A History of the Archaic Greek World: ca. 1200-479 BCE / Edition 1

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A History of the Archaic Greek World offers a theme-based approach to the development of the Greek world in the years 1200-479 BCE.

  • A Thematic study of this crucial formative period of Greek history, from the same series as P.J. Rhodes' A History of the Classical Greek World.
  • Takes a critical and analytical look at evidence about the history of the archaic Greek World.
  • Involves the reader in the practice of history by questioning and reevaluating conventional beliefs.
  • Casts new light on traditional themes such as the rise of the city-state, citizen militias, and the origins of egalitarianism.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Scholars as well as students of historical practice and specialists in Greek history will find this book indispensable … Highly recommended." (Choice)

"Jonathan Hall has written a stimulating new history of Archaic Greece ... The book is very well written, with a very helpful glossary of literary sources and a useful index; it does not pre-suppose any knowledge of the evidence or methods ... Hall explores the general problems that a historian faces in practising history, providing an excellent introduction to the issues ... Fundamentally, Hall's book stresses the need to rethink the concept of historical change." (Bryn Mawr Classical Review)

"Very attractive physical appearance … an extensive bibliography and index. Hall’s style is clear and crisp … .The book is to be recommended." (Canadian Journal of History)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631226680
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/21/2007
  • Series: Blackwell History of the Ancient World Series
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 344
  • Sales rank: 1,457,068
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Jonathan M. Hall is Phyllis Fay Horton Professor in the Humanities, Professor and Chair of Classics and Professor in the Departments of History and the College at the University of Chicago. He has written numerous articles on the political, social, and cultural history of the early Greek world and is the author of Ethnic Identity in Greek Antiquity (1997) and Hellenicity: Between Ethnicity and Culture (2002).

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Table of Contents

List of maps.

List of figures.

List of documents.



1 The practice of history.

The Lelantine War.

The Lelantine War deconstructed.

What is history?

History as literature.

Method and theory.

2 Sources, evidence, dates.

Evaluating sources.

Dating Archaic poets.

Non-literary evidence.

Ancient chronography.

Archaeological dating.

3 The end of the Mycenaean world and its aftermath.

Mycenaean Greece.

Gauging the historicity of the Dorian migration.

Alternative explanations.

The loss and recovery of writing.

Whose Dark Age?

4 Communities of place.

Defining the polis.

The urban aspect of the polis: houses, graves, and walls.

Political and economic functions.

Cultic communities.

Polis and ethnos.

5 New homes across the seas.

On the move.

The credibility of colonial foundation stories.

Pots and peoples.

A Spartan foundation? Taras, Phalanthos, and the Partheniai.

Hunger or greed?

6 The changing nature of authority.

Charting the genesis of the state.

Kings or "big-men"?

The emergence of an aristocracy.

Laws and institutions.

The return of the "big-man".

Excursus I. A cautionary tale: Pheidon of Argos.

7 Fighting for the fatherland.

A hoplite revolution?.

Some more equal than others.

Conquest, territory, and exploitation.

8. Defining the political community.

Looking to the end.

The role of the dêmos and the Great Rhetra.

Drawing boundaries.

Land, labor, and the crisis in Attica.

The "second sex".

Excursus II. Evaluating the Spartan Mirage.

9 The city of Theseus.

The end of the tyranny.

The birth of democracy?

The unification of Attica.

Theseus: democrat or autocrat?

The (a)typicality of Athens.

10 Making a living.

Conceptualizing ancient economic activity.

A peasant economy?

Plying the seas.

The introduction of coinage.

11 Imagining Greece.

Greeks and others: the external dimension.

The rise of Persia and the invasions of Greece.

The invention of the barbarian.

The emergence of panhellenism: the internal dimension.

12 Writing the history of Archaic Greece.

The First Sacred War: fact or fiction?

The limits of narrative history.

Dividing up space and time.

Abbreviations and glossary of literary sources.

Works cited in the further reading.


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