Catalogue


The cattle of the sun : cows and culture in the world of the ancient Greeks /
Jeremy McInerney.
imprint
Princeton : Princeton University Press, c2010.
description
xvii, 340 p.
ISBN
0691140073 (hardcover : alk. paper), 9780691140070 (hardcover : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Princeton : Princeton University Press, c2010.
isbn
0691140073 (hardcover : alk. paper)
9780691140070 (hardcover : alk. paper)
contents note
Cattle habits -- The paradoxes of pastoralism -- Cattle systems in Bronze Age Greece -- Epic consumption -- Heroes and gods -- Gods, cattle, and space -- Sacred economics -- Cities and cattle business -- Sacred law -- Authority and value -- Conclusions.
catalogue key
7161293
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"Through the Greeks' apparent devotion to agriculture and our modern overvaluing of that agriculture, we have failed to perceive the essential pastoral ethos of ancient Greek life. Once we put aside our blinders, we see that many aspects of Greek culture, most prominently large-animal sacrifice and public feasting, are attributable to a long devotion to bovid production. This engaging and confident book argues the idea convincingly."--David Tandy, University of Tennessee"This is a rewarding place of first resort for those interested in ancient Greek cattle."--Robin Osborne, University of Cambridge
Flap Copy
"Through the Greeks' apparent devotion to agriculture and our modern overvaluing of that agriculture, we have failed to perceive the essential pastoral ethos of ancient Greek life. Once we put aside our blinders, we see that many aspects of Greek culture, most prominently large-animal sacrifice and public feasting, are attributable to a long devotion to bovid production. This engaging and confident book argues the idea convincingly."--David Tandy, University of Tennessee "This is a rewarding place of first resort for those interested in ancient Greek cattle."--Robin Osborne, University of Cambridge
Flap Copy
"Through the Greeks' apparent devotion to agriculture and our modern overvaluing of that agriculture, we have failed to perceive the essential pastoral ethos of ancient Greek life. Once we put aside our blinders, we see that many aspects of Greek culture, most prominently large-animal sacrifice and public feasting, are attributable to a long devotion to bovid production. This engaging and confident book argues the idea convincingly."-- David Tandy, University of Tennessee "This is a rewarding place of first resort for those interested in ancient Greek cattle."-- Robin Osborne, University of Cambridge
Reviews
Review Quotes
"[T]his book is well crafted and insightful. It should appeal to a relatively broad audience, across a variety of disciplines, sparking curiosity among many to engage in new theoretical ideas about antiquity and to consider ties among lines of evidence that they may not have considered before."-- Michael MacKinnon, Canadian Journal of History
This is a rewarding place of first resort for those interested in ancient Greek cattle.
Through the Greeks' apparent devotion to agriculture and our modern overvaluing of that agriculture, we have failed to perceive the essential pastoral ethos of ancient Greek life. Once we put aside our blinders, we see that many aspects of Greek culture, most prominently large-animal sacrifice and public feasting, are attributable to a long devotion to bovid production. This engaging and confident book argues the idea convincingly.
[T]his book is well crafted and insightful. It should appeal to a relatively broad audience, across a variety of disciplines, sparking curiosity among many to engage in new theoretical ideas about antiquity and to consider ties among lines of evidence that they may not have considered before.
In yet another instance, Princeton University Press must be commended for making an important, powerfully argued book available at a very reasonable price. . . . [T]his book must be a worthwhile accession to major college and university libraries, where all interested in the lately flourishing field of human-animal relations as well as antiquarians who study Greek religion and/or other early cultural-civic institutions and ancient economy may wish to consult it, if in fact they do not take advantage of its attractive price to acquire it for themselves.
