By Michæl Dietler
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Extra info for Archaeologies of Colonialism: Consumption, Entanglement, and Violence in Ancient Mediterranean France
58 The role of archaeology in illuminating the silences and silencing of colonial history is even more crucial in ancient contexts. This fact should be obvious in situations without texts — where there is no writing at all, archaeology is the only tool we have. But this role must be appreciated equally in situations where some preserved textual evidence is available. In general, the range of documents in ancient contexts is considerably more limited than in modern colonial situations. Hence, both the silences (due to accidents of preservation and discursive conventions) and the potential silencing of other voices (due to the privileging of more narrowly restricted points of view) are considerably greater.
22 Moreover, while a romanticized familiarity with Roman history (including especially the Roman colonization of Britain) and a reverence for Latin were more widely diffused through popular literature, the Hellenists tended to affect an Olympian disdain for things Roman. For them, Latin was a practical language appropriate for conquest and administration, while Greek was an inspired language appropriate for intellectual discourse and literature. ”24 As even that archetypically insular Englishman, Dr.
S. FOX 1978:2 Perhaps the most intriguing and consequential case of “invented traditions” in European history involved a sweeping “colonization” of modern consciousness by the ancient GrecoRoman world. This process was launched several centuries ago, and its evolving manifestations have been a pervasive feature of European cultures ever since. The passages cited above are illustrative of this curious cultural conquest of the present by the past, although hundreds of other examples easily could have been substituted to make the point.
Archaeologies of Colonialism: Consumption, Entanglement, and Violence in Ancient Mediterranean France by Michæl Dietler