- 6 x 9.
- 9 drawings, 10 photographs, 8 maps.
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This book shows how, in barely the space of a generation, Athens was transformed from a relatively conventional city-state into a very new kind of polity, a region-state on a previously unthinkable scale. This bold experiment in political community laid the foundations for the world's first complex, stable democracy and, ultimately, allowed the Athenians to shape the political and cultural destiny of the Greek world.
The author sets out to answer a simple question. How and when did the Athenian state acquire the anomalous size that made possible its remarkable influence on Greek politics and culture in the classical period? The standard answer is that the Athenian incorporation of the surrounding region of Attica was a gradual development, albeit a process which was largely complete some two or more centuries before the classical era. This new study proposes a very different solution: it is not until the very end of the sixth century that we see the first systematic attempt to integrate all of Attica within the polis of Athens, thus explaining why there are so few signs of impending Athenian greatness in earlier times. In supporting this claim, the book substantially rewrites the history of politics and public life in pre-classical Athens.
Greek historians and other classicists will find here the most complete account of all the evidence, documentary and material, yet assembled for this transformation, along with extensive discussion of pertinent developments in earlier times. The reader will find a way of looking at the history of archaic Athens that is refreshingly novel, unusually synoptic and, in many ways, more coherent than the standard narratives.
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