"This study raises that difficult and complicated question on a broad front, taking into account the expressions and attitudes of a wide variety of Greek, Roman, Jewish, and early Christian sources, including Herodotus, Polybius, Cicero, Philo, and Paul. It approaches the topic of ethnicity through the lenses of the ancients themselves rather than through the imposition of modern categories, labels, and frameworks. A central issue guides the course of the work: did ancient writers reflect upon collective identity as determined by common origins and lineage or by shared traditions and culture?"
"There was racism in the ancient world, after all. This groundbreaking book refutes the common belief that the ancient Greeks and Romans harbored "ethnic and cultural," but not racial, prejudice. It does so by comprehensively tracing the intellectual origins of racism back to classical antiquity."
"This study attempts both to account for the role of race in the classical world and also to trace the intricate ways Greek and Roman racial ideologies continue to resonate in modern life. Underlining the role of race in shaping the ancient world, she ultimately turns to the influence of ancient racial formation on the modern world as well, an influence mediated by the receptions and appropriations of classical antiquity, borrowings that serve to shore up modernity and its continuing, albeit complex, juxtapositions of past and present."
"By offering fluent, accurate translations of extracts and fragments from a wide assortment of ancient texts, this volume allows a comprehensive overview of ancient Greek and Roman concepts of otherness, as well as Greek and Roman views of non-Greeks and non-Romans."
"Roman literature seems to provide plenty of instances of contempt towards foreign or black individuals, but it is an untenable assumption that such distaste amounts to a racist attitude, particularly considering how elusive the definitions of 'race' and 'racism' are. Making extensive use of developments in sociological theory and psychology, Romans and Blacks, first published in 1989, presents an innovative and illuminating picture of black-white relations in Roman society. It is argued that 'race' as a somatic identification that entails permanent and genetically transmitted social disabilities was absent, and that the main deference-entitling distinctions in the Roman world were socio-cultural rather than somatic."
Untangling Blackness in Greek Antiquity by Sarah F. Derbew
Publication Date: 2022
"How should articulations of blackness from the fifth century BCE to the twenty-first century be properly read and interpreted? This important and timely new book is the first concerted treatment of black skin color in the Greek literature and visual culture of antiquity. In charting representations in the Hellenic world of black Egyptians, Aithiopians, Indians, and Greeks, Sarah Derbew dexterously disentangles the complex and varied ways in which blackness has been co-produced by ancient authors and artists; their readers, audiences, and viewers; and contemporary scholars. Exploring the precarious hold that race has on skin coloration, the author uncovers the many silences, suppressions, and misappropriations of blackness within modern studies of Greek antiquity. Shaped by performance studies and critical race theory alike, her book maps out an authoritative archaeology of blackness that reappraises its significance. It offers a committedly anti-racist approach to depictions of black people while rejecting simplistic conflations or explanations."
"Features the extant writings of major female authors from the Greco-Roman world, brought together for the first time in a single volume, in both their original languages and translated into English with accompanying commentaries."
"Explores a broad range of topics relating to women in antiquity, including: Mother-Goddess Theory; Women in Homer, Pre-Roman Italy, the Near East; Women and the Family, the State, and Religion; Dress and Adornment; Female Patronage; Hellenistic Queens; Imperial Women; Women in Late Antiquity; Early Women Saints; and many more."
"Holmes rescues ancient ideas about sex and gender in order precisely to reinvigorate contemporary debate. She argues that much writing on gender in the classical age fails to place those ancient ideas within their proper historical contexts. By re-examining ancient notions of sexual difference, bodies, culture, and identity, Holmes shows that Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics, Epicureans and others force us to reassess what is at stake in present-day discussions about gender."
"The first general treatment of women in the ancient world to reflect the critical insights of modern feminism. Though much debated, its position as the basic textbook on women's history in Greece and Rome has hardly been challenged."--Mary Beard
"This edited volume showcases new scholarship in the study of women in Greco-Roman antiquity. Covering a wide range of time periods and utilizing a variety of approaches, the essays will help readers to see women in antiquity with fresh eyes and to view anew important issues related to women today."
