8pp halftone plates and 2 maps
  • Sales rank: 157,399

Product description

This book provides an original and challenging answer to the question: 'Who were the Classical Greeks?' Paul Cartledge - 'one of the most theoretically alert, widely read and prolific of contemporary ancient historians' (TLS) - here examines the Greeks and their achievements in terms of their own self-image, mainly as it was presented by the supposedly objective historians: Herodotus, Thucydides, and Xenophon. Many of our modern concepts as we understand them were invented by the Greeks: for example, democracy, theatre, philosophy, and history. Yet despite being our cultural ancestors in many ways, their legacy remains rooted in myth and the mental and material contexts of many of their achievements are deeply alien to our own ways of thinking and acting. The Greeks aims to explore in depth how the dominant group (adult, male, citizen) attempted, with limited success, to define themselves unambiguously in polar opposition to a whole series of 'Others' - non-Greeks, women, non-citizens, slaves and gods. This new edition contains an updated bibliography, a new chapter entitled 'Entr'acte: Others in Images and Images of Others', and a new afterword.

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Author information

Paul Cartledge is Reader in Greek History at the University of Cambridge. His publications include The Cambridge Illustrated History of Greece (CUP, 1997) and The Greeks (BBC, 2001).

Review quote

Review from previous edition a useful antidote to British sentimentality about ancient Greece Philip Howard, The Times Paul Cartledge's sharp and unsentimental new introduction to [the Greeks'] mentality ... forcefully shows that freedom-loving citizens could live at ease among hordes of slaves. Boyd Tonkin, New Statesman & Society the lively and succinct development of many ancient nad modern arguments makes The Greeks a welcome and timely contribution to a number of continuing and important debates Times Literary Supplement lively, and very topical, book ... I know of no better book with which to introduce this 'portrait of self and others' to students at the sixth-form level or above. Greece & Rome He adopts a lightly unusual approach and discusses the 'dominant' group - male citizens - in its relations with woman, slaves, barbarians and the gods. It is an interesting approach. Contemporary Review With The Greeks Cartledge has achieved an up-to-date synthesis of Hellenic central concepts, thus furnishing teachers of ancient history and civilization with a valuable instrument, as I experienced in Greece when teaching European youth about their identity. Mnemosyne Cartledge's The Greeks is bracingly enthusiastic with inter-disciplinary influences and interests. The Sunday Times a study of the rise of a mentality, written in brilliant style, important, sometimes iconoclastic Il pensiero politico

Table of contents

Prologue ; 1. Significant Others: Us v. Them ; 2. Inventing the Past: History v. Myth ; Entr'acte: Others in Images and Images of Others ; 3. Alien Wisdom: Greeks v. Barbarians ; 4. Engendering History: Men v. Women ; 5. In the Club: Citizens v. Aliens ; 6. Of Inhuman Bondage: Free v. Slave ; 7. Knowing Your Place: Gods v. Mortals ; Epilogue ; Further Reading ; Bibliography ; Index