The Talking Greeks: Speech, Animals, and the Other in Homer, Aeschylus, and Plato

The Talking Greeks: Speech, Animals, and the Other in Homer, Aeschylus, and Plato

by John Heath

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Overview

What drove the ancient Greeks to explore human nature and invent Western politics? This book argues that the Greeks believed speech made humans different from other animals. But, this zoological comparison also provided the metaphorical means for viewing those 'lacking' authoritative speech--women, barbarians, and slaves, etc.--as bestial. This link between speech, humanity, and status is revealed through close study of both Homeric epics, classical Athenian culture, Aeschylus' Oresteia, and Plato's Dialogues.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521117784
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 07/30/2009
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 404
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

John Heath is Professor of Classics at Santa Clara University. He is the author of numerous articles on Latin and Greek literature, myth and culture. His previous publications include Actaeon, the Unmannerly Intruder (1992), Who Killed Homer? (with Victor Davis Hanson) (1998, revised edition, 2001) and Bonfire of the Humanities (with Victor Davis Hanson and Bruce Thornton) (2001).

Table of Contents

Introduction; Part I. Speech, Animals, and Human Status in Homer: 1. Bellowing like a bull: humans and other animals in Homer; 2. Controlling language: Telemachus learns to speak; 3. Talking through the heroic code: Achilles learns to tell tales; Part II. Listening for the Other in Classical Greece: 4. Making a difference: the silence of otherness; Part III. Speech, Animals, and Human Status in Classical Athens: 5. Disentangling the beast: humans and other animals in the Oresteia; 6. Socratic silence: the shame of the Athenians; Epilogue.

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