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The Locrian Maidens:
Love and Death in Greek Italy
James M. Redfield

Hardcover | 2003 | $87.50 / £61.00 | ISBN: 9780691116051
480 pp. | 6 x 9 | 28 halftones. | SHOPPING CART

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Athens dominates textbook accounts of ancient Greece. But was it, for the Greeks themselves, a model city-state or a creative, even a corrupt, departure from the model? Or was there a model? This book reveals Epizephyrian Locri--a Greek colony on the Adriatic coast of Italy--as a third way in Greek culture, neither Athens nor Sparta. Drawing on a wide range of literary and archaeological evidence, James Redfield offers a fascinating account of this poorly understood Greek city-state, and in particular the distinctive role of women and marriage therein.

Redfield devotes much of the book to placing Locri within a more general account of Greek culture, particularly with the institution of marriage in relation to private property, sexual identity, and the fate of the soul. He begins by considering the annual practice of sending two maidens from old-world Locris, the putative place of origin of the Italian Locrians, to serve in the temple of Athena at Ilion, finding here some key themes of Locrian culture. He goes on to provide a richly detailed overview of the Italian city; in a set of iconographic essays he suggests that marriage was seen in Locri as a life transformation akin to the eternal bliss hoped for after death.

Nothing less than a general reevaluation of classical Greek society in both its political and theological dimensions, The Locrian Maidens is must reading for students and scholars of classics, while remaining accessible and of particular interest to those in women's studies and to anyone seeking a broader understanding of ancient Greece.

Review:

"The Locrian Maidens actually uncovers something new in the heavily trodden terrain of the classics, and in today's academy that amounts to a rara avis."--Tom Meaney, New Criterion

"In this engrossing report on a quarter century of work, James Redfield reconstructs the distinctive culture of Epizephyrian Locri from rubble, rumors, and art to offer an unsuspected model of Greek social organization. . . . The book shows a rare combination of rigorous documentation and theoretical imagination. . . . This is a book of great learning and great charm."--Frederick T. Griffiths, New England Classical Journal

Endorsement:

"This is a splendid book. It contains many revelations and new material on both fundamental and neglected aspects of Greek culture, and a lot of very acute anthropological reflections. General readers will appreciate it, and specialists will enjoy discussing the Redfieldian approach to myth, ritual, and gender. Masterfully written, it takes us on an enchanting tour from Peloponnesus to Athens, from Troy to Sparta, in a grand quest for the 'Locrian strand' that is ours, as much as Greek."--Philippe Borgeaud, University of Geneva, author of The Cult of Pan in Ancient Greece

"James Redfield's ability to read symbolical stories and iconographical documents, combined with his interest in economics and social structure, offers an original contribution in a field where the attention of many has been too easily captured by the (well documented) case of Athens. His striking cross-interpretation of the data yields highly valuable, and new, results."--Claude Calame, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris University of Lausanne, author of Myth and History in Ancient Greece

Table of Contents:

Preface ix
Acknowledgments xiii
Abbreviations xv
Introduction 1
PART ONE: Sexual Complementarity 15
One: The Sexes in Cosmos and History 17
Two: Women in Civil Society 27
Three: The Theology of Consent 57
PART TWO: The Locrian Maidens at Troy 83
Four: The Locrian Maidens at Troy 85
EXCURSUS 151
Five: On Development 153
PART THREE: Epizephyrian Locri 201
Six: Epizephyrian Locri 203
Seven: Locrian Culture: Locri, Locris, Sparta (and Crete) 241
PART FOUR: Four Iconographic Essays 309
Eight: Nymphs 311
Nine: The Tortoise and the Knucklebone 318
Ten: The Ludovisi and Boston Thrones 332
Eleven: The Locrian Pinakes 346
EPILOGUE 387
Twelve: Pythagoras at the Locrian Frontier 389
Appendix: Ritual Prostitution at Locri 411
Bibliography 417
Index 435

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    Hardcover: $87.50 ISBN: 9780691116051

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    Hardcover: £61.00 ISBN: 9780691116051

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    File created: 4/17/2014

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