Inventing the Barbarian: Greek Self-Definition Through Tragedy / Edition 1

Inventing the Barbarian: Greek Self-Definition Through Tragedy / Edition 1

by Nancy Coffelt, Edith Hall
     
 

ISBN-10: 0198147805

ISBN-13: 9780198147800

Pub. Date: 07/28/1991

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

Incest, polygamy, murder, sacrilege, impalement, castration, female power, and despotism are some of the images used by Athenian tragedians to define the non-Greek, "barbarian" world. This book explains for the first time the reasons behind their singular fascination with barbarians. Edith Hall sets the Greek plays against the historical background of the

…  See more details below

Overview

Incest, polygamy, murder, sacrilege, impalement, castration, female power, and despotism are some of the images used by Athenian tragedians to define the non-Greek, "barbarian" world. This book explains for the first time the reasons behind their singular fascination with barbarians. Edith Hall sets the Greek plays against the historical background of the Panhellenic wars, and the establishment of an Athenian empire based on democracy and slavery. Analyzed within the context of contemporary anthropology and political philosophy, Hall reveals how the poets conceptualized the barbarian as the negative embodiment of Athenian civic ideals. She compares the treatment of foreigners in Homer and in tragedy, showing that the new dimension which the idea of the barbarian had brought to the tragic theater radically affected the poets' interpretation of myth and their evocation of the distant past, as well as enriching their reportoire of aural and visual effects. Hall argues that the invented barbarian of the tragic stage was a powerful cultural expression of Greek xenophobia and chauvinism that, paradoxically, produced and outburst of creative energy and literary innovation.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780198147800
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
07/28/1991
Series:
Oxford Classical Monographs Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
296
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.69(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >