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Thucydides’ History is a rich source for our understanding of the character and interrelations of the ethnic sub-groups of the Greeks and different communities within the Greek world, as well as the relations between Greeks and non-Greek (‘barbarian’) communities. After establishing some key methodological principles relating to studying ethnicity in the Greek world, this chapter explores Thucydides’ contribution to our understanding of Greek ethnicity. It analyses the role of descent and cultural factors in the construction of ethnicity. It also explores the role that ethnicity plays in Thucydides’ description and analysis of the Peloponnesian War.
Chapter 3 provides the key historical antecedents for Chapters 4-7, focusing on changes in the domains of kinship, religion, and law. It examines the decline of traditional authority in medieval Europe, specifically the weakening of inherited monarchical and aristocratic rule, and of the Church and associated belief in supernatural beings. At the same time, the power of state-based law was consolidating and expanding, developing new ideas of ‘legal persons’, as ‘fictions of law’, that would become crucial to the creation of new corporate actors and the domestication of competition. This shift combined with intensifying trans-Atlantic competition among European empires, and novel experiments in republican and democratic government in America and France, created a new context for the development of law and competition.
“Kindness” is gentleness, consideration, care for others. It is related to “kinship”—the genetic and affective bonds among parents, children, brothers, and sisters. By way of “kind,” meaning “species” or “breed,” it expands the reach of those bonds to what Montaigne (in Florio’s translation) calls “the general throng.” The word “kindness” incites us to think about how human virtues, which usually stand apart from the natural world, might be rooted in our kinship with all the other animals. The Tempest is a key text for thinking about the history and the great utility of kindness as a transspecies virtue in the twenty-first century. This chapter makes its case for animal virtue by telling the story of the key arc of action in the play itself and by recounting a story about how the author of the chapter, at a workshop with actors and scholars, was terribly unkind toward Caliban and what he learned from his own lack of animal virtue.
Group housing of male laboratory mice often leads to welfare problems due to aggressive behaviour. From a welfare perspective, individual housing is not a preferred solution to these problems - and so we sought other ways of reducing aggression between male mice. Aggression peaks after disturbances such as cage cleaning. Transfer of olfactory cues during cage cleaning procedures has been repeatedly proposed as a means of reducing these peaks in aggression. In this study, the aggression-modulating properties of olfactory cues were studied by investigating the effects of their source and distribution on aggression after cage cleaning in groups of male BALB/c mice. The physiological effects of aggression on individuals within a group were also monitored.
Our results indicated that neither kinship nor distribution of urine marks affected aggression. Olfactory cues from nesting and bedding material, however, affected aggression to a marked degree: transfer of nesting material reduced aggression significantly, while transfer of sawdust containing urine and faeces seemed to intensify aggression. None of the physiological data revealed any differences between dominant and subordinate animals, nor any correlations with aggressiveness, except that dominant animals gained weight more rapidly than subordinate ones. We conclude that the transfer of nesting material will reduce aggression, or at least slow down its development, and thus aid the reduction of social tension due to cage cleaning.
Incest (“revealing the nakedness of the flesh of one’s flesh”) and slavery are presented in the Triteuch (Gen 1 through Lev 26) as twin threats to kinship creation (becoming “one flesh”) as the uniquely human matrix for fulfilling the commandment “be fruitful and multiply.” The serpent’s duplicitous nakedness symbolizes incestuous reproduction; the Tower builders, who seek to preserve their “one lip,” acquire one name, and avoid fragmentation into distinct kinship groups, “imagine” (zāmam, suggesting incest) a new way to reproduce themselves and their name; Pharaoh attempts to efface Israelite kinship and its “names” with the selective genocide of the males. The divine name YHWH, glossed as “I will be,” represents the freedom to give names to one’s children—the expression of the continuity of kinship creation (antitype of slavery)—and also the indexical uniqueness of each “I”-sayer—the interlinguistic basis of the oneness of humanity (antitype of the Tower).
