n Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa - Roman assimilations of the other : at Rome

Volume 40, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1141
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I argue that modern lexicographical analyses and wider discussions of the term do not accurately reflect its significance in the Roman construction of themselves and others. My study of the word suggests that the and entries miss the most important points : that the concept is used either inclusively or exclusively and that the exclusive usage predominates. This renders the Roman idea of - a tool to distinguish 'us' from 'them' significantly different from the inclusive tendency of the modern term 'humanity'.

Further, as 'culture' links with concepts of and and hence with ideas of Roman-ness, which I call . An examination of the pressures to conformity upon the Roman elite and others who wanted to join that élite suggests that and converge. This, finally, raises questions for us as classicists : in our study of 'Humanity' and 'the humanities' are we party to a blinkered elitism or are we prepared to embrace issues such as slavery, gender and multiculturalism?

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