The Development of the Polis in Archaic Greece

The Development of the Polis in Archaic Greece

The Development of the Polis in Archaic Greece

The Development of the Polis in Archaic Greece


The Greek polis has been arousing interest as a subject for study for a long time, but recent approaches have shown that it is a subject on which there are still important questions to be asked and worthwhile things to be said.This book contains a selection of essays which embody the results of the latest research, yet are presented so as to be accessible to non-specialist readers. Beyond the historical development of the Greek polis , the authors ask questions about the civic institutions of ancient Greece as a whole, and their relationships to each other. Questions of power, or the significance of a written code of law are discussed as well as the nature of Greek overseas settlements. The Development of the Greek Polis presents up-to-date research and asks up-to-date questions on various aspects of an important topic. It will be essential reading for all students and teachers of early Greek history and of the institutions of the ancient world.


This collection of essays is based on the papers read at a conference in Durham in September 1995. In planning the conference we wanted to confront from a number of angles the fundamental questions of why and how the polis developed and what this development tells us about Archaic Greece. We invited six speakers (John Davies, Lin Foxhall, Mogens Hansen, Stephen Hodkinson, Catherine Morgan and John Salmon) to deal with six themes, and we then issued a general invitation to intending participants to offer shorter papers, as a result of which our repertoire was expanded to include the range which is covered in this book. We should like to thank not only our speakers but all those who participated in the conference and made it such a success.

For financial help we are grateful to the Classical Association, the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies and the Department of Classics at the University of Durham. We thank the Principal and the staff of Colling-wood College, Durham, for the use of their facilities, and the University of Durham for administrative underpinning. Special thanks must go also to James Pile for helping the four days to run so smoothly.

After the conference Routledge agreed to publish our book, and have done so with great efficiency, and our speakers revised their papers with welcome promptness. Finally, we should like to thank the members of the Department of Classics at Durham for their support and encouragement.

L.G.M. and P.J.R.
April 1996

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