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rather obscurely

of a novel by Gustave Flaubert : Salammbo

Actually it would be more appropriate for the Tunisian revolution, since the action takes place in and around Carthage. But all this talk of civil war, tribes and mercenaries brings it to mind.

After the First Punic War, Carthage is unable to fulfil promises made to its army of mercenaries, and finds itself under attack. The fictional title character, a priestess and the daughter of Hamilcar Barca, an aristocratic Carthaginian general, is the object of the obsessive lust of Matho, a leader of the mercenaries. With the help of the scheming freed slave, Spendius, Matho steals the sacred veil of Carthage, the Zaïmph, prompting Salammbô to enter the mercenaries' camp in an attempt to steal it back. The Zaïmph is an ornate bejewelled veil draped about the statue of the goddess Tanit in the sacrosanct of her temple: the veil is the city's guardian and touching it will bring death to the perpetrator.

A good read, if you like turgid blood-and-thunder epics. I doubt that it has much to tell us about the Libyan revolution, though.

Because of its popular impact in 19th century France, Edward Said would (or should) probably class it as seminal in the creation of that colonialist cultural construct : orientalism.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Feb 21st, 2011 at 06:43:40 AM EST
Edward Said would (or should) probably have classed it

Keynesianism is intellectually hard, as evidenced by the inability of many trained economists to get it - Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 21st, 2011 at 08:55:55 AM EST
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