Identity in Ancient Greece
Leonor Santa Bárbara (Centro de História da Cultura, Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, Universidade Nova de Lisboa) [BIO]
We can find, already, a notion of identity, in ancient Greece, in Homeric poems, particularly in the Iliad, when the poet opposes the Greeks (Achaeans) to the Trojans and their allies. The existence of several kings, ruling their cities (or kingdoms), did not affect this identity, since the general values are common to all of them: courage, justice, hospitality, religious duties (what Romans should call pietas). Later, the notion of identity is defined by the opposition between Greeks and Barbarians. And with Alexander, the Great, the common trace to the whole empire was the cultural factor.
In three different ages, there are three different ways to define identity. What are the most relevant aspects present in literary texts? This is one of the aspects this paper intends to approach. But there’s another one: the reflection of Classical topics in recent times, how some rulers used them as a way to define a national identity, as Oliveira Salazar, for instance, did in the 20th century Portugal.