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Silent witnesses: deaf-mutes in Graeco-Roman antiquity.

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 lest in certain social environments.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    University of Antwerp

    Source

    Classical world 104:4 2011 pg 451-73

    MeSH

    Deafness
    Greek World
    History, Ancient
    Roman World

    Pub Type(s)

    Historical Article
    Journal Article

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    21938882