Véronique Dasen here examines dwarfs in myth and everyday life in ancient Egypt and Greece. In both cultures physical beauty was highly admired, even to excess. What happened to those whose appearance did not conform to the `ideal proportion'? The spectacular forms of dwarfism were always a focus of interest, and it is the most depicted disorder in antiquity. In this study Dr Dasen brings together for the first time a whole range of mostly
unpublished or little known iconographic, epigraphic, literary, and anthropological evidence. She covers areas such as the history of caricature and the portrait; medical history, in particular the development of the
perception of congenital disorders; social history; and history of religion, with questions on the magical and ritual efficacy of the malformed in sacred and theatrical contexts. She considers also the complex relations between mythology and ethnography, as shown, for example, in the Greek myth of the Pygmies. This is a fascinating work, with a wealth of insights for anyone interested in the history of medicine or the ancient world.
`Compendious and impressively produced'
Times Literary Supplement
`A brilliant interdisciplinary, and truly fascinating examination of how two ancient societies literally viewed dwarfs. Dasen provides her readers with an eyeful and brainful of material in this book which represents Oxford publishing at its best. Dasen has produced a true masterpiece on the subject'
Jonathan Sinclair Carey, The Art Book
'Dasen has tackled a large subject, and has done an admirable job at ordering an immense amount of evidence ... Dasen's book is a timely and valuable contribution.'
Nicholas Vlahogiannis, King's College, London, Medical History
`In this learned book ... the author has made a very successful and welcome incursion into the field of Egyptology ... this is a very useful, extremely thorough, well illustrated, and at times fascinating presentation of little-known facts about the Egyptian and Greek experience of dwarfs in the ancient world.'
The Classical Review
`The evidence she cites is primarily iconographic, supplemented by some epigraphic, literary and skeletsl data. Much of it has till now been largely ignored and D. is to be congratulated for having brought it to the attention of art historians...a genuinely pioneering work and as such is to be warmly welcomed...D's book ... will greatly enlarge the discussion of those whom in the current jargon, have resisted the challenge of verticality.'
Journal of Hellenic Studies
Series: Oxford Monograph on Classical Archaeology
Number Of Pages: 384
Published: 25th November 1993
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 26.04 x 20.32
Weight (kg): 1.24