The Invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity

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9780691116914: The Invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity


There was racism in the ancient world, after all. This groundbreaking book refutes the common belief that the ancient Greeks and Romans harbored "ethnic and cultural," but not racial, prejudice. It does so by comprehensively tracing the intellectual origins of racism back to classical antiquity. Benjamin Isaac's systematic analysis of ancient social prejudices and stereotypes reveals that some of those represent prototypes of racism--or proto-racism--which in turn inspired the early modern authors who developed the more familiar racist ideas. He considers the literature from classical Greece to late antiquity in a quest for the various forms of the discriminatory stereotypes and social hatred that have played such an important role in recent history and continue to do so in modern society.


Magisterial in scope and scholarship, and engagingly written, The Invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity further suggests that an understanding of ancient attitudes toward other peoples sheds light not only on Greco-Roman imperialism and the ideology of enslavement (and the concomitant integration or non-integration) of foreigners in those societies, but also on the disintegration of the Roman Empire and on more recent imperialism as well. The first part considers general themes in the history of discrimination; the second provides a detailed analysis of proto-racism and prejudices toward particular groups of foreigners in the Greco-Roman world. The last chapter concerns Jews in the ancient world, thus placing anti-Semitism in a broader context.


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From the Inside Flap:

"A revolutionary work of immense relevance to the tensions of our contemporary globalized society. Enormous in scope, erudition, and importance, it is lucidly written and can easily be appreciated by any historically minded reader."--Glen W. Bowersock, Institute for Advanced Study

"Benjamin Isaac's treatment of this complex problem is the first comprehensive, intelligible, and truly magisterial one of which I am aware. The book will be an invaluable source of information, discussion, and interpretation for any person (scholar or layman) interested in any aspect of the problem of ethnic identity, whether in antiquity or in modern times."--Martin Ostwald, Swarthmore College and University of Pennsylvania

"The Invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity" is by far the most sweeping and all-encompassing study of stereotypes and hostile portrayals by Greeks and Romans of other peoples that has yet been written. Isaac details the classical world's biased conceptualizations of Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Syrians, Egyptians, Persians, Gauls, Germans, and Jews. As Isaac shows, the diverse images constructed at that time of genetic inferiority, of environmental and geographic influence, of descent and lineage, and propagation of fear of the alien have had an enduring impact on thinkers and public figures in Europe and the United States even up to the present time."--Erich S. Gruen, Gladys Rehard Wood Professor of History and Classics, University of California, Berkeley

"The Invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity is by far the most sweeping and all-encompassing study of stereotypes and hostile portrayals by Greeks and Romans of other peoples that has yet been written. Isaac details the classical world's biased conceptualizations of Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Syrians, Egyptians, Persians, Gauls, Germans, and Jews. As Isaac shows, the diverse images constructed at that time of genetic inferiority, of environmental and geographic influence, of descent and lineage, and propagation of fear of the alien have had an enduring impact on thinkers and public figures in Europe and the United States even up to the present time."--Erich S. Gruen, Gladys Rehard Wood Professor of History and Classics, University of California, Berkeley

About the Author:

Benjamin Isaac is Lessing Professor of Ancient History at the University of Tel Aviv. He is a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the author of "The Limits of Empire: The Roman Army in the East".

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BENJAMIN ISAAC
ISBN 10: 0691116911 ISBN 13: 9780691116914
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Descripción Estado de conservación: New. There was racism in the ancient world, after all. The author considers the literature from classical Greece to late antiquity in a quest for the various forms of the discriminatory stereotypes and social hatred that have played such an important role in recent history and continue to do so today. Magisterial in scope and scholarship, his study further suggests that an understanding of ancient attitudes toward other peoples sheds light not only on Greco-Roman imperialism and the ideology of enslavement (and the concomitant integration or non-integration) of foreigners in those societies, but also on the disintegration of the Roman Empire and on more recent imperialism as well. The first part considers general themes in the history of discrimination; the second provides a detailed analysis of proto-racism and prejudices toward particular groups of foreigners in the Greco-Roman world. The last chapter concerns Jews in the ancient world. Isaac's book is seriously academic and will long remain an essential standard tool for debate. TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT. Nº de ref. de la librería 1574

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Isaac, Benjamin
Editorial: Princeton University Press (2004)
ISBN 10: 0691116911 ISBN 13: 9780691116914
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Descripción Princeton University Press, 2004. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería P110691116911

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Isaac, Benjamin
Editorial: Princeton University Press
ISBN 10: 0691116911 ISBN 13: 9780691116914
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Descripción Princeton University Press. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. 0691116911 New Condition. Nº de ref. de la librería NEW7.1205092

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