Hellenisms : Culture, Identity, and Ethnicity from Antiquity to Modernity book cover
1st Edition

Culture, Identity, and Ethnicity from Antiquity to Modernity

Edited By

Katerina Zacharia

ISBN 9781138269491
Published September 6, 2016 by Routledge
490 Pages

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Book Description

This volume casts a fresh look at the multifaceted expressions of diachronic Hellenisms. A distinguished group of historians, classicists, anthropologists, ethnographers, cultural studies, and comparative literature scholars contribute essays exploring the variegated mantles of Greek ethnicity, and the legacy of Greek culture for the ancient and modern Greeks in the homeland and the diaspora, as well as for the ancient Romans and the modern Europeans. Given the scarcity of books on diachronic Hellenism in the English-speaking world, the publication of this volume represents nothing less than a breakthrough. The book provides a valuable forum to reflect on Hellenism, and is certain to generate further academic interest in the topic. The specific contribution of this volume lies in the fact that it problematizes the fluidity of Hellenism and offers a much-needed public dialogue between disparate viewpoints, in the process making a case for the existence and viability of such a polyphony. The chapters in this volume offer a reorientation of the study of Hellenism away from a binary perception to approaches giving priority to fluidity, hybridity, and multi-vocality. The volume also deals with issues of recycling tradition, cultural category, and perceptions of ethnicity. Topics explored range from European Philhellenism to Hellenic Hellenism, from the Athens 2004 Olympics to Greek cinema, from a psychoanalytical engagement with anthropological material to a subtle ethnographic analysis of Greek-American women's material culture. The readership envisaged is both academic and non-specialist; with this aim in mind, all quotations from ancient and modern sources in foreign languages have been translated into English.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Introduction, Katerina Zacharia; Part I Hellenic Culture and Identity from Antiquity to Byzantium: Herodotus' 4 markers of Greek identity, Katerina Zacharia; Greek identity in the archaic and classical periods, Simon Hornblower; Greek identity in the Hellenistic period, Stanley Burstein; Graecia capta: the confrontation between Greek and Roman identity, Ronald Mellor; Hellenic identity, Romanitas and Christianity in Byzantium, Claudia Rapp. Part II Cultural Legacies: Travelling Hellenisms: Mediterranean Antiquity, European Legacies and Modern Greece: Philhellenism, cosmopolitanism, nationalism, Glenn Most; Philhellenic promises and Hellenic visions: Korais and the discourses of the enlightenment, Olga Augustinos; Hellenism and the making of modern Greece: time language, space, Antonis Liakos; The quest for Hellenism: religion, nationalism and collective identities in Greece, 1453-1913, Dimitris Livanios. Part III Ethnic Identity: Places, Contexts, Movement. Facets of Hellenism: Hellas, Europe, Modern Greece, Diaspora: Dreams of treasure: temporality, historicization, and the unconscious, Charles Stewart; Cultural difference as national identity in modern Greece, Peter Mackridge; 'Reel' Hellenisms: perceptions of Greece in Greek cinema, Katerina Zacharia; Against cultural loss: immigration, life history, and the enduring 'vernacular', Yiorgos Anagnostou; Greek-American identity: what women's handwork tells us, Artemis Leontis; Bibliography; Select glossary; Index.

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Katerina Zacharia is an Associate Professor and Chair of Classics and Archaeology at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles. She holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Philosophy from the University of Athens, and MA and PhD in Classics from University College London. Her main interests and publications are in Greek literature, especially tragedy, comedy, and epic, and its reception, especially film; the social and political history of archaic and classical Greece; and Greek ethnicity. She is the author of Converging Truths: Euripides' Ion and the Athenian Quest for Self-Definition (Leiden: Brill 2003).


'This volume offers a penetrating and multifaceted analysis of Hellenic identity from antiquity to the present day. It includes contributions from some of the world's leading scholars and ranges across fields as diverse as history, literature, anthropology, psychoanalysis, cinema, and diaspora studies. This is a fascinating exploration of how Greeks, past and present, at home and abroad, have employed language, religion, cultural memories, folkways, intellectual discourses, conceptions of time, and ethnographic self-representations to proclaim an identity that has had to respond and adapt to the varying conditions of imperialism, conquest, displacement, as well as to the perceived status of Greece within the European and global imagination.' Jonathan M. Hall, University of Chicago, USA 'Although the permutations of Hellenism have been a deeply influential aspect of Western history and culture, usually they have been approached in a geographically and chronologically limited way and by relatively traditional methods. This volume breaks new ground by exploring Hellenic identities more broadly in their richly multifaceted versions through time, and by drawing on some of the most exciting innovations in cultural studies, literary and historical disciplines, anthropology, and other fields. Five chapters trace the development of Hellenisms from antiquity to the Middle Ages, four follow the emergence of Hellenism and Philhellenism in modern Greece and Europe, and the last five investigate the impact of Hellenism on Greece and the Greek diaspora. This is a book which will be of enormous interest not only to specialists of all Greek periods but also to scholars analyzing the transmission and reception of cultural models through history. As a whole, it argues convincingly that the study of the Greeks and of Hellenisms should be intertwined.' Vassilis Lambropoulos, University of Michigan, USA