The Athenian Nation [NOOK Book]

Overview

Challenging the modern assumption that ancient Athens is best understood as a polis, Edward Cohen boldly recasts our understanding of Athenian political and social life. Cohen demonstrates that ancient sources referred to Athens not only as a polis, but also as a "nation" (ethnos), and that Athens did encompass the characteristics now used to identify a "nation." He argues that in Athens economic, religious, sexual, and social dimensions were no less significant than political and juridical considerations, and ...

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The Athenian Nation

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Overview

Challenging the modern assumption that ancient Athens is best understood as a polis, Edward Cohen boldly recasts our understanding of Athenian political and social life. Cohen demonstrates that ancient sources referred to Athens not only as a polis, but also as a "nation" (ethnos), and that Athens did encompass the characteristics now used to identify a "nation." He argues that in Athens economic, religious, sexual, and social dimensions were no less significant than political and juridical considerations, and accordingly rejects prevailing scholarship's equation of Athens with its male citizen body.

In fact, Cohen shows that the categories of "citizen" and "noncitizen" were much more fluid than is often assumed, and that some noncitizens exercised considerable power. He explores such subjects as the economic importance of businesswomen and wealthy slaves; the authority exercised by enslaved public functionaries; the practical egalitarianism of erotic relations and the broad and meaningful protections against sexual abuse of both free persons and slaves, and especially of children; the wide involvement of all sectors of the population in significant religious and local activities. All this emerges from the use of fresh legal, economic, and archaeological evidence and analysis that reveal the social complexity of Athens, and the demographic and geographic factors giving rise to personal anonymity and limiting personal contacts--leading to the creation of an "imagined community" with a mutually conceptualized identity, a unified economy, and national "myths" set in historical fabrication.

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Editorial Reviews

Bryn Mawr Classical Reviews
A most interesting book and a thoroughly stimulating read. . . . It is a highly welcome contribution.
— Balbina Bbler
Bryn Mawr Classical Review

A most interesting book and a thoroughly stimulating read. . . . It is a highly welcome contribution.
— Balbina Bbler
Bryn Mawr Classical Reviews - Balbina Bbler
A most interesting book and a thoroughly stimulating read. . . . It is a highly welcome contribution.
From the Publisher

"A most interesting book and a thoroughly stimulating read. . . . It is a highly welcome contribution."--Balbina Bäbler, Bryn Mawr Classical Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400824663
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 1/10/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Course Book
  • Pages: 272
  • File size: 9 MB

Table of Contents

Preface ix
Acknowledgments xvii
List of Abbreviations xix
Introduction: Athens as Paradox-Athens as Nation 3
Chapter 1: Anomalous Athens 11
An Anomalous Polis 11
An Anomalous Ethnos 22
Women in an Anomalous Democracy 30
Chapter 2: The Local Residents of Attika 49
Astoi and Politai 50
New, Old, and Former Athenians: The Historical Context 63
Attikismos: Becoming Part of Attika 70
Chapter 3: An Ancient Construct: The Athenian Nation 79
Motherland and Myth 82
Fatherland and Nationalism 91
Chapter 4: A Modern Myth: The Athenian Village 104
"Not Knowing One Another" in Attika 106
Anonymity and Mobility: The Reality of Deme Life 112
Chapter 5: Wealthy Slaves in a "Slave Society" 130
Unfree Wealth and Power: Slave Entrepreneurs and Civil Servants 132
"Corrective Interpretations": Evidence Rejected, Preconceptions Maintained 137
An Athenian Explanation for the Athenian Slave Economy 141
Chapter 6: The Social Contract: Sexual Abuse and Sexual Profit 155
An Academic Fantasy: Sexual Exploitation as Political Entitlement 159
Equal Employment Opportunity: Prostitution Not "the Special Preserve of Foreigners" 167
Consensual Sex: "Prostitution by Contract," Not Status 177
Works Cited 193
General Index 229
Index of Passages Cited 235
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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2014

    Sex

    Who wants some!

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