"In yet another instance, Princeton University Press must be commended for making an important, powerfully argued book available at a very reasonable price. . . . [T]his book must be a worthwhile accession to major college and university libraries, where all interested in the lately flourishing field of human-animal relations as well as antiquarians who study Greek religion and/or other early cultural-civic institutions and ancient economy may wish to consult it, if in fact they do not take advantage of its attractive price to acquire it for themselves."-- Victor Castellani, European Legacy
"In sum, this is an excellent book in many regards. For understanding Greek religion and sanctuaries and the Greek economy, and as a contribution to the growing field of studies on animals in historical contexts, I think it should assume a central place. . . . [I]t is . . . a work of great value that contributes much to ancient Mediterranean studies."-- Gary D. Farney, Journal Of World History
In sum, this is an excellent book in many regards. For understanding Greek religion and sanctuaries and the Greek economy, and as a contribution to the growing field of studies on animals in historical contexts, I think it should assume a central place. . . . [I]t is . . . a work of great value that contributes much to ancient Mediterranean studies.
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
Main Description
Though Greece is traditionally seen as an agrarian society, cattle were essential to Greek communal life, through religious sacrifice and dietary consumption. Cattle were also pivotal in mythology: gods and heroes stole cattle, expected sacrifices of cattle, and punished those who failed to provide them. The Cattle of the Sun ranges over a wealth of sources, both textual and archaeological, to explore why these animals mattered to the Greeks, how they came to be a key element in Greek thought and behavior, and how the Greeks exploited the symbolic value of cattle as a way of structuring social and economic relations. Jeremy McInerney explains that cattle's importance began with domestication and pastoralism: cattle were nurtured, bred, killed, and eaten. Practically useful and symbolically potent, cattle became social capital to be exchanged, offered to the gods, or consumed collectively. This circulation of cattle wealth structured Greek society, since dedication to the gods, sacrifice, and feasting constituted the most basic institutions of Greek life. McInerney shows that cattle contributed to the growth of sanctuaries in the Greek city-states, as well as to changes in the economic practices of the Greeks, from the Iron Age through the classical period, as a monetized, market economy developed from an earlier economy of barter and exchange. Combining a broad theoretical approach with a careful reading of sources, The Cattle of the Sun illustrates the significant position that cattle held in the culture and experiences of the Greeks.
Main Description
Includes selections translated from the Ancient Greek.
Main Description
Though Greece is traditionally seen as an agrarian society, cattle were essential to Greek communal life, through religious sacrifice and dietary consumption. Cattle were also pivotal in mythology: gods and heroes stole cattle, expected sacrifices of cattle, and punished those who failed to provide them.The Cattle of the Sunranges over a wealth of sources, both textual and archaeological, to explore why these animals mattered to the Greeks, how they came to be a key element in Greek thought and behavior, and how the Greeks exploited the symbolic value of cattle as a way of structuring social and economic relations.Jeremy McInerney explains that cattle's importance began with domestication and pastoralism: cattle were nurtured, bred, killed, and eaten. Practically useful and symbolically potent, cattle became social capital to be exchanged, offered to the gods, or consumed collectively. This circulation of cattle wealth structured Greek society, since dedication to the gods, sacrifice, and feasting constituted the most basic institutions of Greek life. McInerney shows that cattle contributed to the growth of sanctuaries in the Greek city-states, as well as changes in the economic practices of the Greeks, from the Iron Age through the classical period, as a monetized, market economy developed from an earlier economy of barter and exchange.Combining a broad theoretical approach with a careful reading of sources,The Cattle of the Sunillustrates the significant position that cattle held in the culture and experiences of the Greeks.
Bowker Data Service Summary
This work addresses the importance of cattle in classical Greek culture and is concerned with pastoralism as the basics for a set of practices centred on sacrifice and feasting that defined Greek identity.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrationsp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
A Note about Spellings and Translationsp. xiii
Abbreviationsp. xv
Cattle Habitsp. 1
The Paradoxes of Pastoralismp. 21
Cattle Systems in Bronze Age Greecep. 48
Epic Consumptionp. 74
Heroes and Godsp. 97
Gods, Cattle, and Spacep. 123
Sacred Economicsp. 146
Cities and Cattle Businessp. 173
Sacred Lawp. 196
Authority and Valuep. 217
Conclusionsp. 241
Notesp. 253
Bibliographyp. 293
Indexp. 335
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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