Political Sociology: A Reader

By S. N. Eisenstadt | Go to book overview

retaining them beyond the pale! All, Conscript Fathers, that is now believed supremely old has been new: plebeian magistrates followed the patrician ; Latin, the plebeian; magistrates from the other races of Italy, the Latin. Our innovation, too, will be parcel of the past, and what to-day we defend by precedents will rank among precedents."


NOTES
1.
The future emperor.
2.
"Long-haired Gaul" (the three imperial provinces of Aquitania, Lugdunensis, and Belgica), as opposed to "trousered Gaul" (the senatorial and completely romanized Gallia Narbonensis).
3.
Their clans were foederati; they themselves, full Roman citizens, but without senatorial rank, and therefore ineligible for the official career.
4.
The Latin and Italian communities.
5.
Types of the Gallic population north of the Po, enfranchised by Caesar at the outbreak of the Civil War (49 B.C.).
6.
The scene of the siege, in 52 B.C., of Vercingetorix by Caesar and of Caesar by the relieving Gaulish army (Caes. B.G. VII. 68 etc.); now Alise-Sainte-Reine, a village of some 600 inhabitants, between Semur and Dijon.
7.
The text is desperate, but refers to the capture of Rome and siege of the Capitol by the Senonian Gauls after Allia (390 B.C.).
8.
Large fragments of the actual speech, here re-written, rearranged, and condensed by Tacitus, were discovered at Lyons in 1524, and printed by Lipsius in an excursus to his famous edition fifty years later. They may be conveniently consulted in Orelli, Nipperdey, or Furneaux.
9.
In Latium, like Alba and Tusculum; but the site is uncertain.
10.
In virtue of the extension of the franchise to all Italy south of the Po, at the end of the Social War.
11.
The reference is to Caesar's grant of the civitas to the Gallic communities north of the Po, in 49 B.C., a date which makes the following tunc solia domi quies curious.
12.
Southern and eastern neighbors respectively of ancient Rome; associated with the legends of Coriolanus and Cincinnatus.
13.
After the surrender of Rome to Porsenna.
14.
At the Caudine Forks in 321 B.C.
15.
In ten years (59-50 B.C.). There were many shorter conquests; and, in his actual speech, Claudius emphasizes the obstinacy of their resistance.

∥ b. MAJOR TYPES OF CITY-STATES AND THE CONDITIONS OF
THEIR DEVELOPMENT AND CHANGE

24
The Genesis of the Greek Polis

Fritz Schachermeyr

For the scholar of ancient history, the "polis" is the most important and most worthy subject of study. By "polis" we mean that well-known type of Greek city which with its territory constituted an autonomous state and, in this respect, was quite similar to the centres of the Italian Renaissance. Ancient Hellas was made up of a great number of such "polis" cities. Each of them had its own freedom, its individual pride as an independent republic. But in the over-all picture we recognise in the institution of the polis the ground that nourished the dynamic and in a sense revolutionary spirit of the

ancient Greeks. Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, Cleisthenes and Themistocles, Pericles and Alcibiades, Protagoras and Democritus, Plato and Aristotle were the sons of polis cities. We may even assert that these men could be what they were only in the emancipated and inspired atmosphere of the polis. No other ancient culture could have given them birth. If we consider the Greek polis from the point of view of universal history we come to a rather astonishing conclusion: the polis differs from all other comparable cultural institutions in Asia, Egypt, and Europe by a very fundamental and special trait: Europe knew only a primitive, barbarian, rustic way of life. People were either roving nomads or tillers of the soil who lived in simple villages. The Celtic

____________________
From Fritz Schachermeyr, "The Genesis of the Greek Polis," Diogenes, No. 4 (1953), pp. 17-30. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

-195-

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