Mar. 25, 2013
Greekness and the other
Focus on construction of persian and otherness.. not every other group.
Just like gender and ethnicity was socially condition construct. Seeing who we are requires us to
establish a value system. Value system we have depends on notions of who e are.
In the greek mindset ,they had certain values because they were hellenes and they are hellens because
of the certain values.
Differennt concept of hellenic and non-hellencitc of value systems
Think about few real differences. Particularly with persains… we as hsitorians back on society and we an
identity as having important role in structuing value system and greek identities.
One of these are culture looks around itself. (geography)*
If we compare world as it was seen by the greeks… persians. We have two different understanding of
geography and same geography. This has to do with fornara #34-35.
- Transition of long inscription of darius I rock cut monument in Behistun.
- Ring of power… and given kingship to darius backed by royal satraps. Being led captive are the
leaders of the peoples he subjugated.
- Inscription basically narrates darius’ first rise to power
- Darius event is rather different to what hdt relates to
- In the passage of the fornara, pay tribute to him and in the farnara, he notes this is a different
list. Hdt as greek looks at persian empire seeing as structure diffrentyl then the persian king
himself. He rganies the satraps into ppl and categories.
- What was darius doing? Layout of the persian empire.. dealing with darius as king because it fits
to the narrative of events
- Translatin of inscription made in roman period..but much eariler to his officials.
- Perisan geography… satrap in syra was called beyond the rier. Syria and anything west of there.
- Land ‘ACROSS THE RIVER’
- Babylonian called it= Ebir ID persians used it as well.
o Used under sargon II 733-705
- Armaic= abar-nahara instead of translating it, it brought over its language. Syrian word and
persian pronounciation. Thus abar nahara. Greek took ths notion and translated into Greek
- Greek= Persian Euphratou/ peran tou potmou this region was called the peran euphratou.
Region beyond euphrates*
- Names given in this letter to the west is interstin gbecause greeks translate to greek…
What thiese names give to the west reveals outlook on the wider world with mestopotatmia and
beyond the river out to the edges of the known world. Lived beyond the river and off the eges of the
persian. This is totally understandable with culture put itself in the center.. makes comeplete sense and
differen nationality and maps and put others in edge and use them in the center.
Its worth highlighting the fact antiquty did this.
We are looking at persians and greeks…you have two groups of different ways what the world was in
their place in it* A lot of their behaviour is seen.
Greek has their own notion of the world with Greece or Agean at the center.
Must of agena centric, they were interested to know what was beyond. Geography is a dicipline which
started early on.
Map maker ANAXXIMANDER* 611-546. His map was outline a measuring around in the greek word,
PERIMETRON 9outline) this map/utline intended to fit with his math model of the cosmos.
His model of universal was that It was a sphere. Doesn’t mean it was a map that was spherical… 2d.
within a sphere.. map making developed and arrives at the ionin revolt in 499 and Aristagoras* has a
map. He used to try convince spartan king to help with the revolt against the persian.
Bronze tablet displayed the whole world and again is a circuit. The map he had to show susa persian
royal capital I nthe far east.. march to susa to fight persians and ask how long the trip will take… it will
take three months.. he told to take a hike. Spartan not going to do that.
He has bronze tablet engraved and cities and were all depicted. Not dealing with two scale
representation of the known world. It’s a conceptual map* (roughly in relation to each other)
reprsentation of what was in the known world…. All present but needed explanation and self-evident.
The first greek to write about the world was HECATAEU (myllsian) around 500 BC. FL (he florusihed)*
Journey around the world.. 2 books… described euorpe and describe sasian and africa.
He didn’t actuall y wirte a map but verbal description of what to find around the edge of the earth**
He stuck with circular model of the world because of the criticism hdt makes. (slide) had to say aout
pal’s conception about the world.
Herodotus say that he traveled around the world… moving through the actual space* and recognize that
asia was larger.. it was larger as well.. goes on to say asia was not an circle but oblon. Still some
signifiant fuzzy areas and adjusting his actual travels.
Hdt uses his experience to shape what he understand as the greek world placed in the wide world.
He was well educated going on at miletus. Traveled a lot. Thus regular gsk and their understanding in
the wider world? Greeks were traveling for centuries, being colonizing all kind of places, but look at
sailing techniques, they hub the coast.. island hopping* from port to port that followed the coast line.
