A Companion to Ancient Greek Government

A Companion to Ancient Greek Government

Language: English

Pages: 612

ISBN: 1405198583

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This comprehensive volume details the variety of constitutions and types of governing bodies in the ancient Greek world.

  • A collection of original scholarship on ancient Greek governing structures and institutions
  • Explores the multiple manifestations of state action throughout the Greek world
  • Discusses the evolution of government from the Archaic Age to the Hellenistic period, ancient typologies of government, its various branches, principles and procedures and realms of governance
  • Creates a unique synthesis on the spatial and memorial connotations of government by combining the latest institutional research with more recent trends in cultural scholarship











household. Even the oikos' Hestia, goddess of the hearth, was a private representation of the same goddess who had her cult in the centre of the polis. Since each oikos had a share in the community as part of the whole, the covenant simultaneously created the connection between oikos/private (idios) and polis/common (koinos).7 The private shares in most poleis were far from equal, but the underlying commonality nonetheless included all politai. The

proper role of government. Spartans believed in a powerful state that intruded into private life. Athenians thought that as long as an individual did his share of military service and political participation, he should be left alone by the government to do as he pleased. They believed, that is, in personal freedom, a concept that left Spartans cold. Finally, a note on methodology. You cannot study ancient history properly without at least

example, stayed formally neutral for much of the third century and even led a hegemonic alliance in the early second century. Athens, too, pursued a policy of neutrality after the end of Macedonian domination in 229 bce, and stuck to it until the First Mithridatic War. The city-states on Crete carried on their endless internecine wars well into the second century bce, while those of western Asia Minor quickly resumed the habit of warring against their

good. We could talk about communities and happiness and which is right and which wrong if we chose. But we do not think such talk would be politics. The ancients could talk of alliances and fair terms of peace. But they would not think such talk would be politics. The problem is not that we live in different worlds and are separated by the gulf of alien cultures. The problem is that we think that the term “politics” refers to something common between us and

2 Miller (1995) has argued, with no little success, that Aristotle's political theory can be cast in the form of a rights doctrine. But he has to admit, nevertheless, that Aristotle's notion of rights is not the same as ours, or as Rawls'. Hence his contentions do not show that it would be better to start a discussion of Aristotle on constitutions and governments from the notion of rights rather than from the notion of justice.

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