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The Ancient Mediterranean Social World
A Sourcebook
Edited by Zeba A. Crook
Foreword by Peter Oakes

HARDCOVER; Published: 5/7/2020
ISBN: 978-0-8028-7356-9
Price: $ 65.00
392 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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What was the ancient world like?

Ancient sources tell us a great deal about the cultural patterns and values that prevailed in the Mediterranean of the biblical periods:

  • how they constructed identity
  • how they exercised control over groups, space, gender, and dress
  • how they thought of friendship
  • how they participated in social and economic exchange
  • how ritual functioned and how kinship was constructed
  • what healing practices, evil eye, and altered states of consciousness tell us about their sciences
  • how they talked about each other behind their backs, and why

The Ancient Mediterranean Social World makes the rich social context of the ancient Mediterranean available to readers through succinct introduction of key ideas, thoughtful selection of translated primary sources, and extensive cataloging of relevant primary sources. 

Zeba Crook brings together leading scholars to write on twenty different topics, from patronage to gender to loyalty to evil eye. Each chapter opens with an introduction to the topic, offers a short list of secondary sources, and an extensive list of primary sources. The passages in each chapter reflect the vast array of sources roughly from Homer to Augustine, including epigraphical, papyrological, literary, historical, philosophical, biblical, and dramatic texts.

This authoritative volume serves as a ready reference for the novice and experienced scholar alike.


Alicia Batten, Giovanni Bazzana, Agnes Choi, Zeba Crook, John Daniels, Dennis Duling, John H. Elliott, Amy Marie Fisher, Jason Lamoreaux, Dietmar Neufeld, Jerry Neyrey, Douglas Oakman, Ron Roberts, Richard Rohrbaugh, Gary Stansell, Colleen Shantz, Eric Stewart, Erin Vearncombe, Ritva Williams

Table of Contents:

Part I Institutions
1. Economy
2. Kinship
3. Patronage
Part II Social Interaction
4. Honor
5. Shame
6. Collectivism
7. Gossip
8. Space
9. Gender
Part III Social Interaction with God and the Gods
10. Ritual, Domestic
11. Ritual, Public
12. Purity
13. Alternate States of Consciousness
14. Healing
Part IV Social Commodities
15. Loyalty
16. Friendship and Gifts
17. Limited Good and Envy
Part V Social Subterfuge and Control
18. Deviance
19. Mockery and Secrecy
20. Evil Eye