As Russia went through an age of great reforms during Tolstoy’s adult years, relations between spouses, parents and children, siblings, and extended kin all evolved to match their changing society and its ideals. While Tolstoy was well aware of the debates about the state of the Russian family that raged at mid-century, his critique of the family talked past that of many of his contemporaries to focus on the moral issues closest to his heart. By mid-century many people considered the Russian family to be a backward institution based on patriarchal tyranny. Jurists struggled to rewrite imperial family law, while figures across the political spectrum debated the “Woman Question.” Tolstoy’s views evolved along different lines. He went from idealizing the traditional patriarchal family (through the 1860s), to acknowledging its flaws (1870s), to rejecting the family as an ultimate life goal (1880s onward). His ultimate ideal left no place for sexual love and was based on impersonal service to a higher cause. Ignoring all the quotidian realities of actually belonging to a real family made of real people, Tolstoy infuriated his wife with his abstract talk of living for the soul, while she managed the household and oversaw their large family.
Excavation at Mogou, a Bronze Age cemetery containing over 1700 burials and 6000 individuals, has revealed a diverse range of multiple burials. Building on this dataset, the Mogou Multidisciplinary Investigation Project aims to explore connections between kinship, burial space and social organisation in Bronze Age north-west China.
Cousin marriage, a spousal union between close kin, occurs at high frequencies in many parts of the world. The rates of cousin marriage in humans are concordant with empirical studies that challenge the traditionally held view that reproduction with kin is generally avoided in animals. Similarly, some theoretical models in animal behaviour show that inbreeding avoidance is more constrained than previously thought. Such studies highlight the importance of quantifying the costs and benefits of reproduction among close kin over the whole life-course. Here, we use genealogical data from two human populations with high frequencies of cousin marriage (the Dogon from Mali, and the Ancien Régime nobility from Europe) to estimate these potential costs and benefits. We compare age-specific fertility and survival curves, as well as the projected growth rates, of subpopulations of each marriage type. Fitness costs of cousin marriage are present in terms of reduced child survival (in both populations), while benefits exist as increased fertility for men (in the Dogon) and for women (in the Ancien Régime nobility). We also find some differences in the projected growth rates of lineages as a function of marriage type. Finally, we discuss the trade-offs that might shape marriage decisions in different ecological conditions.
This chapter uses the familial epitaphs of Roman Hieradoumia to reconstruct typical household forms in the region. The methodological problems of inferring family structure from patterns of funerary commemoration are discussed in detail. Typical ages of men and women at first marriage can – with caution – be extrapolated from changes in commemorative practices over the human life cycle; the relative prevalence of close-kin marriage is difficult to judge. Quantitative analysis of patterns of commemorative groups (presence or absence of pre-marital kin; prominence of the father’s brother among commemorators of unmarried persons) very strongly indicates that patrilocal residence after marriage was standard in Roman Hieradoumia. As a result, the typical household forms in the region seem to have been ‘patriarchal’ family households (several married sons co-residing with their father) and frérèche households (several married brothers residing together), a pattern which may also be reflected in the region’s typical inheritance practices.
Several small towns in Hieradoumia received polis-status between the Augustan and Flavian periods. None of these communities seem to have had an especially dense or elaborate urban fabric, and all had a relatively limited roster of civic magistrates. There is little sign that the local civic elite was strongly distinct either in wealth or cultural horizons from the ordinary rural population, and Roman citizenship was not widespread before the constitutio Antoniniana; the largest private landholdings in the region seem to have been in the hands of wealthy non-resident landowners from Sardis, Philadelphia, or further afield. The polis remained a marginal phenomenon in Roman Hieradoumia, where the chief focus of communal life was instead the self-governing village. Villages overlapped strongly with cult-associations, and in a few cases, we have good evidence for segmentary organization of villages by kin-groups. The chapter concludes with a defence of the conception of Roman Hieradoumia as a fundamentally kin-ordered society.
