Invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity by Benjamin H. Isaac
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Invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity
By Benjamin H. Isaac

The Invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity

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Format: Paperback

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Invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity by Benjamin H. Isaac

Book Awards

  • Shortlisted for Choice Magazine Outstanding Reference/Academic Book Award 2004.

Book Description

There was racism in the ancient world, after all. This groundbreaking book refutes the common belief that the ancient Greeks and Romans harbored "ethnic and cultural," but not racial, prejudice. It does so by comprehensively tracing the intellectual origins of racism back to classical antiquity. Benjamin Isaac's systematic analysis of ancient social prejudices and stereotypes reveals that some of those represent prototypes of racism--or proto-racism--which in turn inspired the early modern authors who developed the more familiar racist ideas. He considers the literature from classical Greece to late antiquity in a quest for the various forms of the discriminatory stereotypes and social hatred that have played such an important role in recent history and continue to do so in modern society. Magisterial in scope and scholarship, and engagingly written, The Invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity further suggests that an understanding of ancient attitudes toward other peoples sheds light not only on Greco-Roman imperialism and the ideology of enslavement (and the concomitant integration or non-integration) of foreigners in those societies, but also on the disintegration of the Roman Empire and on more recent imperialism as well. The first part considers general themes in the history of discrimination; the second provides a detailed analysis of proto-racism and prejudices toward particular groups of foreigners in the Greco-Roman world. The last chapter concerns Jews in the ancient world, thus placing anti-Semitism in a broader context.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780691125985
ISBN-10: 0691125988
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 30mm)
Pages: 592
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 13-Feb-2006
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...


Books By Author Benjamin H. Isaac

Origins of Racism in the West by Benjamin H. Isaac Origins of Racism in the West, Paperback (August 2013)

This book is a major reassessment of the place of racism in pre-modern European thought.

Limits of Empire by Benjamin H. Isaac Limits of Empire, Paperback (August 1993)

This revised edition of a history of the exploits of the Roman Army contains extensive amendments in the light of recent archaeological research. Included in the work is a bibliography containing material only recently made available.

» View all books by Benjamin H. Isaac

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Author Biography - Benjamin H. Isaac

Benjamin Isaac is Lessing Professor of Ancient History at the University of Tel Aviv. He is a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the author of "The Limits of Empire: The Roman Army in the East".

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