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The Mirror of the Self: Sexuality, Self-Knowledge, and the Gaze in the Early Roman Empire Hardcover – July 3, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0226038353 ISBN-10: 0226038351 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; 1 edition (July 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226038351
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226038353
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,816,848 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A dazzling book with a broad field of vision, offering important new insights into Roman cultural psychology. . . . Bartsch commands the field of classics in its entirety, moving from an expert summary of ancient optical theory to a careful analysis of Lucretian poetry, elucidating philosophical subtleties and inserting notes of textual criticism along the way. Her fluent and carefully argued exposition, however, eases this compelling erudition."
(Bart Van Wassenhove Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2006-11-28)

"A brilliant and thought-provoking study of the role of mirrors and mirroring in ethical thought. While drawing the proper distinctions between ancient and modern understandings of the mirror, self-mirroring and, indeed, the self, Bartsch cannot help reminding us that ancient conceptions have not been jettisoned wholesale in the march of history. Her book makes stimulating reading for anyone interested in the drama of the ethical life, now and then."
(William Fitzgerald Times Literary Supplement)

"A very original, interdisciplinary study centred on ideas and images of selfhood in the first century AD. . . . Bartsch's study is, by any standards, a remarkable achievement, illuminating in its insights and linkages and challenging in its probing of received ideals. It is also written with an engaging combination of critical intelligence and wit, and the book itself is beautifully presented."
(Christopher Gill Phronesis)

"Any reader who enters into a dialogue with her ambitious and challenging book will leave it the wiser."
(Mark Golden Classical Bulletin)

"This text is complicated, but keeps the attention of the reader; intense and dense, but not monotonous; abstract and rarified, but a cautious and methodical reading overcomes these qualities. This book will be of interest to a wide variety of people intrested in ancient Greece and Rome.'
(Edmund P. Cueva Canadian Journal of History)

"[A] thoughtful and thought-provoking study. And although the triad of sexuality, self-knowledge and the gaze seems a somewhat awkward partnership at times . . . the work as a whole offers some valuable new insights into ethics, erotics and optics in the ancient world."
(Genevieve Lively Classical Review)

About the Author

Shadi Bartsch is the Helen A. Regenstein Distinguished Service Professor of Classics and the Program in Gender Studies at the University of Chicago. She has served as the editor of Classical Philology and is the author of several books, including, most recently, Ideology in Cold Blood: A Reading of Lucan’s “Civil War.”

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By judith on January 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book on Ancient Roman and Greek Philosophy over the ocular metaphor in relation to the self, lover and community. This is one of my favorite go to books over the dynamics of gaze and it covers a wide range philosophers other than Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.
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The Mirror of the Self: Sexuality, Self-Knowledge, and the Gaze in the Early Roman Empire
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