By Paul Cartledge
Historical Greece was once a spot of super political test and innovation, and it used to be the following too that the 1st severe political thinkers emerged. utilizing rigorously chosen case-studies, Professor Cartledge investigates the dynamic interplay among old Greek political suggestion and perform from early historical instances to the early Roman Empire. of shock all through are 3 significant concerns: first, the connection of political concept and perform; moment, the relevance of sophistication and standing to explaining political behaviour and considering; 3rd, democracy - its invention, improvement and growth, and extinction, sooner than its contemporary resuscitation or even apotheosis. additionally, monarchy in numerous kinds and at various classes and the atypical political constructions of Sparta are handled intimately over a chronological variety extending from Homer to Plutarch. The publication offers an creation to the subject for all scholars and non-specialists who take pleasure in the ongoing relevance of historic Greece to political thought and perform this day.
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Additional info for Ancient Greek Political Thought in Practice (Key Themes in Ancient History)
When boys who had been orphaned by the death of their father in battle and raised at public expense came of age, they were paraded in full armour as part of the opening ceremonies of the annual Great or City Dionysia play-festival. Athenian tragic drama was set in mythical time and often in a place other than the city of Athens, but it was enacted in Athenian public political space and time, within the context of a state-sponsored religious festival. One of the central functions of Attic tragedy was to scrutinise critically the community’s most fundamental values, and both the prominence of particular women and Ancient Greek Political Thought in Practice the dominant role played by issues of gender, household and kinship in this quintessentially political form of dramatic contest neatly demonstrate the inseparability of oikos and polis, at least in democratic Athens (Cartledge b).
Culturally no less interesting, however, is the fact that from early on the alphabet was used to write down verse, and metrical verse at that. The suggestion has even been made that the alphabet was devised precisely for that purpose, and, even Ancient Greek Political Thought in Practice more specifically, to write down one particular kind of verse, namely the heroic epic hexameters that went under the collective name of ‘Homer’. Far-fetched though that suggestion may seem, it does derive some support from our humble Ischian pot.
Athens was only one of about , (at any one time) separate, usually radically self-differentiated Greek communities (Hansen ). Most of them in Aristotle’s day could be classified straightforwardly as governed by variants of either democratic or oligarchic regimes. The classification of classical Sparta proved problematic, however, as indeed it still does for modern students of the ancient Greek world. The Spartans identified themselves as citizens under several titles, the most relevant of which to the Ancient Greek Political Thought in Practice present discussion is homoioi, meaning ‘similars’ or ‘peers’, not (as it is too often translated) ‘equals’.
Ancient Greek Political Thought in Practice (Key Themes in Ancient History) by Paul Cartledge