Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. vii-ix

List of Illustrations

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pp. xi-xii

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Acknowledgments

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p. xiii

...people have shared their thoughts with me on one or more aspects of this study over the past several years. Many more attended lectures or conferences at which I presented ideas connected with the theme, offering their reactions, questions, suggestions, criticisms, dissent, and even (occasionally) assent. Obviously the registering of their names is impossible. But ...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-6

Alterity and "otherness" have too often plagued our world. The denigration, even demonization, of the ?Other? in order to declare superiority or to construct a contrasting national identity is all too familiar. Trading in stereotypes, manufacturing traits, and branding those who are different as inferior, objectionable, or menacing have had an inordinate grip on imag-...

PART I. IMPRESSIONS OF THE “OTHER”

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CHAPTER ONE: Persia in the Greek Perception: Aeschylus and Herodotus

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pp. 9-52

The Persian War represented a mighty watershed in Hellenic history. Its effects resonated through Greek literature in subsequent centuries. Cur-rent scholarly consensus in fact goes further. It designates the conflict with Persia as the pivotal turning point in the conception of Greek identity. The clash prompted Greeks to reconsider the values that gave them distinctive-...

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CHAPTER TWO: Persia in the Greek Perception: Xenophon and Alexander

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pp. 53-75

Clashes between Greeks and Persians occurred intermittently and indecisively through much of the fourth century BCE. The record of hostilities can readily be recounted. But that is only part of the story. Rivalry and animosity need not translate into denigration, disparagement, and con-tempt. Attitudes were far more mixed and ambiguous. Isocrates too often ...

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CHAPTER THREE: Egypt in the Classical Imagination

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pp. 76-114

The ancient land of Egypt fascinated a host of Hellenic writers and intellectuals. Its antiquity generated awe. And its exotic appeal wove a spell. On the face of it, that mysterious people embodied practices, beliefs, and traditions remote from and even unintelligible to Greek and Roman inquirers. The vast differences themselves sparked intense interest over a re-...

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CHAPTER FOUR: Punica Fides

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pp. 115-140

Carthage. Three Punic wars in the middle Republic seared Roman memory and imagination. The contests with that formidable foe left lasting scars, and the outcomes brought enduring glory. They framed the formative period of Roman imperialism, and they supplied critical landmarks in the shaping of Roman self-consciousness. For Rome, Carthage would seem ...

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CHAPTER FIVE: Caesar on the Gauls

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pp. 141-158

...seven books of commentaries on the wars. That corpus offers an invaluable entrance to a critical subject: the mode of representing to a Roman readership a foe with a long history of hostility and one that had recently claimed many Roman lives while straining the manpower and resources Caesar the general had little prior experience with the people against ...

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CHAPTER SIX: Tacitus on the Germans

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pp. 159-178

The GERMANIA of Tacitus holds a unique place among extant texts from antiquity. It stands as the sole surviving full-scale monograph by a classical author on an alien people. Not that he was the fi rst or only to produce such a work. We possess ethnographic excursuses composed as parts of larger works, even some quite lengthy ones like those of Herodotus and Diodo-...

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CHAPTER SEVEN: Tacitus and the Defamation of the Jews

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pp. 179-196

Jews do not fare very well at the hands of Cornelius Tacitus. The great consular historian devoted thirteen chapters to them at the beginning of book 5 of his Histories. Those chapters constituted a digression from his main text, but a remarkably extensive one. Tacitus sets it at the point where he intends to embark on the narrative of the Roman siege of Jerusalem in ...

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CHAPTER EIGHT: People of Color

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pp. 197-220

The ancients were not color-blind. Greek and Latin authors observed with curiosity and interest persons of black skin. They remarked on that color, wondered about it; some had discomfort with it, even occasionally mocked and caricatured it. Are we here in the realm of ethnic bigotry or Classical writers associated blacks most commonly with the regions of ...

PART II. CONNECTIONS WITH THE “OTHER”

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CHAPTER NINE: Foundation Legends

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pp. 223-252

Group identities in antiquity did not possess a pure and unadulterated character. Nor were they meant to do so. Communities and peoples, rather than considering themselves as hermetically sealed entities, regularly proclaimed ties to other societies, even inserting themselves into their history and traditions. By setting their patriarchs and legendary heroes into the ...

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CHAPTER TEN: Fictitious Kinships: Greeks and Others

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pp. 253-276

The ancient Mediterranean was a multicultural world. A remarkable number of peoples, nations, tribes, groups, and cities clustered about that pond. The ebb and flow of military, commercial, and cultural contact blurred boundaries, brought linguistic fluidity, and engendered ethnic complexity. In that polyglot and entangled universe a sense of distinctive-...

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CHAPTER ELEVEN: Fictitious Kinships: Jews and Others

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pp. 277-307

The ancient Jews notoriously preferred their own company to that of anyone else. A famous prayer, stemming from rabbinic traditions and found already in the Mishnah, sums it up nicely. The Jewish worshipper offers a prayer of thanksgiving: "thank you, O Lord, for not making me a slave, for not making me a woman, and for not making me a goy!" Better not to ...

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CHAPTER TWELVE: Cultural Interlockings and Overlappings

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pp. 209-351

Linkages among cultures in the Mediterranean crop up regularly in creative fiction and symbolic action. The phenomenon is neither exceptional nor marginal. A plethora of texts speak to affinity rather than estrangement. The treatment here cannot claim to be exhaustive. But several probes in different contexts can bring the concept into sharp focus. Some ...

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Conclusion

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pp. 352-358

The fashioning of a collective consciousness defies articulation. It constitutes no deliberative process or calculated design. To attempt a narrative tracing gradual evolution or developing constructs of a people's sense of itself would be a fruitless venture. Patterns elude recovery or depend on artificial impositions. The jagged course of shaping a national identity de-...

Bibliography

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pp. 359-384

Index of Citations

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pp. 385-402

Subject Index

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pp. 403-415