"Explores artistic and intellectual expression in the classical world as the self representation of man. It starts from the premise that the history of classical antiquity as the ancients tell it is a history of men. However, the focus of this volume is the creation, re-creation and iteration of that male self as presented in language, poetry, drama, philosophical and scientific thought and art: man constructing himself as subject in classical antiquity and beyond. "
"By their social and material context as markers of graves, dedications and public signs of honour, inscriptions shed light on women who are largely overlooked by the literary sources. The wide range of inscriptions and graffiti included in this book show women participating not only in their families and households but also in the social and professional life of their cities."
"Women's experiences are explored, from ordinary daily life to religious ritual and practice, to motherhood, childbirth, sex, and building a career. Forensic evidence is also treated for the actual bodies of ancient women."
"The author examines the lifecycle of women in ancient Greek and Rome beginning with how young females acquired the gendered characteristics necessary for adulthood. The text explores female adolescence, including concerns about virginity, medical views of the female body, religious roles, and education. Views of marriage, motherhood, sexual activity, adultery, and prostitution are also examined."
"Although there are many books on women in the ancient world, this is the first to explore in depth what life was like for women in the period of late antiquity (3rd to 6th centuries AD) once Christianity became the dominant religion. It is also unique in focusing on both pagan and Christian lifestyles."
"This book is one of the most exciting, provocative, and challenging works on ancient history to have appeared in recent times and is of immense importance to all historians of the Graeco-Roman world. . . . Because of the great wealth of insights brought to bear on a multiplicity of topics, no one in the future will be able to neglect the book and its major theme, the exploitation by a propertied elite of the bulk of the ancient population."
"Archaic Greece saw a number of decisive changes. This book argues that the best way of understanding them is the application of an eclectic Marxist model of class struggle, a struggle not only over control of agricultural land but also over cultural ideals and ideology."
"This volume introduces students and scholars to contemporary evidence and theories surrounding the Mediterranean from the eleventh century until the end of the seventh century BCE to enable an integrated understanding of the multicultural and socially complex nature of this incredibly vibrant period."
"Abulafia offers a fresh perspective by focusing on the sea itself: its practical importance for transport and sustenance; its dynamic role in the rise and fall of empires; and the remarkable cast of characters-sailors, merchants, migrants, pirates, pilgrims-who have crossed and re-crossed it.Ranging from prehistory to the 21st century, The Great Sea is above all a history of human interaction."
"Shows the different ways in which surviving linguistic evidence can be used to track movements of people in the ancient world. Eleven chapters cover a number of case studies, which span the period from the seventh century BC to the fourth century AD, ranging from Spain to Egypt, from Sicily to Pannonia. The book includes detailed study of epigraphic and literary evidence written in Latin and Greek, as well as work on languages which are not so well documented, such as Etruscan and Oscan."
"[S]tarts from the assumption that state-organised, forced and voluntary mobility and migration were intertwined and should be studied together. The papers assembled in the book tap into the remarkably large reservoir of archaeological and textual sources concerning various types of movement during the Roman Principate. The most important themes covered are rural-urban migration, labour mobility, relationships between forced and voluntary mobility, state-organised movements of military units, and familial and female mobility."
"Drawing on a wide range of ancient sources and the latest social theory, Manning suggests that a search for an illusory single "ancient economy" has obscured the diversity of lived experience in the Mediterranean world, including both changes in political economies over time and differences in cultural conceptions of property and money. At the same time, he shows how the region's economies became increasingly interconnected during this period."
"In this collection of essays, scholars attempt to establish the theoretical basis for studying the ancient and medieval history of the Mediterranean Sea and the lands around it. In so doing they range far afield to other Mediterraneans, real and imaginary, as distant as Brazil and Japan."
"The remains of Roman roads are a powerful reminder of the travel and communications system that was needed to rule a vast and diverse empire. Yet few people have questioned just how the Romans - both military and civilians - travelled, or examined their geographical understanding in an era which offered a greatly increased potential for moving."