Cultural Identity: In the Ancient Mediterranean (BOK)
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This is an illuminating collection of essays that explore the idea of cultural identity in the ancient Mediterranean. Cultural identity is a slippery and elusive concept. When applied to the collective self-consciousness among people or nations, it becomes all the more difficult to define or grasp. In recent decades scholars have focused on the 'other' - the alien, the unfamiliar, the different, perceived or conceived as the opposite - to highlight the virtues and advantages of the self. While this influential idea continues to hold sway, the time has come for a more nuanced and complex understanding of how the various societies of the ancient Mediterranean shaped their sense of identity. The twenty-four essays in this volume examine the subject from a variety of angles, encompassing a broad range of cultures: Greek, Persian, Jewish, Phoenician, Egyptian, Roman, Gallic, and German - and an impressive array of topics.