The Black Hunter: Forms of Thought and Forms of Society in the Greek World

Overview

"No one can fail to admire the brilliance of the connections Vidal-Naquet suggests... Audacity has been characteristic of Vidal-Naquet's career from the start; it marked his activities as a historian engagé in the political struggle; it is visible at work in every page of this book."—Bernard Knox, from the Foreword

The black hunter travels through the mountains and forests of Greek mythology, living on the frontier of the city-state, of adulthood, of class, of ethics, of ...

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Overview

"No one can fail to admire the brilliance of the connections Vidal-Naquet suggests... Audacity has been characteristic of Vidal-Naquet's career from the start; it marked his activities as a historian engagé in the political struggle; it is visible at work in every page of this book."—Bernard Knox, from the Foreword

The black hunter travels through the mountains and forests of Greek mythology, living on the frontier of the city-state, of adulthood, of class, of ethics, of sexuality. Taking its title from this figure, The Black Hunter approaches the Greek world from its margins and charts the elaborate system of oppositions that pervaded Greek culture and society: cultivated and wild, citizen and foreigner, real and imaginary, god and man. Organizing his discussions around four principle themes—space and time; youth and warriors; women, slaves, and artisans; and the city of vision and of reality—Pierre Vidal-Naquet focuses on the congruence of the textual and the actual, on the patterns that link literary, philosophical, and historical works with such social activities as war, slavery, education, and commemoration. The Black Hunter probes the interplay of world view, language, and social practice "to bring into dialogue that which does not naturally communicate according to the usual criteria of historical judgement.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of Ritual Studies

Excellent... Vidal-Naquet's book is a gem. It will stimulate further thoughts, discussions and writings on the Greek politeia and politikon. It should be read by all those who are involved in classical and comparative studies. It puts into circulation a structuralist reading which is provocative and simultaneously rings true.

Modern Greek Studies Yearbook

A brilliant demonstration of structural analysis and its usefulness in illuminating well-known texts and providing fresh insights... What strikes the reader of this book is its daring, innovative interpretations. This is not a book that merely collects new information or synthesizes old views. It bursts into the heart of important themes and floods them with bright light.

Classical World

One of the liveliest intellects in the field... There is a wealth of learning in this book; specialists... will wish to consult individual articles while the general reader will not only learn but enjoy its contents and tenor.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801859519
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/1998
  • Pages: 392
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Pierre Vidal-Naquet is director of the Centre de Recherches comparées sur les Sociétés Anciennes at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. Among his many publications are Clisthène l' Athénien, with Pierre Lévêque, and Mythe et Tragédie, with Jean-Pierre Vernant.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
By Way of Introduction: A Civilization of Political Discourse 1
Pt. I Space and Time
1 Land and Sacrifice in the Odyssey: A Study of Religious and Mythical Meanings 15
2 Divine Time and Human Time 39
3 Epaminondas the Pythagorean, or the Tactical Problem of Right and Left 61
Pt. II The Young, the Warriors
4 The Tradition of the Athenian Hoplite 85
5 The Black Hunter and the Origin of the Athenian Ephebia 106
6 Recipes for Greek Adolescence 129
Pt. III Women, Slaves, and Artisans
7 Were Greek Slaves a Class? 159
8 Reflections on Greek Historical Writing about Slavery 168
9 The Immortal Slave-Women of Athena Ilias 189
10 Slavery and the Rule of Women in Tradition, Myth, and Utopia 205
11 A Study in Ambiguity: Artisans in the Platonic City 224
Pt. IV The City, Vision, and Reality
12 Greek Rationality and the City 249
13 Athens and Atlantis: Structure and Meaning of a Platonic Myth 263
14 Plato's Myth of the Statesman, the Ambiguities of the Golden Age and of History 285
15 An Enigma at Delphi 302
Bibliography
Index
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