Hieradoumian epitaphs very often include lengthy lists of family members as co-commemorators of the deceased. As a result, the kinship terminology of Roman Hieradoumia is known to us in extraordinary detail. This chapter offers a full analysis of the region’s kinship terminological system, which turns out to have been richer and more complex than any other known from the Greco-Roman world. Matrilineal and patrilineal kin were clearly distinguished, as were different categories of affines. Although Hieradoumian kinship terminology shows close analogies with that employed in the Homeric epics, this was certainly not a matter of artificial archaizing, as is shown by the distinctive morphology and semantic range of certain Hieradoumian kinship terms (hykeros, ianatēr, kambdios). This terminological complexity is fundamental for our understanding of Hieradoumian social structure, which – or so it is argued here – was essentially kin-ordered.
Chapter 1, “The Politics of Shang Ritual under the Zhou” explores how the early Zhou repurposed ancestral-ritual techniques of Shang provenance to support their quest for legitimacy and lend focus to their efforts at building a new, shared identity.
In accounts of Chinese history, the Western Zhou period has been lionized as a golden age of ritual, when kings created the ceremonies that underlay the traditions of imperial governance. In this book, Paul Nicholas Vogt rediscovers their roots in the vagaries of Western Zhou royal geopolitics through an investigation of inscriptions on bronze vessels, the best contemporary source for this period. He shows how the kings of the Western Zhou adapted ritual to create and retain power, while introducing changes that affected later remembrances of Zhou royal ritual and that shaped the tradition of statecraft throughout Chinese history. Using ritual and social theory to explain Western Zhou history, Vogt traces how the traditions of pre-modern China were born, how a ruling dynasty establishes and holds on to power, how religion and politics can support and restrain each other, and how ancient peoples made, used, and assigned meaning to art and artifacts.
Our conception of the culture and values of the ancient Greco-Roman world is largely based on texts and material evidence left behind by a small and atypical group of city-dwellers. The people of the deep Mediterranean countryside seldom appear in the historical record from antiquity, and almost never as historical actors. This book is the first extended historical ethnography of an ancient village society, based on an extraordinarily rich body of funerary and propitiatory inscriptions from a remote upland region of Roman Asia Minor. Rural kinship structures and household forms are analysed in detail, as are the region's demography, religious life, gender relations, class structure, normative standards and values. Roman north-east Lydia is perhaps the only non-urban society in the Greco-Roman world whose culture can be described at so fine-grained a level of detail: a world of tight-knit families, egalitarian values, hard agricultural labour, village solidarity, honour, piety and love.
The introduction considers the appeal Decadence and the work of Oscar Wilde held for queer, cosmopolitan subjects in the early-twentieth century who wished to reimagine structures of kinship. Decadence’s association with sexual dissidence and curiosity along with Wilde’s reputation as a sexual martyr informed the thinking of authors and artists in the twentieth century who worked to generate alternatives to heteronormative practices of affiliation. These figures operated alongside but saw themselves as distinct from high modernist networks, turning to the fin de siècle past to express their sense of distinction from the aesthetic modes in fashion at the time. While Wilde’s capacity for reimagining new modes of kinship informed more liberatory strains of twentieth-century Decadence, his interest in age-differentiated eroticism and the more general tendency to Orientalism within the Decadent Movement also inflected the practices marked by his influence during this period. The introduction thus stresses that the kinship experiments of twentieth-century Decadents carried forward the many political valences of their source material and that their work should be approached through the framework of what Kadji Amin has called “deidealization,” a mode of queer historical practice that acknowledges that queer alternatives are not always just alternatives.
Chapter Five turns to the Harlem Renaissance author and illustrator Richard Bruce Nugent, arguing that his “Geisha Man,” which centers on the erotic relationship between a white American father and his mixed-race child, should be understood as emerging from his sustained engagement with Decadence and the Salome story. I position this work within the framework of Nugent’s extensive experimentation with Decadence to argue that the text’s Orientalism and its preoccupation with incest should be understood as more than a simple echoing of Decadence’s more troubling tendencies. This content operates within the text in service to Nugent’s efforts to conceptualize mixed-race identity and the rupturing of Black kinship structures within the United States. Salome is for Nugent a story about a fetishized performer attempting to enact erotic agency within a system of fractured familial formations, and revising her story allows Nugent to theorize kinship and multiraciality in relationship to what Hortense Spillers refers to as the “losses” and “confusions” that accompanied the “dispersal of the historic African American domestic unit.” This chapter sheds light on the manner in which Orientalist Decadence was transported across the Atlantic to perform different types of service for Black thinkers in Harlem in the early-twentieth century.
