BMCR 1995.03.18

Response: Demand on Golden on Demand

Response to 1994.12.02

Response by

In reply to Mark Golden’s review of my book, I would like to note that Birth, Death and Childbirth in Classical Greece was not born without the “usual signs of professional pregnancy.” In fact, it had abundant preliminary feedback provided by those who heard papers at various professional meetings, in addition to the most helpful comments and suggestions of readers enlisted by the Johns Hopkins University Press. I presented “Mothers and midwives: reading Greek funerary monuments,” to the Association of Ancient Historians in May 1991; “Children—and women—in the Hippocratic treatises,” was presented to the Society for Ancient Medicine, at the American Philological Association meetings in December, 1991; “Monuments, Midwives and Gynaecology,” was a contribution to an international congress on ancient medicine, “Ancient Medicine in its Socio-Cultural Context,” held at Leiden, The Netherlands, in April, 1992; and “Medicine and Philosophy: the Attic Orators,” was presented at the International Hippocratic Conference, Erlangen, Germany, in September, 1993. All of these papers were chosen for presentation in competitions, not by invitation, and the Proceedings from the two international conferences, which were further reviewed for publication, are in press at this time. If Mr. Golden would get out of the periodical room and attend meetings and conferences, he would be more aware of work-in-progress in his field.

I also take exception to Mr. Golden’s comments about my nationality and department of employment—to say nothing about the questionable connotations of his dig about “People of the Book.” It is true that I am not a Canadian (which is, of course, totally irrelevant to my book), but I have a son who is, and I object to Mr. Golden’s claim that Canadians in general, classicists or otherwise, share his biased views. At a time when ancient studies itself is an endangered field, what is to be gained by pitting American against Canadian, those of us employed in History departments against those employed in Classics departments, those who write books against those who write articles (if, indeed, we are not usually the same people)? Is this some sort of attack on cultural pluralism? Or could it be that Mr. Golden is suffering from Book-Envy?