The Household as the Foundation of Aristotle's Polis

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Among ancient writers, Aristotle offers the most profound analysis of the polis household and its relationship to the state. The household was not the family in the modern sense of the term, but a much more powerful entity with significant economic, political, social, and educational resources. The success of the polis in all its forms lay in the reliability of households to provide it with the kinds of citizens it needed to ensure its functioning. In turn, the state offered the members of its households a unique opportunity for humans to flourish. This book explains how Aristotle thought household and state interacted within the polis.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'...this book is an invaluable compedium of information from multiple sources that will deepen any reader's understanding of the material conditions of the ancient household and the nature of the local and city-wide institutions that inculcated the values of the community."
Cathal Woods, Virginia Wesleyan College, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

'I recommend Nagle's account of the demographics of the polis and the household to anyone with an interest in political theory of the period."
-Don Carmichael, University of Alberta, Canadian Journal of Political Science

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521849340
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2006
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 364
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

D. Brendan Nagle is Professor of History, Emeritus, at the University of Southern California. He is the author of The Ancient World: A Social and Cultural History, 5th edition, and The Roman World: Sources and Interpretations.

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Table of Contents

1 Ancient and modern households 1
2 The Polis as community and polity 19
3 Polis households : possessions 31
4 Polis households : labor needs of the Oikos 76
5 Non-Polis households 135
6 The perfection of the household 152
7 Philia as bond between Oikos and Polis 177
8 Plato's Paideia 203
9 Aristotle's Paideia 247
10 Conclusion 297
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