Monday, March 10, 2003

Being Greek under Rome: Cultural Identity, the Second Sophistic, and the Development of Empire (review)

Judith Perkins writes of this collection of essays, "While Goldhill employs a tripartite schema for the book's organization, the essays fall into two subsets. One set provides macroanalyses that work to expose the cultural processes and strategies that worked to produce and maintain the historical moment, the glue of empire, so to speak. In this group are Goldhil's own chapter on the erotic gaze, Froma Zeitlins on visions of Homer, Tim Whitmarshs on the trope of exile, and Onno van Nijfs on athletics and festivals. The other set offers microanalyses of the ways individuals negotiated the thicket of overlapping allegiances and cultural positions confronting them during this period filled with the tensions of social and political transformation. To this group belong John Hendersons chapter on Polybius (a strength of the collection is its citation of Hellenistic antecedents throughout), Maud Gleasons on Josephus, Rebecca Prestons on Plutarch, Jas; Elsners on the DeDeaSyria, and Seth Schwartzs on rabbis in Greco-Roman cities."
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