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The Talking Greeks

The Talking Greeks
Speech, Animals, and the Other in Homer, Aeschylus, and Plato

$124.00 (C)

  • Author: John Heath, Santa Clara University, California
  • Date Published: June 2005
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521832649

$ 124.00 (C)
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About the Authors
  • What drove the ancient Greeks to explore human nature and invent Western politics? This book argues that the Greeks believed speech made humans different from other animals. But, this zoological comparison also provided the metaphorical means for viewing those 'lacking' authoritative speech--women, barbarians, and slaves, etc.--as bestial. This link between speech, humanity, and status is revealed through close study of both Homeric epics, classical Athenian culture, Aeschylus' Oresteia, and Plato's Dialogues.

    • Presents a model for the factor unifying philosophical and political developments in ancient Greece
    • Provides new readings of the Iliad, Odyssey, Oresteia and Plato's Dialogues in which the role of speech is provided
    • Adopts an interdisciplinary drawing on philosophy, linguistics and classics
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "The Talking Greeks does what contemporary texts in ancient philosophy, literature and classics ought to do: it shows the continuing relevance of ancient thinking to our own...John Heath presents a philosophically-engaging analysis of how humanity comes to be defined in ancient Greece against a linguistic framework. Written for a broadly interdisciplinary audience including philosophers, classicists, philologians, and linguists, the book avoids jargon and remains entirely and enjoyable readable."
    Sonja Tanner, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, Ancient Philosophy

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2005
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521832649
    • length: 402 pages
    • dimensions: 238 x 155 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.76kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction
    Part I. Speech, Animals, and Human Status in Homer:
    1. Bellowing like a bull: humans and other animals in Homer
    2. Controlling language: Telemachus learns to speak
    3. Talking through the heroic code: Achilles learns to tell tales
    Part II. Listening for the Other in Classical Greece:
    4. Making a difference: the silence of otherness
    Part III. Speech, Animals, and Human Status in Classical Athens:
    5. Disentangling the beast: humans and other animals in the Oresteia
    6. Socratic silence: the shame of the Athenians
    Epilogue.

  • Author

    John Heath, Santa Clara University, California
    John Heath is Professor of Classics at Santa Clara University. He is the author of numerous articles on Latin and Greek literature, myth and culture. His previous publications include Actaeon, the Unmannerly Intruder (1992), Who Killed Homer? (with Victor Davis Hanson) (1998, revised edition, 2001) and Bonfire of the Humanities (with Victor Davis Hanson and Bruce Thornton) (2001).

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