Bloomsbury Cultural History
Loading
Cultural Memory and Identity in Ancient Societies

Cultural Memory and Identity in Ancient Societies

by Martin Bommas

Martin Bommas is senior lecturer in Egyptology at the Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity at the University of Birmingham, UK. He was a research associate of Professor Jan Assmann at the University of Heidelberg until 2000, and has published five monographs on ancient Egyptian rituals, religious texts, and memory. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

Search for publications
(ed)
Continuum, 2011
  • DOI:
    10.5040/9781472540645
  • ISBN:
    978-1-4725-4064-5 (online)

    978-1-4411-2050-2 (hardback)

    978-1-4411-5661-7 (epub)

    978-1-4411-8747-5 (epdf)
  • Edition:
    First edition
  • Place of Publication:
    London
  • Published Online:
    2017
Cultural Memory and Identity in Ancient Societies
Collapse All Sections

In recent years memory has become a central concept in historical studies, following the definition of the term ‘Cultural Memory’ by the Egyptologist Jan Assmann in 1994. Thinking about memory, as both an individual and a social phenomenon, has led to a new way of conceptualizing history and has drawn historians into debate with scholars in other disciplines such as literary studies, cultural theory and philosophy. The aim of this volume is to explore memory and identity in ancient societies. ‘We are what we remember’ is the striking thesis of the Nobel laureate Eric R Kandel, and this holds equally true for ancient societies as modern ones. How did the societies of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and Rome remember and commemorate the past? How were relationships to the past, both individual and collective, articulated? Exploring the balance between memory as survival and memory as reconstruction, and between memory and historically recorded fact, this volume unearths the way ancient societies formed their cultural identity.