Romans and Aliens - Vol. 10

Romans and Aliens - Vol. 10

Romans and Aliens - Vol. 10

Romans and Aliens - Vol. 10

Excerpt

I dedicate this book to the memory of E.A. Barber, L.R. Farnell, R.R. Marett and B.W. Henderson who were my Oxford tutors more than half a century ago, men for whom I entertain even more grateful admiration today than I did then, for in the interval I have discovered for myself something of the difficulties of teaching and scholarship. This book has been written -- in intervals of gardening and cooking -- in the seven years since I retired from active teaching in the Oxford College in which I was once an undergraduate and those tutors of mine were Fellows (and, indeed, three of them Rectors). In these seven years, and for many years before that, I have enjoyed the stimulating encouragement of Colin Haycraft, himself a classical scholar of whom those tutors of mine would have thought highly, who is now my publisher. I am grateful, too, to many Oxford friends, in particular to Peter Parsons, who has allowed me to pick his brain on papyrological matters, to Michael Reeve, who has vetted -- and improved -- two chapters of the book and to Peter Brunt who has helped me by his trenchant criticism of several other chapters. Oxford tutors and professors are busy people, and help of this sort is a real self-sacrificing kindness. I am more than grateful; as I am also to my old Greats pupil John Weale who, not for the first time, has sacrificed a great deal of his leisure time, lynx-eyed, to reading my proofs.

And I must express my appreciation of the inestimable privilege of access to the Bodleian and the Haverfield libraries in Oxford; it is because of proximity to them that I live where I do.

The purpose of the book is to enquire how Romans regarded other peoples and indeed how they regarded themselves, and how other peoples regarded the Romans; how they communicated and how they infected one another, given the marked differences in their background and customs. The title is not a perfect title, but the best that we could devise. For a similar book about Greeks and other peoples, 'Greeks and Aliens' would be a perfect title, because the Greeks divided humanity sharply into two classes, Greeks and Barbarians. The Romans, on the other hand, did not divide people sharply into 'Romans' and 'Peregrini', though in Rome the praetor who dealt with cases in which non-Romans were involved was called the Praetor Peregrinus. Some peregrini were Roman subjects, politely . . .

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