Graeco-Roman Popular Perception of Africa: The Proverbial Aspect

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Almost all we know of Classical antiquity is inherently predisposed towards the life of intellectual male elites. Even if natural elements and human criticism were more sparing, so that more textual and material remains could outlive them, we could not expect to discover what other sectors of the population thought, felt, planned, did. Literacy prevailed among a limited number of people. Theoretical education and then the production and reading of written texts involved, in both Greek and Roman societies, free upper-class males. Women, slaves, and the poor either could not afford the leisure and funding needed to acquire impractical knowledge, or were not considered suitable, worthy, or in need of such knowledge. Indeed, some non-elite persons could probably recognize letters and perhaps even read words and sentences. But literary texts were available to them neither physically nor intellectually
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationWhen West Met East
Subtitle of host publicationThe Encounter of Greece and Rome with the Jews, Egyptians and Others, Papers Presented to Ranon Katzoff on his Jubilee
EditorsD. Schaps, U. Yiftach-Firanko, D. Dueck
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)978-88-8303-688-0
ISBN (Print)978-88-8303-687-3
StatePublished - 2016


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