Dwarfs in Ancient Egypt and Greece

Overview

This book examines dwarfs in myth and everyday life in ancient Egypt and Greece. In both cultures physical beauty was highly admired, even to excess. What happened to those whose appearance did not conform to the 'ideal proportions'? The spectacular forms of dwarfism were always a focus of interest, and it is the most depicted disorder in antiquity. In this study Dr Dasen brings together for the first time a whole range of mostly unpublished or little-known iconographic, epigraphic, literary, and anthropological ...
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Overview

This book examines dwarfs in myth and everyday life in ancient Egypt and Greece. In both cultures physical beauty was highly admired, even to excess. What happened to those whose appearance did not conform to the 'ideal proportions'? The spectacular forms of dwarfism were always a focus of interest, and it is the most depicted disorder in antiquity. In this study Dr Dasen brings together for the first time a whole range of mostly unpublished or little-known iconographic, epigraphic, literary, and anthropological evidence. She covers areas such as the history of caricature and the portrait; medical history, in particular, the development of the perception of congenital disorders; social history; and history of religion, with questions on the magical and ritual efficiency of the malformed in sacred and theatrical contexts. She considers also the complex relations between mythology and ethnography, as shown, for example, in the Greek myth of the Pygmies. This is a fascinating work, with a wealth of insights for anyone interested in the history of medicine and the ancient world.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Dasen has tackled a large subject, and has done an admirable job at ordering an immense amount of evidence....Dasen's book is a timely and valuable contribution."--The Medical history

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Veronique Dasen is Associate Professor of Classical Archaeology at the University of Fribourg.

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Table of Contents

Preface
List of Plates
List of Figures
Abbreviations
General Introduction
I Medical Context
1. Typology of Growth Disorders
2. Palaeopathology
II Egypt
3. Terminology
4. Iconographic Conventions
5. Anonymous Dwarf Gods
6. Bes
7. Ptah-Pataikoi
8. Physical Minorities
9. Human Dwarfs
10. Conclusion
III Greece
11. Terminology
12. Iconographic Conventions
13. Dwarfs in Myth
14. Physical Minorities
15. Human Dwarfs
16. Conclusion
General Conclusion
IV Catalogues
Egypt
Greek World
Skeletal Remains
Glossary of medical terms
Bibliography
Index
Plates

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