Popular Culture in Ancient Rome
The mass of the Roman people constituted well over 90% of the population. Much ancient history, however, has focused on the lives, politics and culture of the minority elite. This book helps redress the balance by focusing on the non-elite in the Roman world. It builds a vivid account of the everyday lives of the masses, including their social and family life, health, leisure and religious beliefs, and the ways in which their popular culture resisted the domination of the ruling elite. The book highlights previously under-considered aspects of popular culture of the period to give a fuller picture. It is the first book to take fully into account the level of mental health: given the physical and social environment that most people faced, their overall mental health mirrored their poor physical health. It also reveals fascinating details about the ways in which people solved problems, turning frequently to oracles for advice and guidance when confronted by difficulties. Our understanding of the non-elite world is further enriched through the depiction of sensory dimensions: Toner illustrates how attitudes to smell, touch, and noise all varied with social status and created conflict, and how the emperors tried to resolve these disputes as part of their regeneration of urban life. Popular Culture in Ancient Rome offers a rich and accessible introduction to the usefulness of the notion of popular culture in studying the ancient world and will be enjoyed by students and general readers alike.
Ancient Greece in Film and Popular Culture
This history of Greece in the 20th century imagination - from film to science fiction and comics - examines the preconceptions of the ancient world which cause difficulties in contemporary media.
The creators of popular culture have often appropriated elements of Roman history and society. This text looks at how ancient Rome has been depicted and what the portrayals tell us about contemporary culture.
Understanding Religion and Popular Culture
An introductory textbook which provides students with a variety of approaches for analysing religion and popular culture, covering areas such as food, violence, music, television and videogames.
The Novel in the Ancient World
This is the second publication in Brill's handbook series "The Classical Tradition," The subject of this volume is that group of works of extended prose narrative fiction which bears many similarities to the modern novel and which appeared in the later classical periods in Greece and Rome. The ancient novel has enjoyed renewed popularity in recent years not only among students of literature, but also among those looking for new sources on the popular culture of antiquity and among scholars of religion. The volume surveys the new insights and approaches to the ancient novel which have emerged form the application of a variety of disciplines in the recent years. The 25 senior scholars contributing to the volume are drawn from a broad range of European and North American traditions of scholarship. Chapters cover the important issues dealing with the novel, novelists, novel-like works of fiction, their development, transformation, Christianisation and Nachleben, as well as a broad range of matters, from literary/philological to cultural/historical and religious, which concerns modern scholars in the field. This publication has also been published in paperback, please click here for details.
Examining the figure of Aesop and the traditions surrounding him, Aesopic Conversations offers a portrait of what Greek popular culture might have looked like in the ancient world. What has survived from the literary record of antiquity is almost entirely the product of an elite of birth, wealth, and education, limiting our access to a fuller range of voices from the ancient past. This book, however, explores the anonymous Life of Aesop and offers a different set of perspectives. Leslie Kurke argues that the traditions surrounding this strange text, when read with and against the works of Greek high culture, allow us to reconstruct an ongoing conversation of "great" and "little" traditions spanning centuries. Evidence going back to the fifth century BCE suggests that Aesop participated in the practices of nonphilosophical wisdom (sophia) while challenging it from below, and Kurke traces Aesop's double relation to this wisdom tradition. She also looks at the hidden influence of Aesop in early Greek mimetic or narrative prose writings, focusing particularly on the Socratic dialogues of Plato and the Histories of Herodotus. Challenging conventional accounts of the invention of Greek prose and recognizing the problematic sociopolitics of humble prose fable, Kurke provides a new approach to the beginnings of prose narrative and what would ultimately become the novel. Delving into Aesop, his adventures, and his crafting of fables, Aesopic Conversations shows how this low, noncanonical figure was--unexpectedly--central to the construction of ancient Greek literature. Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.
The Gospel According to Superheroes
"The Gospel According to Superheroes: Religion and Popular Culture" offers an intriguing look at superheroes in light of the spiritual and mythological roles they play in our lives. B. J. Oropeza takes you through the adventuresome quest of three comic book eras as you read about the popular narratives of superheroes such as Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, X-Men, Hulk, Wonder Woman, the Fantastic Four, sci-fi film heroes, pulp heroes, antiheroes, and more. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in viewing the superheroes as both sinners and saints instead of mere good guys taking on the forces of evil.
Cicero Classicism and Popular Culture
Learn why Cicero is considered one of the most important individuals in all of Western culture! Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) was a poet, philosopher, writer, scholar, barrister, statesman, patriot, and the linguist who helped make Latin into a universal language. His many influences in rhetoric, politics, literature, and ideas are seen throughout Western civilization. Cicero, Classicism, and Popular Culture explores the fascinating man behind the eloquence and his monumental effect on language, morality, and popularity of Western culture. One of the leading authorities on popular culture, Dr. Marshall Fishwick discusses the multifaceted man who may be, besides Jesus, the central figure in all of Western civilization. The author recounts his own personal quest of traveling the land and ancient cities of Italy, gleaning insights from people he met along the way who have knowledge about Cicero’s life and times. However, Cicero, Classicism, and Popular Culture is more than a simple search for the man and his accomplishments, a man whose mere words changed the way people think. This book shows in each of us the roots of our own ideas, beliefs, and culture. Cicero, Classicism, and Popular Culture discusses: Cicero’s rise to acclaim his affect on the language of popular culture common traits Cicero shared with Thomas Jefferson rhetoric, the art of oratory community two pivotal essays on friendship and old age vision of his reputation the search for peace Marshall McLuhan, Ciceronian Cicero’s Rome Cicero’s ancestral home of Arpinum Julius Caesar, politics, and the influences of Cicero the Roman republic and its downfall America as the new Rome much more! Cicero, Classicism, and Popular Culture is a startling, entertaining examination of the man who made Western culture what it is today. The book is insightful reading for educators, students, or anyone interested in one of the major forces in popular culture.
Food in the Ancient World
The ways of life of four great ancient civilizations-- Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Celtic--are illuminated here through their foodways. As these cultures moved toward settled agriculture, a time of experimentation and learning began. Cities emerged, and with them consumer societies that needed to be supplied. "Food Culture in the Ancient World" draws on writings of classical authors such as Petronius, Galen, and Cato, as well as on archeological findings, to present intimate insight into ancient peoples. This volume will be indispensable as it complements classical history, cultural, and literature studies at the high school and college levels and will also inform the general reader. The book begins with an overview of the civilizations and their agricultural practices and trade. A full discussion of available foodstuffs describes the discovery, emergence, usage, and appraisals of a host of ingredients. A subsequent chapter covers food by civilization. Chapters on food preparation, the food professions, and eating habits provide a fascinating look at the social structure, with slaves and women preparing and serving food. Accounts of the gatherings of slaves and freedmen in taverns, inns, and bars and the notorious banquet, symposium, feast, and convivium of the elite are particularly intriguing and crucial to understanding male society. Other aspects of ancient life brought to life for the reader include food for soldiers, food in religious and funerary practices, and concepts of diet and nutrition. Many Classical recipes are interspersed with the text, along with illustrations.