Athens from Alexander to Antony

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Overview

The conquests of Alexander the Great transformed the Greek world into a complex of monarchies and vying powers, a vast sphere in which the Greek city-states struggled to survive. This is the compelling story of one city that despite long periods of subjugation persisted as a vital social entity throughout the Hellenistic age.

Christian Habicht narrates the history of Athens from its subjugation by the Macedonians in 338 B.C. to the battle of Actium in 31 B.C., when Octavian's defeat of Mark Antony paved the way for Roman dominion over the Hellenistic world. For nearly three centuries Athens strove unsuccessfully for sovereignty; its foreign policies were shaped by the dictates first of the Macedonian monarchy and later of the Roman republic. Yet the city never relinquished control of internal affairs, and citizen participation in its government remained strong. Habicht lucidly chronicles the democracy's setbacks and recoveries over these years as it formed and suffered the consequences of various alliances. He sketches its continuing role as a leader in intellectual life and the arts, as Menander and other Athenian playwrights saw their work produced throughout the Greek world; and the city's famous schools of philosophy, now including those of Zeno and Epicurus, remained a stellar attraction for students from around the Mediterranean. Habicht has long been in the forefront of research on Hellenistic Athens; in this authoritative yet eminently readable history he distills that research for all readers interested in the ancient Mediterranean world.

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Editorial Reviews

Classical Review
Anglophone scholars will welcome this prompt translation of Habicht's excellent [Athens from Alexander to Antony]...The need for a new serious general history of Hellenistic Athens cannot be doubted, given that the last was W. S. Ferguson's Hellenistic Athens: An Historical Essay (London, 1911). Nor can it be doubted that Habicht, the distinguished epigraphist and veteran of many technical studies in this area, is the man for the job.
— Daniel Ogden
History [UK]
Christian Habicht has written a very readable general history of Hellenistic Athens...Habicht addresses the major difficulty in writing a historical narrative of this period: the scarcity of sources. He more than offsets the problem of fragmented literary texts with the insights that the surviving epigraphic evidence of decrees, lists, reports, and coinage adds to the picture of Athenian public life. With great skill in synthesizing this source material, Habicht builds his thesis that during the period from Macedonia's domination to Rome's subjugation, Athens remained a viable city with an active citizenry who participated in political, cultural, and international affairs.
— Randolph H. Lytton
New York Review of Books
Habicht has for years been established as...the leading authority on the history of Athens in the centuries between the fall of the Athenian Empire, in 404 B.C.E., and the establishment of the Roman Empire...The book now made available in English will surely be the standard work on the subject for the next thirty years.
— Jasper Griffin
Wall Street Journal
Christian Habicht is a German scholar of very high quality...His Athens from Alexander to Antony is a welcome new account of this turbulent period...It is a first-class piece of work, likely to remain authoritative for many years, and the reader who tackles it will be rewarded.
— Hugh Lloyd-Jones
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674051119
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 408
  • Product dimensions: 6.55 (w) x 9.49 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Meet the Author

Christian Habicht is Emeritus Professor of Ancient History at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, and a Fellow of the British Academy.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

In the Shadow of Macedonian Expansion (338-323)

Political Leaders

Endangered Peace

The Age of Lycurgus

The Crisis

Under Foreign Rule (323-307)

The Hellenic War

Unsettled Postwar Years

Demetrius of Phalerum

Between Freedom and Dependency (307-287)

Democracy without Full Freedom

Tyranny

King Demetrius

Culture in Public Life

Drama

The Schools of the Philosophers

The Fine Arts

Prose: Historiography and the Characters of Theophrastus

The Independent City (287-262)

Policy amid Competing Forces

Life in the City

The Chremonidean War

Renewed Subjugation (262-229)

The Royal Governor

A Satellite of Macedonia

Official Religion and the Royal House

Hellenistic Athens as Seen by a Contemporary

Freedom and Neutrality (229-200)

Precarious Freedom

The 220s

Athens as a Neutral Power

Alliance with Rome (200-167)

Against Philip

Against Antiochus

Against Perseus

Times of Peace (before and after 167)

Contacts with Kings

Contacts with Independent States

Conditions at Home

Athenian Delos

The Cleruchy

The Limits of Athenian Sovereignty

Center of Trade

Roman Hegemony

Athens and Oropus

Rome Acquires a Foothold on the Balkan Peninsula

Athens and Delphi

The Close of the Second Century

Foreign Relations

Conditions at Home

Athens and Mithridates

The Break with Rome

War and Its Consequences

After the War

The Constitution

Ruling Circles

A Difficult New Beginning

Subjection

Clodius' Plebiscite

Romans in Athens

In the Civil Wars

Epilogue

Abbreviations and Short Titles

Select Bibliography

Index

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