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Classical Ethnography and the World(s) of the Rigante

Smart, Anthony ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4707-3536 (2023) Classical Ethnography and the World(s) of the Rigante. In: Fimi, Dimitra and Sims, Alistair, (eds.) Imagining the Celtic Past in Modern Fantasy. Perspectives on Fantasy . Bloomsbury, pp. 96-116

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Smart - last corrections July 2021 (002).docx - Accepted Version


Classical ethnography presents a fixed and immutable image of the barbarian world. Even Tacitus, who gives us Calgacus, and the battle of the Graupian mountains, and Caesar who writes of his own conquests in Gaul and Britannia, seek to place the non Roman peoples into pre-existing patterns of ethnographic thought, harking back to Herodotus and the Greek world of the fifth century BCE. In both Sword in the Storm and Midnight Falcon David Gemmell presents a heroic world deeply enmeshed in classical history. Here there are peoples whose culture, society and heroism echo the words found in the Roman writings. Here too there is a fixed boundary between the Celtic and the Roman, shaped heavily by ethnographic perspectives, and drawing upon real moments of interaction. This chapter explores Gemmell’s debt to classical material, showing how strongly the world of the Rigante belongs to the Roman discourse on otherness and self-identity.

Item Type: Book Section
Status: Published
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D051 Ancient History
D History General and Old World > DE The Mediterranean Region. The Greco-Roman World
School/Department: School of Humanities
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/6205

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