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Chapter Summary

This is the introductory chapter of the book, which addresses the problem of intercultural entanglements in the Hellenistic period with the aim of provoking a rethinking of assumptions regarding what we define as 'Hellenism'. To this end, the framework of detailed analysis must take into account both the phenomenon of cultural globalization in this period and the relational construction of identities on a local level. The idea of a social imaginary as an enabling and prohibiting symbolic matrix, a creative force, essential to each individual and society has received its fullest contemporary elaboration in the work of Cornelius Castoriadis, most notably in his book The Imaginary Institution of Society. Cultural appropriation is always initially a 'translatory' process that presupposes 'reception', 'interpretation', but also 'selection'. The example of the use of the Greek language in Lykia and Karia as analysed by Christian Marek illustrates that point.

Keywords: Cornelius Castoriadis; cultural globalization; Hellenistic period; social imaginary



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