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9783895006050

Editor: Weiß, Alexander

Der imaginierte Nomade

Formel und Realitätsbezug bei antiken, mittelalterlichen und arabischen Autoren

2007
17.0 x 24.0 cm, 196 p., 3 illustrations b/w, hardback
45,00 €

ISBN: 9783895006050
Table of Contents
Sample

Short Description

When a pre-modern author writes about nomads, his writing is immediately suspected of being soaked with literary formulae. This suspicion, which is no doubt justified, is for the historian linked to the question: what kind of reality can be seen behind, or better: through such formulae. This is the guiding question behind the contributions of this volume, which, on the basis of case studies, seeks to analyse the various „images of nomads“ in their respective historical and discursive contexts.

Description

When a pre-modern author writes about nomads, his writing is immediately suspected of being soaked with literary formulae. This suspicion, which is no doubt justified, is for the historian linked to the question: what kind of reality can be seen behind, or better: through such formulae. It becomes clear that the categories of ‚topos’ or ‚stereotype’ are difficult to apply to texts about nomads. Images of nomads appear in antiquity as well as in other epochs, in diverse discourses and with varying functions. They are not shaped by timeless ‚topoi’; instead images of nomads have a variety of functions and characteristics. Their complexity has to be explained by their respective historical and discoursive contexts. They function as more than mere mechanisms for the demarcation of sedentariness and nomadism, and establish their relationship to reality through their historical contextualisation.
This volume analyses the following case studies: the image of the Scythian nomads in two texts of the 5th century B.C., i.e. Herodotos and the author of the medical treatise De aeribus; the ‚national myth’ of the rise of the Numidians as victorious nomads, invented by the Numidian king Hiempsal II. in the first half of the 1st century B.C. in opposition to the the view of North African peoples presented by Greek historical myths; the complex and appearingly contradictory statements on Arab nomads made by Ibn Khaldun, the great erudite of the 14th century, in which rational analyses and mythical conceptions are interwoven; the material realism underpinning the dictum of Ammianus Marcellinus (4th cent. A.D.) of the „nomadic greed for gold“; the recourse of Synesios of Cyrene on dichotomic stereotypisations during a phase of transition from cooperation to confrontation between nomads and sedentarists; the Latin Europeans’ conceptions of the Mongols during the Mongolian invasions, ranging from communications of empirical observations to apocalyptic stylisations; the figure of the Scythian Anacharsis, whom we may possibly regard as the nomad-sedentarist forerunner and parallel to the Helleno-Barbarian opposition. 

Biographical Note

Alexander Weiß
Undergraduate studies in Ancient History, Classical Archaeology and Prehistory, also studies in sociology and religion at the universities of Bonn and Salzburg; 1996 Magister Artium, 2002 Doctor philosophiae Bonn; 2001-2003 Research Fellow at the National Collaborative Research Center 586; since 2003 Assistant Professor (Juniorprofessor) of Ancient History at the University of Leipzig; since 2004 Director of the project B5 „Roman rule in the Maghreb between sedentariness and nomadism“ at the Collaborative Research Center 586; Co-researcher (Freier Mitarbeiter) at the Mainzer Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur at the project „Forschungen zur antiken Sklaverei“; 2007-2008 Feodor Lynen Research Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at the Department of Ancient History, Macquarie University, Sydney.

Keywords

Alte Geschichte (68) || Alterität || Anacharsis || Ancient history (83) || Araber (10) || Awaren (2) || Awarenschatz || Beduinen (5) || Beduinentum || Geschichte 600 v. Chr. - 1400 || Herodot || Hiempsal || History (736) || Ibn-Ḫaldūn, ʿAbd-ar-Raḥmān Ibn-Muḥammad || Identität (5) || Literary studies: ancient, classical & medieval (38) || Literary studies: general (103) || Literary theory (11) || Literature: history & criticism (150) || Mittelalter (233) || Mongolen (5) || Mythos (2) || Nomaden (15) || Nomadendiskurs || Nomadismus (4) || Normannen (3) || Numider || Numidien || Sallust || Skythen (3) || Stereotypen || Synesios || Topos || Ungarn || c 1000 BCE to start of CE period (123) || c 1000 CE to c 1500 (344) || c 500 CE to c 1000 CE (172)