Old and New Worlds in Greek Onomastics

Front Cover
Elaine Matthews
OUP/British Academy, Nov 29, 2007 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 254 pages
This volume provides an interpretative guide to using a fundamental resource for the study of the ancient Greek world. Personal names are a statement of identity, a personal choice by parents for their child, reflecting their own ancestry and family traditions, and the religious and political values of the society to which they belong. The names of the ancient Greeks, surviving in their tens of thousands in manuscripts and documents, offer a valuable insight into ancient Greek society. The essays collected here examine how the Greeks responded to new environments. It draws out issues of identity as expressed through the choice, formation and adaptation of personal names, not only by Greeks when they came into contact with non-Greeks, but of others in relation to Greeks, for example Egyptians, Persians, Thracians, and Semitic peoples, including the Jewish communities in the diaspora. Grounded in the 'old' world of Greece (in particular, Euboia and Thessaly), the volume also reaches out to the many parts of the ancient world where Greeks travelled, traded and settled, and where the dominant culture before the arrival of the Greeks was not Greek. Reflecting upon the progress of the Lexicon of Greek Personal Names project, which has already published the names of over a quarter of a million ancient Greeks, this volume will be of interest to all scholars and students of the language, literature, history, religion, and archaeology of the ancient Greek world.

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