Catalogue


Ethnic Identity in Greek antiquity /
Jonathan M. Hall.
imprint
Cambridge ; New York, NY : Cambridge University Press, 1997.
description
xviii, 228 p. :$bill., maps.
ISBN
052158017X
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Cambridge ; New York, NY : Cambridge University Press, 1997.
isbn
052158017X
general note
Includes index.
catalogue key
1042263
 
Bibliography: p. 190-212.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1998-01:
By "ethnic identity" Hall does not mean the identity of the ancient Greek people as a whole, but rather the "intrahellenic" groups such as Dorians, Ionians, and Aeolians. He uses linguistic, literary, mythological, and archaeological data to trace the process by which these identities took shape in the Greek world from earliest times to the fifth century BCE, concentrating on the Argolid. A preliminary chapter on anthropological theories of ethnicity is useful but might have been more so had the author brought in comparisons with the modern concept of "nationality." One of Hall's central themes is that an ethnic group is ultimately neither racial, linguistic, nor cultural, but is a social consensus with a historical dimension, characterized in antiquity chiefly by a myth of common origins and primordial territory. He is skeptical of the "Dorian invasions" and suggests that myths of ethnic identity may not have become important till the sixth century BCE. There is a particularly valuable chapter on the Greek dialects, which Hall thinks may have been less mutually intelligible than is often assumed. Graduate, faculty. J. D. Dawson; Rockingham Community College
Reviews
Review Quotes
' ... a book which [is] a quite extraordinary combination of theoretical sophistication and historical erudition.' Roger Just, Cambridge Archaeological Journal
' ... a book which [is] a quite extraordinary combination of theoretical sophistication and historical erudition.'Roger Just, Cambridge Archaeological Journal
‘ … a book which [is] a quite extraordinary combination of theoretical sophistication and historical erudition.’Roger Just, Cambridge Archaeological Journal
"An interesting, if not easy, book written for scholars." Religious Studies Review
'This is an important book. It is not the first study of ancient Greek ethnicity in recent years, but it is by far the most thorough and systematic ... It is a major contribution to Classical studies, and a major challenge to the archaeology of prehistoric ethnicity.' Ian Morris, Cambridge Archaeological Journal
'This is an important book. It is not the first study of ancient Greek ethnicity in recent years, but it is by far the most thorough and systematic ... It is a major contribution to Classical studies, and a major challenge to the archaeology of prehistoric ethnicity.'Ian Morris, Cambridge Archaeological Journal
‘This is an important book. It is not the first study of ancient Greek ethnicity in recent years, but it is by far the most thorough and systematic … It is a major contribution to Classical studies, and a major challenge to the archaeology of prehistoric ethnicity.’Ian Morris, Cambridge Archaeological Journal
'Jonathan Hall's book is an event in classical scholarship.' David Konstan, Diaspora
'Jonathan Hall's book is an event in classical scholarship.'David Konstan, Diaspora
‘Jonathan Hall’s book is an event in classical scholarship.’David Konstan, Diaspora
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, January 1998
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
With an introductory chapter on the history of the study of ethnicity in Greek antiquity, this text provides an examination of the ethnic identity of the ancient Greeks.
Description for Bookstore
The author demonstrates that the ethnic groups of ancient Greece, like many ethnic groups throughout the world today, were not ultimately racial, linguistic, religious or cultural, but social groups whose 'origins' in extraneous territories were just as often imagined as they were real.
Description for Library
The author demonstrates that the ethnic groups of ancient Greece, like many ethnic groups throughout the world today, were not ultimately racial, linguistic, religious or cultural, but social groups whose 'origins' in extraneous territories were just as often imagined as they were real. This is the first study to treat the subject from a truly interdisciplinary point of view, embracing literature, myth, archaeology, linguistics and social anthropology. It also outlines the history of the study of ethnicity in Greek antiquity.
Main Description
The purpose of this book is to show that the ethnic groups of ancient Greece, like many ethnic groups throughout the world today, were not ultimately racial, linguistic, religious or cultural, but social groups whose "origins" in extraneous territories were just as often imagined as they were real. This is the first study to treat the subject from a truly interdisciplinary point of view, embracing literature, myth, archaeology, linguistics and social anthropology. It also outlines the history of the study of ethnicity in Greek antiquity.
Main Description
In this book Jonathan Hall seeks to demonstrate that the ethnic groups of ancient Greece, like many ethnic groups throughout the world today, were not ultimately racial, linguistic, religious or cultural groups, but social groups whose 'origins' in extraneous territories were just as often imagined as they were real. Adopting an explicitly anthropological point of view, he examines the evidence of literature, archaeology and linguistics to elucidate the nature of ethnic identity in ancient Greece. Rather than treating Greek ethnic groups as 'natural' or 'essential' - let alone 'racial' - entities, he emphasises the active, constructive and dynamic role of ethnography, genealogy, material culture and language in shaping ethnic consciousness. An introductory chapter outlines the history of the study of ethnicity in Greek antiquity.
Table of Contents
Phrasing the problem
The nature and expression of ethnicity: an anthropological view
The discursive dimension of ethnic identity
Ethnography and genealogy: an Argolic case-study
Ethnicity and archaeology
Ethnicity and linguistics
Conclusion
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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