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Ethnicity and Argument in Eusebius' Praeparatio Evangelica$
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Aaron P. Johnson

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199296132

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199296132.001.0001

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The Language of Ethnicity

The Language of Ethnicity

(p.25) 2 The Language of Ethnicity
Ethnicity and Argument in Eusebius' Praeparatio Evangelica

Aaron P. Johnson

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues for the value of a discursive approach to ethnicity — one that looks for the mechanisms of its construction within social interaction, especially as a process of boundary formation. Such an approach to ancient ethnicity has seen rapid advances in the current understanding of classical Greece, Hellenistic Egypt, and the late Roman West, but has yet to be appreciated fully in treatments of the late antique Greek East. A newer theoretical framework calls for thorough philological analysis of ancient texts to examine their manipulation of language in the formation of identity. Hence, the chapter offers a philological analysis of the ethnic terminology employed by Eusebius in the Praeparatio: ethnos, genos, and politeia. It also examines the use of boundary making oppositions: those within vs those outside; familiar/native vs foreign/barbaric; and ancient/paternal vs new/revolutionary.

Keywords:   ethnicity theory, ethnic boundaries, nation, race, ethnos, genos, politeia

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