Dwarfs in Ancient Egypt and Greece

Paperback | April 30, 2013

byVeronique Dasen

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This book examines dwarfs in myth and everyday life in ancient Egypt and Greece. In both cultures physical beauty was highly admired, even to excess. What happened to those whose appearance did not conform to the "ideal proportions"? The spectacular forms of dwarfism were always a focus ofinterest, and it is the most depicted disorder in antiquity. In this study Dr Dasen brings together for the first time a whole range of mostly unpublished or little-known iconographic, epigraphic, literary, and anthropological evidence. She covers areas such as the history of caricature and the portrait; medical history, in particular, the development of the perception of congenital disorders; social history; and history of religion, with questions on the magical and ritual efficiency of the malformed in sacred and theatricalcontexts. She considers also the complex relations between mythology and ethnography, as shown, for example, in the Greek myth of the Pygmies. This is a fascinating work, with a wealth of insights for anyone interested in the history of medicine and the ancient world.

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This book examines dwarfs in myth and everyday life in ancient Egypt and Greece. In both cultures physical beauty was highly admired, even to excess. What happened to those whose appearance did not conform to the "ideal proportions"? The spectacular forms of dwarfism were always a focus ofinterest, and it is the most depicted disorder ...

Veronique Dasen is Associate Professor of Classical Archaeology at the University of Fribourg.

other books by Veronique Dasen

Format:PaperbackDimensions:440 pages, 9.69 × 7.44 × 0.01 inPublished:April 30, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199680868

ISBN - 13:9780199680863

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Table of Contents

PrefaceList of PlatesList of FiguresAbbreviationsGeneral IntroductionI Medical Context1. Typology of Growth Disorders2. PalaeopathologyII Egypt3. Terminology4. Iconographic Conventions5. Anonymous Dwarf Gods6. Bes7. Ptah-Pataikoi8. Physical Minorities9. Human Dwarfs10. ConclusionIII Greece11. Terminology12. Iconographic Conventions13. Dwarfs in Myth14. Physical Minorities15. Human Dwarfs16. ConclusionGeneral ConclusionIV CataloguesEgyptGreek WorldSkeletal RemainsGlossary of medical termsBibliographyIndexPlates

Editorial Reviews

"A brilliant interdisciplinary, and truly fascinating examination of how two ancient societies literally viewed dwarfs. Dasen provides her readers with an eyeful and brainful of material in this book which represents Oxford publishing at its best. Dasen has produced a true masterpiece on thesubject" --Jonathan Sinclair Carey, The Art Book 17/11/1994