Enemies of Civilization
Attitudes toward Foreigners in Ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, and China
Publication Year: 2005
Published by: State University of New York Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
List of Illustrations
About ten years ago I was asked by my fellow graduate students at Johns Hopkins University to contribute an article in a Festschrift for my mentor, Hans Goedicke, a famous Egyptologist. After some thought, I decided to write something that is both Egyptological and Sinological, just to show my appreciation to my old professor for his...
A genre of fantastic stories circulated Medieval Europe that recounted strange or monstrous peoples who inhabited faraway countries—people with one foot, people with their face on their chests, people with long lips that could be used as an umbrella, and so on.¹ Not entirely created out of pure imagination, some of these stories...
2. In Search of Cultural Identity
When the Egyptian soldier went up to Syria, the journey on which he was about to embark was characterized as full of dangers, taking place in a foreign environment that was quite hostile. His identity as an Egyptian was keenly felt when encountering a very different terrain in a faraway place. Distance and terrain, therefore, are two...
For people ancient and modern, there are always foreigners outside their political or cultural borders, since no identity could have been established without the presence of at least the concept of “others.” By identifying the others, whether from a biological point of view or from a cultural point of view (that is, language, religion, custom), people...
4. Relations and Attitudes
In the records of the ancient civilizations, foreigners and foreign countries were very often considered as sources of hostility. A foreigner can be defined as someone who is from a place outside of the political and cultural spheres of a certain community. This concept of “foreigness,” therefore, could represent what is unfamiliar, hostile, and...
5. Foreigners Within
Textual and graphical evidence, as has been presented in the last three chapters, provided us with views of foreigners: their characteristics, their relationship with Egypt, China, and Mesopotamia, as enemies, friends, or allies. Yet these textual and graphical evidence, preserved on particular media with a limited spectrum of representation, run...
6. The Transformation of the Barbarians
Much as people tend to keep their own way of life and thinking, in reality their attitudes and mentality are susceptible to outside influence upon contact with others. When contacts are made, changes in both directions are usually expected. The extent of change, of course, varies from person to person, from culture to culture, and from time...
This study begins with a simple question: What can we know about the attitudes toward foreigners in ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, and China? The intention that prompted this question, as already explained in the introduction, is a desire to better understand the ways in which social groups perceived each other, and thus, hopefully, to...
Page Count: 229
Illustrations: 13 figures
Publication Year: 2005
OCLC Number: 63145859
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Enemies of Civilization