The Greek World

The Greek World

The Greek World

The Greek World

Synopsis

Studying from the Mycenean to the late Hellenistic period, this work includes new articles by twenty-seven specialists of ancient Greece, and presents an examination of the Greek cultures of mainland Greece, Asia Minor, Egypt and Italy.With the chapters sharing the theme of social history, this fascinating book focuses on women, the poor, and the slaves ¿¿" all traditionally seen as beyond the margins of powerand includes the study of figures who were on the literal margins of the Greek world.Bringing to the forefront the research into areas previously thought of as marginal, Anton Powell sheds new light on vital topics and authors who are central to the study of Greek culture.Plato¿¿"s reforms are illuminated through a consideration of his impatient and revolutionary attitude to women, and Powell also examines how the most potent symbol of central Greek history ¿¿" the Parthenon ¿¿" can be understood as a political symbol when viewed with the knowledge of the cosmetic techniques used by classical Athenian women. The Greek World is a stimulating and enlightening interaction of social and political history, comprehensive, and unique to boot, students will undoubtedly benefit from the insight and knowledge it imparts.

Excerpt

This volume aims to be not a conventional work of reference, but a demonstration of some of the most influential new approaches used by analysts of Greek history. In recent decades the expansion of research, and of areas of research, within Greek history has been such that to provide a comprehensive survey of that work is an increasingly ambitious task, even for teams of scholars. The reaction of the properly cautious researcher, when asked to provide a survey for reference purposes, is often to lose enthusiasm, to retreat from detail and the expression of judgement, for fear of seeming to overlook some recent development in scholarly debate. Rather, to engage the enthusiasm of contributors, we have asked each to provide a paper embodying his or her own research. However, the choice of topics for research has been made on certain distinct principles, and the chapters have been grouped accordingly in the volume. Collectively they are intended to display broad areas in which modern scholarship is distinctive; to reveal—by elaborate sample rather than by nervous summary—the potential of that scholarship for important discovery.

In the first section, The Greek Majority, contributors explore the lives of, and ancient opinions concerning, non-aristocrats. Only in recent years has it been accepted generally that Greeks outside the ruling circles are worthy of sustained scholarly attention. Yet even the most studied of classical literary texts, with their focus on leaders in politics and the arts, contain frequent references to the citizen poor, to women, slaves and helots. It might have been predicted, therefore, that the substantial volume of work on non-aristocrats which has now begun to appear would not only illuminate the lives of the ruled but would also inform the study of their rulers. It is a principle behind the composition of the present volume that rulers and ruled, high culture and the humdrum, cannot properly be studied in isolation from each other. Hooker examines the social organization which underlay the spectacular aristocratic manifestations of Mycenaean culture. Osborne considers the role of slavery in supporting and shaping the demokratia of Athenian citizens. Fisher investigates why the Athenians extended to slaves some protection against what was seen as the subversive vice of the rich, hybris. Griffiths studies non-aristocratic characters and attitudes in archaic poetry; Thomas examines the role of poetry in ruling circles of archaic Greece and the poet’s degree of freedom from the demands of a popular audience. Morgan analyses the Greek novel to identify the social

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