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Foundation Myths and Politics in Ancient Ionia


Part of Cambridge Classical Studies

  • Date Published: January 2019
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108729963
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About the Authors
  • This book examines foundation myths told about the Ionian cities during the archaic and classical periods. It uses these myths to explore the complex and changing ways in which civic identity was constructed in Ionia, relating this to the wider discourses about ethnicity and cultural difference that were current in the Greek world at this time. The Ionian cities seem to have rejected oppositional models of cultural difference which set in contrast East and West, Europe and Asia, Greek and Barbarian, opting instead for a more fluid and nuanced perspective on ethnic and cultural distinctions. The conclusions of this book have far-reaching implications for our understanding of Ionia, but also challenge current models of Greek ethnicity and identity, suggesting that there was a more diverse conception of Greekness in antiquity than has often been assumed.

    • Proposes a new understanding of Greek identity in the archaic and classical periods
    • Offers fresh explanations of how ethnic and cultural distinctions were drawn in the archaic and classical periods, giving an enhanced understanding of cultural interaction
    • Provides new insights into Ionia during the archaic and classical periods
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    Customer reviews

    05th Feb 2017 by SirHickey

    I am inclined to give it a full five star review. The information is interesting and compiled in a manner that is easily understood for the average layperson and sophisticated researcher alike. The only drawback is that some of the references were in German and Greek, neither of which I have the ability to read. However, the author did give us a translation of the original text. I was researching Ephesus, Chapter 6 contains a wealth of information on Manto and the Amazons, and the foundations of the Cult of Artemis.

    Review was not posted due to profanity


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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108729963
    • length: 253 pages
    • dimensions: 245 x 187 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.5kg
    • contains: 11 b/w illus. 8 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: identity and the construction of cultural difference
    2. Foundation myths and politics
    3. Ionia
    4. Miletus: violence and bloodshed
    5. Chios and Samos: land and island
    6. Colophon and Ephesus: founding mothers
    7. Being Ionian: the Ionian League, Ionian migrations, and Smyrna
    8. Conclusions.

  • Author

    Naoíse Mac Sweeney, University of Leicester
    Naoíse Mac Sweeney is Lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Leicester, specialising in the study of ethnicity, identity and migration. She has published widely in the fields of ancient history, archaeology, race relations, international development and peacebuilding studies, and she is the author of Community Identity and Archaeology (2011). Naoíse has also pursued her research interests through archaeological fieldwork in Turkey, in particular as part of the Kilise Tepe Archaeological Project.

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