When considering the question of what makes us human, the ancient Greeks provided numerous suggestions. This book argues that the defining criterion in the Hellenic world, however, was the most obvious one: speech. It explores how it was the capacity for authoritative speech which was held to separate humans from other animals, gods from humans, men from women, Greeks from non-Greeks, citizens from slaves, and the mundane from the heroic. John Heath illustrates how Homer's epics trace the development of immature young men into adults managing speech in entirely human ways and how in Aeschylus' Oresteia only human speech can disentangle man, beast, and god. Plato's Dialogues are shown to reveal the consequences of Socratically imposed silence. With its examination of the Greek focus on speech, animalization, and status, this book offers new readings of key texts and provides significant insights into the Greek approach to understanding our world.
Buy Talking Greeks book by John Heath from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(228mm x 152mm x 27mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Author Biography - John Heath
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).