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Reader ratings: 7.5
The author of the book: Daniel Ogden
Edition: Classical Press of Wales
Date of issue: October 1st 2004
ISBN: 0954384547
ISBN 13: 9780954384548
Language: English
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 454 KB
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With Aristomenes of Messene, Daniel Ogden identifies yet another fertile and undervalued topic in Ancient History. He has previously studied illegitimacy in the ancient Greek world (Greek Bastardy, OUP, 1996), Greek ideas about the relationship between deformity and power (Crooked Kings of Ancient Greece, Duckworth, 1997), the nature and causes of dynastic murder in the Hellenistic world (Polygamy, Prostitutes and Death, Classical Press of Wales, 1999) and the techniques of calling up the dead in the ancient world (Greek and Roman Necromancy, Princeton UP, 2001). Among his other books is a volume edited for the Classical Press of Wales, The Hellenistic World: New perspectives (2002).The legends of Aristomenes, hero of the Messenian resistance to Sparta, were designed to excite, gratify and amuse. Yet they remain almost unknown even to specialist ancient historians. This book, the first monograph to be devoted to Aristomenes, redirects attention to his adventures, which at times resemble those of King Arthur, Robin Hood and even Sinbad the Sailor. The book goes beyond the question of the historicity of Aristomenes, and examines the meaning and symbolism of the stories in their own right. The study will be welcomed by those with an interest in the history of Sparta, in Pausanias (our principal source for the tales), and in Greek traditional narrative. Famously, Sparta tried to suppress the identity and self-confidence of its Messenian helots. Yet here are stories which give access to the imagination of this long-muted but ultimately liberated people.


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