Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Mediterranean Ethiopian: Intellectual discourse and the fixity of myth in classical antiquity
by Miller, Michael W., M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2010, 150; 1490313
Abstract (Summary)

Black Africans are among the most overtly misunderstood groups in classical antiquity. Africans, called ‘Ethiopians’ by the Greeks, were a novelty to the people of the Mediterranean basin because of their mysterious origin and rare presence in the West. The classical invention of their homeland, Ethiopia, was an attempt to categorize otherwise indefinable groups of non-Greek dark-skinned foreigners. Scholarship on the Ethiopian remained in flux beginning with the first literary allusion in Homer of the eighth century B.C. The paradigm underwent a significant transition after the Roman conquest of Greece in 146 B.C. when new Greco-Roman writers reworked the early literature. The revisions were relatively exclusive to the intellectuals while the public seemed generally disinterested. This thesis will demonstrate that the public's perception of the Ethiopian evolved independently of scholarly literature, causing a conflict of traditions that was reflected in conceptions of geography, mythology, ethnography, art, and social structure.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hood, David C.
School: California State University, Long Beach
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 49/04M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Black history, African history, Ancient history
Publication Number: 1490313
ISBN: 9781124545905
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