Belonging and Isolation in the Hellenistic World
Belonging and Isolation in the Hellenistic World, Edited by Sheila L. Ager and Riemer A. Faber (University of Toronto Press) £55.95
The Hellenistic period was a time of unprecedented cultural exchange. In the wake of Alexander’s conquests, Greeks and Macedonians began to encounter new peoples, new ideas, and new ways of life; consequently, this era is generally considered to have been one of unmatched cosmopolitanism. For many individuals, however, the broadening of horizons brought with it an identity crisis and a sense of being adrift in a world that had undergone a radical structural change.Belonging and Isolation in the Hellenistic World presents essays by leading international scholars who consider how the cosmopolitanism of the Hellenistic age also brought about tensions between individuals and communities, and between the small local community and the mega-community of oikoumene, or ‘the inhabited earth.’ With a range of social, artistic, economic, political, and literary perspectives, the contributors provide a lively exploration of the tensions and opportunities of life in the Hellenistic Mediterranean.