The Lives of Ancient Villages: Rural Society in Roman Anatolia

The Lives of Ancient Villages

Rural Society in Roman Anatolia
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Date of Publication:
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Product details:

No. of pages:396 pages
Size:250x178x25 mm
Weight:890 g
Illustrations: 20 b/w illus. 50 colour illus. 2 maps 10 tables
Short description:

A ground-breaking historical ethnography of kinship, religion, and village society in a remote rural backwater of the Roman world.

Long description:
Our conception of the culture and values of the ancient Greco-Roman world is largely based on texts and material evidence left behind by a small and atypical group of city-dwellers. The people of the deep Mediterranean countryside seldom appear in the historical record from antiquity, and almost never as historical actors. This book is the first extended historical ethnography of an ancient village society, based on an extraordinarily rich body of funerary and propitiatory inscriptions from a remote upland region of Roman Asia Minor. Rural kinship structures and household forms are analysed in detail, as are the region's demography, religious life, gender relations, class structure, normative standards and values. Roman north-east Lydia is perhaps the only non-urban society in the Greco-Roman world whose culture can be described at so fine-grained a level of detail: a world of tight-knit families, egalitarian values, hard agricultural labour, village solidarity, honour, piety and love.

'In The Lives of Ancient Villages Peter Thonemann has turned to the remains of villages in one particular part of what is now Turkey ... What we find here, he suggests, has important implications for our understanding of Roman power in the area, of family relations and the diversity of Roman imperial culture - and of what the empire felt like from the bottom up.' Kate Cooper, Times Literary Supplement
Table of Contents:
1. Hieradoumia; 2. Commemorative cultures; 3. Demography; 4. Kinship terminology; 5. Household forms; 6. The circulation of children; 7. Beyond the family; 8. Rural sanctuaries; 9. Village society; 10. City, village, kin-group.