A Companion to the Classical Greek World

A Companion to the Classical Greek World

Language: English

Pages: 628

ISBN: 1444334123

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This Companion provides scholarly yet accessible new interpretations of Greek history of the Classical period, from the aftermath of the Persian Wars in 478 B.C. to the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C.

  • Topics covered range from the political and institutional structures of Greek society, to literature, art, economics, society, warfare, geography and the environment
  • Discusses the problems of interpreting the various sources for the period
  • Guides the reader towards a broadly-based understanding of the history of the Classical Age


















rights. The idea of equality may have already existed amongst the Greeks and other nations, but the organization of the whole body of the free-born inhabitants of a polis as a community of equals and their practical fulfilment is an original Athenian achievement. Nor was it only the idea, nor merely a lofty declaration of equality, but also the fact that it was formally implemented by hundreds of officially sanctioned regulations. Every governing body in Athens, and every norm of community life,

worth copying, in generation after generation, and are not always what we should most like to survive. It is important for historians of antiquity to make as much use as we can of all the evidence which does survive – literary, to be discussed in this chapter, other kinds of written text, to be discussed in Chapter 3, non-written sources, to be discussed in Chapter 4 – and if we are to approach a correct understanding of classical Greece it is important to realize how the evidence should and how

and trace metals indicating The Contribution of the Non-Written Sources 75 prolonged human occupation in connection with the localities (Bintliff 1999a; Forse´n & Forse´n 2003). In Metapontion small necropoleis, seemingly used by single families for two or three generations, have been discovered in close proximity to several of the farmsteads (Carter 1990). Furthermore, the full analysis of the excavated Pantanello necropolis shows that the numbers of burials in general follow the numbers of

6.15) the assertion that this was only a stepping-stone on the way to subjugating the western Mediterranean and then the whole Hellenic world (Thuc. 6.90), though since this was in a speech at Sparta advocating aid to the embattled Syracusans, it would be wise to be sceptical. Although Thucydides likewise makes the Syracusan Hermokrates claim that the Carthaginians feared Athenian attack (Thuc. 6.34), in reality the Athenians sent envoys to Carthage (Thuc. 6.88), and a frustratingly fragmentary

the ease of access to the sea, and the quantity and quality of agriculturally useful land, as relevant features of that (in many ways quite uniform) Greek world. These were the two most important factors for the challenges faced by individual communities and their chances of survival. A plenty of agricultural lands – so characteristic of Athens and (especially after the conquest of Messenia) Sparta – was also enjoyed by Thessaly, Boiotia and Elis, central Euboia, Aegean Greece 113 Kolophon

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