Download Alternatives to Athens: Varieties of Political Organization by R Brock, S Hodkinson PDF

By R Brock, S Hodkinson

This quantity includes eighteen essays by means of proven and more youthful historians that research non-democratic replacement political structures and ideologies--oligarchies, monarchies, combined constitutions--along with diversified different types of communal and nearby institutions similar to ethnoi, amphiktyonies, and confederacies. The papers, which span the size and breadth of the Hellenic international spotlight the tremendous political flexibility and variety of old Greek civilization.

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Extra info for Alternatives to Athens: Varieties of Political Organization and Community in Ancient Greece

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The presence of large population centres is also noted by Zosia Archibald in her comparative study of ethn»e in archaic and classical Macedonia, Thessaly and Thrace. In contrast to Achaea, strong regional power structures developed, in her view, in all three regions—even in non-monarchic Thessaly—at comparatively early dates. Her study accordingly poses the central issue of the relationship between regional authority and urban centres. The existence of civic o¶cials in fourth- and third-century Thessaly and Macedonia is attested by an increasing quantity of epigraphic evidence.

Finally, the restriction might sometimes be based not on structural criteria such as those already considered but on contingent historical circumstance. At Megara, for example, only those who had taken part in the (probably mid-sixth-century) oligarchic coup were eligible for o¶ce, a criterion based upon participation in group violence which was highly appropriate in the Mafioso-like society described by van Wees. It would be easy to take a cynical view and suggest that oligarchy had no ideological basis beyond the concern of those exercising power to retain it.

In the later fifth century, perhaps in response to the development of a democratic ideology which made use of abstract ideals, the rule of the few came to be justified in more general terms centred on their other common characteristic: wealth. The claim took two forms: that the rich were more capable and trustworthy stewards of public a·airs and assets; and that they were entitled to a greater share in political power because of their greater contribution to the commonwealth—the idea of ‘proportional equality’.

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