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Ireland and the Classical World [Philip Freeman] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. On the boundary of what the ancient Greeks and.
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Ireland and the Classical World

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. November 25, at 7: November 29, at 1: January 18, at 5: January 18, at 6: Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Unlike neighboring Britain, Ireland never knew Roman occupation, yet literary and archaeological evidence prove that Iuverna was more than simply terra incognita in classical antiquity. In this book, Philip Freeman explores the relations between ancient Ireland and the classical world through a comprehensive survey of all Greek and Latin literary sources that mention Ireland.

Ireland and the Classical World By Philip Freeman

He analyzes passages given in both the original language and English from over thirty authors, including Julius Caesar, Strabo, Tacitus, Ptolemy, and St. To amplify the literary sources, he also briefly reviews the archaeological and linguistic evidence for contact between Ireland and the Mediterranean world.

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Freeman's analysis of all these sources reveals that Ireland was known to the Greeks and Romans for hundreds of yearsand that Mediterranean goods and even travelers found their way to Ireland, while the Irish at least occasionally visited, traded, and raided in Roman lands. Everyone interested in ancient Irish history or Classics, whether scholar or enthusiast, will learn much from this pioneering book.

Ireland and the Classical World by Philip Freeman

Particularly interesting here is the chart showing the sites where Ogam inscriptions have been found. Most, as might be expected, are in the south, generally speaking nearest to Britain, but the heaviest concentration is in Kerry in the southwest rather than Wexford and Waterford in the southeast, and sites occur throughout the island except in the west-central around Clare and Galway.

One might have hoped for a bit more discussion of this phenomenon. Ora maritima of Rufus Festus Avienus. Starting here is an interesting rhetorical choice, given that Avienus may or may not have been drawing on documents which pre-date the earliest verifiable Classical references to Ireland, and that the Ora maritima may or may not refer specifically to Ireland.

Ireland and the Classical World

Both here and in the ensuing discussion of Hellenistic geographers, Freeman is careful to caution against placing too much faith in necessarily speculative and tentative conclusions. The nearly constant string of caveats is simultaneously refreshing to those of us who read far too much hypothesis posing as fact and frustrating in that the series of modifiers and back-trackings occasionally borders on the diffident. The next section, beginning with the "first certain and datable reference to Ireland in classical literature" 37 by Julius Caesar, is to me -- and I suspect to most readers -- both the center of Freeman's work and its most interesting discussion.

The longest sections are devoted to Strabo, Pliny the Elder, Tacitus and Ptolemy, although over thirty works in all -- ranging from passing references in unattributed sources to considerably lengthier and more detailed discussions -- are considered.

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Freeman's breadth is encyclopedic, and it is certainly a particular strength of the book that the reader is certain that all bases have been covered. There are also a number of intriguing impressions -- accurate and inaccurate -- of Irish geography, climate, and national character. Of course, the juiciest items are those which are the most hyperbolic, e.

Strabo's description of the Irish as "more savage than the Britons, being cannibals as well as gluttons.