Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2000.06.26

Traina on McInerney on Arnaud/Counillon.   Response to 2000.06.18



Response by Giusto Traina , The University of Lecce, Italy (giusto.traina@unile.it)

I just read Jeremy McInerney's review of Arnaud/Counillon, Geographica Historica, and I feel a bit puzzled. Certainly a reviewer is free to dislike a book, yet he should not try to suggest how to write it. McInerney argues "the volume lacks balance. The Hellenistic and Roman periods dominate completely... Of the fourteen contributions, not one is dedicated to the period before the fourth century BC." So what? Such a criticism is appropriate for a handbook of ancient geography, not for the results of a seminar.

Then he goes further: "Given the lively work done by such scholars as Susan Alcock, John Bintliff, John Cherry, Jack Davis, to name only a handful, it does seem odd that none of the papers should address directly the question of geography and archaeology. Needless to say, none of the anglophone scholars mentioned above appear in any footnotes or bibliography. This is mainly, then, a collection of essays about selected ancient geographers, with a nod towards roads and excavation as well." Very amusing: usually, not-anglophone (and not necessarily anglophobe) scholars blame their anglophone colleagues, as they systematically skip bibliography in French, German, Italian and so on. Actually, this fits the scholars mentioned above. Are we having "deux poids et deux mesures"?

The rest of the review is good homework. Yet, IMHO, its prolegomena show a sort of juvenile intolerance towards different schools' methodologies.

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