Author: Oswyn Murray
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
Release Date: 1991
The Greek city-state or polis is the earliest advanced form of social organization in the western world; it was the dominant political structure in the Mediterranean area from the eighth until the late fourth century BC, when it was transformed into a basis for world civilization by the conquests of Alexander the Great. The experience of the polis is the starting-point for western political thought. Fourteen new essays by leading scholars from Britain, Denmark, France, Italy, and NorthAmerica present leading aspects of this phenomenon. The Greek city is placed in the general context of Mediterranean history and its impact on the urbanization of Italy is assessed. Other chapters consider the geography of the polis and the relationship between city and countryside, its political and religious institutions, and the distinction between public and private spheres. The first essay seeks to define then uniqueness of the phenomenon of the polis, and the last assesses the reasons for its decline. The book is written for the general reader and the student of social sciences as much as for professional historians of the ancient world. It presents a variety of contemporary approaches to the phenomenon of the polis.
Author: L. Foxhall
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 1996
This volume explores the ways in which law integrated with other aspects of life in ancient Greece. The papers collected here reveal a number of different pathways between law and political, social, and economic life in Greek societies. Emanating from several scholarly traditions, they offer a range of contrasting but complementary insights rarely collected together. What emerges clearly is that law in Greece only takes on its full meaning in a broadly political context. Dynamic tensions govern the relationships between this semi-autonomous legal arena and other spheres of life. An ideology of equality before the law was juxtaposed with a practical reality of individuals' unequal abilities to cope with it. It is hard to draw firm lines between the settlement of cases in court and the spill-over of legal actions into the agora, the streets, the fields, and the houses. Hence it is hardly surprising if justice can all too easily give way to justification.
Author: John Kenyon Davies
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Release Date: 1993-01
The art of classical Greece, and its political and philosophical ideas, have had a profound influence on Western civilization. It was in the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. that this Greek cultureâe"material, political and intellectualâe"reached its zenith. At the same time, the Greek states were at their most powerful and quarrelsome. J. K. Davies traces the flowering of this extraordinary society, drawing on a wealth of documentary material: houses and graves, extant sculpture and vases, as well as the writings of historians, orators, biographers, dramatists, and philosophers.
Feast! Throughout human history, and in all parts of the world, feasts have been at the heart of life. The great museums of the world are full of the remains of countless ghostly feasts – dishes that once bore rich meats, pitchers used to pour choice wines, tall jars that held beer sipped through long straws of gold and lapis, immense cauldrons from which hundreds of people could be served. Why were feasts so important, and is there more to feasting than abundance and enjoyment? The Never-Ending Feast is a pioneering work that draws on anthropology, archaeology and history to look at the dynamics of feasting among the great societies of antiquity renowned for their magnificence and might. Reflecting new directions in academic study, the focus shifts beyond the medieval and early modern periods in Western Europe, eastwards to Mesopotamia, Assyria and Achaemenid Persia, early Greece, the Mongol Empire, Shang China and Heian Japan. The past speaks through texts and artefacts. We see how feasts were the primary arena for displays of hierarchy, status and power; a stage upon which loyalties and alliances were negotiated; the occasion for the mobilization and distribution of resources, a means of pleasing the gods, and the place where identities were created, consolidated – and destroyed. The Never-Ending Feast transforms our understanding of feasting past and present, revitalising the fields of anthropology, archaeology, history, museum studies, material culture and food studies, for all of which it is essential reading.
Author: I. G. Spence
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date: 1993
This book is the first to examine how classical Greek cavalry actually operated on the battlefield. It looks at the prime characteristics of Greek cavalry, including mobility, protection, armament, training, leadership, flexibility, and motivation. Up to now it has usually been assumed that ancient Greek cavalry was subordinated to the infantry because it was less effective in battle. This book challenges this assumption, analysing the position of Greek cavalry, and especially the Athenian arm, not only on the battlefield but in society as a whole. It concludes that, like many modern societies, Greek states produced military arms which were moulded more by social and economic influences than by purely military considerations. Classical Greek cavalry had a high combat potential, but this was reduced by the attitudes of the rest of society towards the cavalry class - the wealthiest and most aristocratic group in most states.
Author: José R. Oliver
Release Date: 1978
This is the report of excavations at the pre-Columbian site of Caguana in Puerto-Rico, a famous religious centre in an otherwise under-explored area. Subtitled 'simbolimo iconografico, cosmovision y el poderio caciquil Taino de Boriquen' this volume also sheds new light on how the Taino chiefs acquired their power and how they reinforced their dominance through iconography. Text in Spanish.
Author: Benny Josef Peiser
Publisher: British Archaeological Reports Ltd
Release Date: 1998
Genre: Social Science
Collection of quirky papers from the second Society for Interdisciplinary Studies Catastrophists' Convention held in Cambridge in 1997. The papers bring together thoughts from a wide range of disciplines - physics, astronomy, archaeology, geology, and anthropology - and from around the world. Amos Nur (Stanford University) explains how the collapse of Bronze Age civilisation can be related to a 50-year-long earthquake storm; Gunnar Heinsohn (Universitat Bremen) argues that Bronze Age ritual and blood sacrifice was a response to living in catastrophic times; and Mark E. Bailey (Armagh Observatory) presents a review of recent findings and historical implications in the study of Near-Earth Objects.
Author: Greg Woolf
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2012-07-10
The very idea of empire was created in ancient Rome and even today traces of its monuments, literature, and institutions can be found across Europe, the Near East, and North Africa--and sometimes even further afield. In Rome, historian Greg Woolf expertly recounts how this mammoth empire was created, how it was sustained in crisis, and how it shaped the world of its rulers and subjects--a story spanning a millennium and a half of history. The personalities and events of Roman history have become part of the West's cultural lexicon, and Woolf provides brilliant retellings of each of these, from the war with Carthage to Octavian's victory over Cleopatra, from the height of territorial expansion under the emperors Trajan and Hadrian to the founding of Constantinople and the barbarian invasions which resulted in Rome's ultimate collapse. Throughout, Woolf carefully considers the conditions that made Rome's success possible and so durable, covering topics as diverse as ecology, slavery, and religion. Woolf also compares Rome to other ancient empires and to its many later imitators, bringing into vivid relief the Empire's most distinctive and enduring features. As Woolf demonstrates, nobody ever planned to create a state that would last more than a millennium and a half, yet Rome was able, in the end, to survive barbarian migrations, economic collapse and even the conflicts between a series of world religions that had grown up within its borders, in the process generating an image and a myth of empire that is apparently indestructible. Based on new research and compellingly told, this sweeping account promises to eclipse all previously published histories of the empire.
Author: Roger Brock
Publisher: A&C Black
Release Date: 2013-05-23
Genre: Literary Criticism
The great helmsman, the watchdog of the people, the medicine the state needs: all these images originated in ancient Greece, yet retain the capacity to influence an audience today. This is the first systematic study of political imagery in ancient Greek literature, history and thought, tracing it from its appearance, influenced by Near Eastern precursors, in Homer and Hesiod, to the end of the classical period and Plato's deployment of images like the helmsman and the doctor in the service of his political philosophy. The historical narrative is complemented by thematic studies of influential complexes of images such as the ship of state, the shepherd of the people, and the state as a household, and enhanced by parallels from later literature and history which illustrate the persistence of Greek concepts in later eras.