Ethnic Identity in Greek Antiquity

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Cambridge University Press, Jun 26, 2000 - History - 248 pages
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.

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