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Nationalism and cosmopolitanism: on the gods of Greece, Italy, and India

Vasunia, P; (2017) Nationalism and cosmopolitanism: on the gods of Greece, Italy, and India. In: Zajko, V and Hoyle, H, (eds.) A Handbook to the Reception of Classical Mythology. (pp. 179-191). John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: Hoboken, NJ, USA. Green open access

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Abstract

A new form of cultural cosmopolitanism arose in Europe, in the second half of the eighteenth century, partly as a consequence of the enlightenment and partly as the result of an increased colonial presence in Asia. One of its most illustrious and influential exponents was William Jones, the linguist, translator, and judge for the East India Company in Calcutta. His lecture “On the Gods of Greece, Italy, and India”, written in 1784 and subsequently revised, offers a perspective on myth that is supple, flexible, and wide‐ranging. Jones's cosmopolitanism turned on the notion that all human beings, ultimately, derived from a common origin. In this idea, he was not far from Johann Gottfried Herder, whose work, however, inspired nationalist rather than cosmopolitan movements in the nineteenth century. Herder's impact on nationalism should be set against Jones's cosmopolitan approaches to history, literature, and culture.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Nationalism and cosmopolitanism: on the gods of Greece, Italy, and India
ISBN: 1444339605
ISBN-13: 9781444339604
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/9781119072034.ch12
Publisher version: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/978111...
Language: English
Additional information: © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Eastern gods, Greek myths, Indian gods, Indian myths, Indian nationalism, Jones's cosmopolitanism approaches, Roman myths
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Greek and Latin
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1553238
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