Chapter Six considers the modernist sculptor Eric Gill’s highly unconventional family life, his interest in Indian art, and his connections with Decadent queer Catholicism in relationship to his preoccupation with the family as a site of divine eroticism. While Gill is often thought of as a “distinctly heterosexual” figure with a highly provincial vision, during the 1910s he affiliated himself with a authors and artists, including Katharine Bradley and Edith Cooper (“Michael Field”), whose nonnormative sexual identities were intertwined with their Catholic religious identity, and he exhibited a thirst for information about global artistic practices, writing frequently to the Ceylonese art historian Ananda Coomaraswamy and engaging extensively with Indian art. He found in Bradley and Cooper, who converted to Catholicism and wrote religious verse concerning their union, a model for conceiving of incestuous desire in divine terms. In his correspondence with Coomaraswamy concerning the treatment of eroticism in Hindu temple sculpture, he found models for the successful integration of faith and sensuality. This network of influences resulted in one of his most well-known works, They (or Ecstasy, 1910-11), an attempt to hallow incestuous desire and transform an extreme form of sexual dissidence into an expression of divine love.
Chapter One argues that Vyvyan Holland forged a textual relationship with his father Oscar Wilde while collaborating with early Wilde scholars in the editing of Wilde’s letters and extended his father’s practice of importing sexually dissident content from abroad while translating works by the French modernist Julien (or Julian) Green. Following Wilde’s trials, his sons were separated from their mother and from one another and shuttled between various boarding schools abroad, an experience Holland described as deeply traumatic and lonely. His existence was devastated by the effects of late-Victorian sexual legislation, which divided him from his family. But, when he came of age, he found community with a network of men who loved Wilde and loved books, locating himself amidst other forms of relationality and affection. This chapter asserts that Holland modeled his own cosmopolitan aesthetic on his father’s, remaining similarly detached from and skeptical of English moral sensibilities, and focuses on how the translation of queer modernist texts allowed him to obliquely continue his father’s queer cosmopolitan project. Holland was able to find his way back to his father through textual acts, acts of cosmopolitan collaboration and translation, and by generating an alternative familial bond with early Wilde scholars.
The uses and transformations of the concept of land use, occupation, and possession in West Central Africa from the late sixteenth to the early nineteenth century are examined. Rather than stressing the concept of wealth in people, this chapter explores how people exercised land rights and control and displayed wealth. In West Central Africa, as elsewhere in the continent, claims over land, people, and things were based on and shaped by notions of kinship, community membership, and the broader social context. The distinction between the public and the private was blurred. Recognition of claims and rights was the result of political and economic competition among rulers, subjects, and neighbors. All actors, some with more power than others, engaged in the definition of land use, rights, occupation, and inheritance, retaining control of goods and wealth that could be expressed in a variety of ways. With the arrival of Europeans in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, more actors engaged in the principle of territorial occupation and subjugation to make bold claims of sovereignty based on the idea that land was unused or unoccupied. Since different ideas of possession and jurisdiction were at the center of these interactions, clashes between conceptions of land use, access, and occupation are analyzed.
This chapter examines the commodification of people during the nineteenth century. The records available in the colonial archive expose the extent of people’s commodification. The brutality of property claims over human beings is unambiguous in inventories, registers, bills of sale, and waybills, paper documents created to deny humanity and protect the interest of owners. These documents continue to reproduce the violence and legal and extra-legal exclusion that enslaved individuals experienced in the past by limiting their historical existence to records that categorized them solely as commodities. The records were created to facilitate control of property, and their survival discloses the commitment to register people’s exclusion and dispossession.