Cloth $48.00 ISBN: 9780226735306 Published February 2001


The Science of Man in Ancient Greece

Maria Michela Sassi

The Science of Man in Ancient Greece

Maria Michela Sassi

Translated by Paul Tucker
224 pages | 22 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2001
Cloth $48.00 ISBN: 9780226735306 Published February 2001
Although the ancient Greeks did not have an anthropology as we know it, they did have an acute interest in human nature, especially questions of difference. What makes men different from women, slaves different from free men, barbarians different from Greeks? Are these differences visible in the body? How can they be classified and explained?

Maria Michela Sassi reconstructs Greek attempts to answer such questions from Homer's day to late antiquity, ranging across physiognomy, ethnography, geography, medicine, and astrology. Sassi demonstrates that in the Greek science of man, empirical observations were inextricably bound up with a prejudiced view of the free Greek male as superior to all others. Thus, because women were assumed to have pale skin from staying indoors too much, Greek biology and medicine sought to explain this feature as an indication of the "cold" nature of women, as opposed to the "hot" constitution of men.

For this English translation, Sassi has rewritten the introduction and updated the text and references throughout, and Sir Geoffrey Lloyd has provided a new foreword.
by Sir Geoffrey Lloyd
Preface to the English Edition
A Note on the Texts
1. The Colors of Humanity
2. The Physiognomical Gaze
3. Reality and Its Classification: Women and Barbarians
4. Prediction and Norm
5. Framed by the Stars
Photo Credits
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