Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Ethnic Relations and Migration in the Ancient World

Ethnic Relations and Migration in the Ancient World:  The Websites of Philip A. Harland

The purpose of this website is to collect, organize, and make public resources for the reconstruction of ethnic relations and ethnographic culture in the ancient Mediterranean and near eastern worlds. (Please use the accordion-style arrows and categories in the right sidebar to navigate the site).

“Ethnographic culture,” as we intend it, moves beyond the idea of “ethnography” as a Greek and Roman literary genre describing non-Greek and non-Roman peoples (“barbarians”). Instead, ethnographic culture refers to the ways in which the classification and description of “other peoples” was an active imagination that played out in large-scale and small-scale ways across societies, in local social interactions, and in connection with diasporic communities of immigrants. Judeans (Jews) and Jesus adherents (Christians) were very much a part of this larger sphere of ethnic encounters, so they have a place here too as instances of minorities (see especially categories 1 and 5).

This website then combines literary, epigraphic, and visual data in order to aid students and researchers in a fuller understanding of ethnographic culture. It also facilitates the reconstruction of minoritized ethnic groups spread across time  (from the fifth century BCE to the sixth century CE) and geography (across the Mediterranean and near east).

There are times when the organization of material mimics or uses terms from the ancient material. This is not to naturalize those categories or terms, but rather to more clearly demonstrate the categories with which ancient writers were working.


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