Juliet du Boulay

of a Greek 
Mountain Village

This book distils the author's experience, as a young traveller and later an anthropologist, of a way of life which, although seen here in a Greek context, was in its essentials once common throughout the world. Simple archetypal houses, terraced fields and plunging forest, the love of land and family, unceasing labour, a vivid communal life, and a continual drama of jokes and quarrels formed the texture of Greek village life for centuries until the changes of the last decades. The author has shown how the spiritual vision which evolved in these elemental conditions shaped people of great social dexterity, intuitive symbolic perception, and immense strength of character, resulting in a book that is not simply a work of scholarship but also the record of an inner journey.

'Portrait of a Greek Mountain Village ranks with John Campbell's study of northern Greek shepherds as one of the two best books written about Greece in this [last] century, at least in our language . . . There is an honesty and a curiosity about her writing that are somehow the measure of a love-affair of the mind. Lucky village . . . to have so sympathetic, so patient, and so clear-eyed a scholar.' Peter Levi in The Times Literary Supplement.

'. . . until the 1960s the village was an embodiment and, one feels, a continuity of a very ancient way of life, the rural community creating and defining its territory over centuries of customary agricultural and craft usages. . . . Dr du Boulay's work, fascinating for any student of the contemporary Mediterranean way of life, is of yet richer value for insights into its past. No student of Aegean history could read the book without profit.' Peter Warren in Antiquity

'Juliet du Boulay analyses [the] poignant moment in the last days of a traditional village. It is not romantic of her to emphasize that in the change something is lost which is not replaced by higher levels of consumption. . . . Few will match [her] eloquence and perception.' Peter Loisos in The Times Educational Supplement.

Portrait of a Greek Mountain Village was first printed by Oxford University Press in 1974. This present edition was reprinted from the original edition, with additional plates and minor amendments, in 1994 and 2001.


  • 310 pages, 20.8 x 13.7 cm, 16 black and white plates, sewn pages, 2001

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