Race Antiquity and Its Legacy

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-05-01
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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The very ubiquity of race and racial discussions encourages the general public to accept the power it exerts as natural and to allow the process by which it has assumed such authority to remain unquestioned. In this study, Denise McCoskey explains the position of race today by unveiling its relation to structures of thought and practice in classical antiquity. This study thus attempts both to account for the role of race in the classical world and also to trace the intricate ways Greek and Roman racial ideologies continue to resonate in modern life. McCoskey uncovers the assorted frameworks that organized and classified human diversity more fundamentally in antiquity. Along the way, she highlights the noteworthy intersections of race with other important social structures, such as gender and class. Underlining the role of race in shaping the ancient world, she ultimately turns to the influence of ancient racial formation on the modern world as well, an influence mediated by the receptions and appropriations of classical antiquity, borrowings that serve to shore up modernity and its continuing, albeit complex, juxtapositions of past and present. In this deft study, McCoskey provides a touchstone for thinking more critically about race's many sites of operation in both ancient and modern eras.

Author Biography

Denise Eileen McCoskey is Associate Professor of Classics and an affiliate in Black World Studies at Miami University, Ohio. She has written extensively on the politics of race in antiquity, and in 2009 she won the American Philological Association Award for Excellence in Teaching at the College Level.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsp. vii
Forewordp. ix
Introductionp. 1
Racial formationp. 2
Blacks in antiquityp. 5
Lost in translationp. 11
Sight unseenp. 23
Racial Theoryp. 35
A world of differencep. 36
The ancient environmental theoryp. 46
Becoming Greekp. 49
The Athenian fifth centuryp. 56
The rhapsode of the oikumenep. 58
From 'Hellenes' to Hellenismp. 62
Alexanders one world?p. 64
Becoming Romanp. 68
Racial formation and Roman empirep. 75
Gauls and Germansp. 76
Race as Social Practicep. 81
Material culture and racial formationp. 83
Egypt under the Ptolemiesp. 88
Greeks and Egyptiansp. 92
Racial governmentalityp. 96
Racial subjectivityp. 100
Family in the colonial contestp. 105
Egypt under Roman rulep. 109
Marriage and army in Roman Egyptp. 112
Racial formation and the ancient cityp. 117
Ancient Jewish identityp. 120
The multicultural city boils overp. 123
Racial formation and its discontentsp. 127
Racial Representationsp. 132
Mapping the selfp. 135
Viewing the 'other'p. 139
Persians and pseudo-Persiansp. 143
Staging the 'other'p. 148
Voicing the 'other'p. 153
Displaying the defeated 'other'p. 156
'Becoming' the 'other'p. 161
Whose History?p. 167
Coming to terms with Black Athenap. 171
Coming to terms with 'black' Athenap. 177
Coming to terms with the ancient Egyptiansp. 181
From ancient to modern empirep. 185
Coming to terms with Roman conquestp. 188
Setting new terms: Classica Africanap. 194
Conclusion: coming to terms with the classical pastp. 198
Afterwordp. 200
Some Suggestions for Further Readingp. 202
Notesp. 204
Indexp. 243
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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