Didn’t like to sail open ocean but stayed geography was known.. staying in sight of land.
What thye have was a tunnel vision. They knew this route to get from place to place.
What did ordinary athenians know about sciilty and what was going to be invovled/carried off? Plutarch
tells us that athenian did know africa… as the leaers of athens ready for things… young men once carried
away and elders encounting many wonderful thigns…
Mapping out in the sand and shape of sicily and position of lybia and carthage. Draw vague outline… lay
position to head land carthage occupied. Thuy. Tells us that relation geography…didn’t know what was
going on. Most of the people who sailed were ignoant of sicily’s size (thucy. Slide).
Their concept and knoweldge of geography didn’t allowe them to full understand and realize how big
sicily was. Athenians tarveld around the island and didn’t have sense of what was going to be invovled in taking
control of it.
We get a nice insight of aristophane of the man on the street
Aristophanes Cloud (slide)
- Socrate’s new learning
- Knowledge shop to consult socrates and before meet, toured and told about different subjects
socrates student was studying.
- Geometry measuring the earth
- Sense of geography is not this fixed thing* it is arbitarryar and inmoveable. Nothing changes the
earth (in our conception) we move around who change our location, change how we fill in the
blank and filters… but geogrpahy itself doesn’t change.
- Geogrpahy is something relational
- Euboia is large because athenians were interested in it. Trying to take it over. Sparta was too
close not because it was close… but it was major enemy of athnes.
- *geography was relational* greek had more felxilbity than being fixed* its how they thought
about pl inhabitting and what they thought about others in relation to that.
It was historical and genealogical. Thought about whow they were from their desecendents. Helens, ions,
dorians decednent of heracles.
Leaders of states and genealogical relationship was important.
They like to compare themselves to others.
They manage to relate them all back to heroes which are familiar to the greks.
Some other hero was the ancestor to the different people. Decendent of perseus and andromeda….
Worked out genealogical family tree.
Moving on the thinking greeks nad barbarians and OHTERNESS,
We see earliy represtnation of otherness vs. hellen (homers odyessey) underlining geogrpahical
uncertainty. Which is reflective of experiecne of archaic travelers.
- Geographical unvertainty
o Odyeesseus, Menelaus blown off course
- Cultural difference pppl they meet… ex.
o Laestraygonian have a market place which suggest to faily good level of civilization,
commerce, public meeting.. but are huge and cannibal
o Lotus easters uh… >.<
o Aeolus- king of winds BUT children are all ancestrially married (not good)
o Cyclopes (they don’t grow crops, worship god, laws, or political assembly
- Book 9… cyclopes.. (slide) there is no political association (organization, lawless)
- Lives as gods provide… ungreek and DON’T know true hospitality
While other ppl… greeks good barbarian bad.. value judgement.. there was room in greek thinking as
cultural relativism.* difeenrt pal have differnet customs… thus they cant be automatically bad
Herodotus spoke about NOMOI* (custom). Talks about custome which pal organize their lives. He
acknowelge pal were capable of choosing their nomoi they want to live by. Certain level of agency in
We see this reflective in Xen (slide) - Conversation with socrate and pupil. 3 universal nomoi* remained the same.
- Fearing the gods, honoring parents and returning favours*
- Universal laws (so common in humanity they don’t need to be written down)
- Law for returning favour ( broken)
- These were the basis for the civlized society. Fear gods, govern familiy, relationships with some
standard… and you give and receive favour***
Further along cultural relavitism,
Xen. Late 6th C wrote men made gods who looked like them and shaped like them (slide)
- Recognition that differnet cutlures looked at world and shaped world which matched their own
customs and relativism.
- While pal had customs, they prioritize their own as the right ones
- Hellenic race= 1 whole cultrue and barbarian as another whole single species.
- Recognize srange of lumping everyone… you or us. Even if there are lot of people goroups, they
were fatheredi nto one.
In terms of culture, there were regoniztion in the basis of language. A lot of dsitaiguish among the pal.
Organization of what greek means, langauge is one of the htings what makes pal distinct.
- Allothrooi (strange speech)
- Allothrooi anthropoi…
Recongize that some context, they were the ones with different language as well.
- Inscription that was sincribed of gorup of gk mercentary… as foreign speaking pal ALLOGLOSSOI
- First of forieng speech to settle in the country… as egptiyna point of view. They were all the
same and treated same… place to occupy in egpty.