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📙 Barbarians in Greek comedy by Timothy Long — free epub


Greeks divided the world into Greece vs. the land of foreigners, into Hellenes vs. barbarians, seeing their country as a bas­tion of culture, learning, and military might surrounded by a sea of the un­civilized. Long shows how comedy expressed the Greek feeling of superiority over the barbarians, how it dealt with the so-called barbarian-Hellene antithesis. The result is a contribution to the study of ancient Greek comedy—both the com­edy itself and the beliefs, the prejudices, the limitations, and the variety in the society from which the plays emerged. The comedians’ responses to the barbar­ians ranged from idealization to neutral­ity to raw racism. Although contemptuous of barbarians, the Hellenes could not keep elements of foreign culture from entering their own. Long’s major contention is that the Greek reaction to Oriental and other fore­ign influence can be seen in the treat­ment of barbarians in Greek comedy.

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