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Shameless: The Canine and the Feminine in Ancient Greece

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Shameless: The Canine and the Feminine in Ancient Greece

Shameless: The Canine and the Feminine in Ancient Greece by Cristiana Franco
English | 2014 | ISBN: 0520273400 | 312 pages | EPUB | 1,2 MB

The figure of the dog is a paradox. As in so many cultures, past and present, the dog in ancient Greece was seen as the animal closest to humans, even as it elicited from them the most negative representations. Still a loaded term today, the word bitch not only signified shamelessness and a lack of self-control but was also exclusively figured as female. Woman and dogs in the Greek imagination were intimately intertwined, and in this careful, engaging analysis, Cristiana Franco explores the ancients’ complex relationship with both. By analyzing the relationship between humans and dogs as depicted in a vast array of myths, proverbs, spontaneous metaphors, and comic jokes, Franco in particular shows how the symbolic overlap between dog and woman provided the conceptual tools to maintain feminine subordination.

Intended for general readers as well as scholars, Shameless extends the boundaries of classics and anthropology, forming a model of the sensitive work that can be done to illuminate how deeply animals are imbricated in human history. The English translation has been revised and expanded from the original Italian edition, and it includes a new methodological appendix by the author that points the way toward future work in the emerging field of human-animal studies.

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