Title
Silent witnesses : deaf-mutes in Graeco-Roman Antiquity Silent witnesses : deaf-mutes in Graeco-Roman Antiquity
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Arts. History
Publication type
article
Publication
Pittsburgh ,
Subject
History
Source (journal)
The classical world. - Pittsburgh
Volume/pages
104(2011) :4 , p. 451-473
ISSN
0009-8418
ISI
000294654300004
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
This article highlights all known instances of individual deaf-mutes in antiquity, with special attention as to how their symptoms were described, which effects were emphasized, and in what context the cases were reported. Next, the Greek and Latin vocabulary to denote deaf-muteness will be examined. Then comparative anthropology, literary sources, papyri, inscriptions, and juridic cases are used to describe daily life conditions of deaf-mutes. As a conclusion, I suggest that misconceptions about the anatomy of deaf-muteness, combined with the focus on rhetoric, might have had an impact on the lives of the deaf-mutes and the approach towards these people, at least in certain social environments.
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