Tales of the Barbarians traces the creation of new mythologies in the wake of Roman expansion westward to the Atlantic. Providing a fresh perspective on the topic by examining passages from ancient writers in a new light, Woolf explores how ancient geography, local histories and the stories of wandering heroes were woven together by Greek scholars and local experts to establish a place for Celts and Spaniards, Africans and Britons in the classical world. The author also investigates the impact of Roman imperialism on those intellectual endeavours, the attempts to reconcile science and myth, and why ancient stereotypes have survived for ages. Making use of comparisons with modern empires and the voyages of exploration, Woolf offers fascinating new insights into the creation of the first national traditions of Western Europe.
Greg Woolf is Professor of Ancient History at the University of St. Andrews. He is the author of Becoming Roman: The Origins of Provincial Civilization in Gaul (1998), as well as the co-editor of Literacy and Power in the Ancient World (1994), and Rome the Cosmopolis (2003). In addition, Professor Woolf is editor of the Journal of Roman Studies and has written numerous articles on Roman history.
Translations Used Introduction 1. Telling Tales on the Middle Ground 2. Explaining the Barbarians 3. Ethnography and Empire 4. Enduring Fictions? Notes References General Index Index of Main Passages Discussed