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dc.contributor.advisorWheatley, Pat
dc.contributor.advisorHannah, Robert
dc.contributor.authorMcPhail, Cameron Kenrick
dc.date.available2016-03-06T21:35:24Z
dc.date.copyright2016
dc.identifier.citationMcPhail, C. K. (2016). The Roles of Geographical Concepts in the Construction of Ancient Greek Ethno-cultural Identities, from Homer to Herodotus: An Analysis of the Continents and the Mediterranean Sea (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy). University of Otago. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10523/6251en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10523/6251
dc.description.abstractThe main objective of the thesis is to investigate and explain the roles that concepts of geographical space played in the construction of ancient Greek ethno-cultural identities, from Homer to Herodotus. I focus specifically on two concepts – the continents and the Mediterranean Sea – as evidence from the primary sources shows that the Greeks integrated both into the process of their ethno-cultural identity construction simultaneously. This integration was highly complex because “Greekness” was an aggregation of different and competing identity planes, such as the local/polis, the regional, the tribal and the collective Greek. The issue of ancient Greek ethnicity and identity has produced a fertile field of classical scholarship; however, the geographical dimension has received only minor consideration. The modern philosophical and anthropological concept of alterity has dominated the study of ancient Greek ethno-cultural self-definition. Most significant of all is the conventional association of the ancient Greeks with both geographical ethnocentrism and “Orientalism.” The theory of ancient Greek geographical ethnocentrism refers to a culturally hierarchical centre versus periphery worldview. The Greeks, inhabiting Mediterranean coastlines, believe themselves to occupy the central zone of the oi0koume/nh (“inhabited/known world”), a marker of cultural supremacy. Barbarian peoples, inhabiting distant regions and continental interiors, are consigned to the periphery, home to cultural dilapidation. Orientalism is a European colonialist discourse which stigmatises the peoples of the “Orient/East” and subordinates them to the “Occident/West.” It has been claimed that the origins of Orientalism reside in ancient Greek bigotry toward the barbarian peoples of Asia. Accordingly, in geographical terms Asia and Europe function as symbols of the antithesis between barbarian and Greek, East and West. This thesis contributes to classical scholarship by concentrating on primary source analysis as the best means to elucidate how the ancient Greeks involved geography in the conceptualisation of their ethno-cultural identities. When viewed in light of their original cultural context, the primary sources tell a somewhat different story about the continents, the Mediterranean Sea and Greek ethno-cultural self-definition than that told through the lens of alterity.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectGreek
dc.subjectidentity
dc.subjectgeography
dc.subjectethnography
dc.subjectcontinents
dc.subjectorientalism
dc.titleThe Roles of Geographical Concepts in the Construction of Ancient Greek Ethno-cultural Identities, from Homer to Herodotus: An Analysis of the Continents and the Mediterranean Sea
dc.typeThesis
dc.date.updated2016-03-04T20:57:19Z
dc.language.rfc3066en
thesis.degree.disciplineClassics
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophy
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Otago
thesis.degree.levelDoctoral
otago.openaccessOpen
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