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The Roman Clan: The Gens from Ancient Ideology to Modern Anthropology

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Overview

The gens or 'clan', a key social formation in archaic Rome, has given rise to considerable interpretative problems for modern scholarship. In this comprehensive exploration of the subject, C.J. Smith examines the mismatch between the ancient evidence and modern interpretative models influenced by social anthropology and political theory. He offers a detailed comparison of the gens with the Attic genos and illustrates, for the first time, how recent changes in the way we understand the genos may impact upon our understanding of Roman history. This significant work makes an important contribution not only to the study of archaic Rome, but also to the history of ideas.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is a work of careful scholarship...(T)his is a book that can be highly recommended to those interested in the Roman gens...well worth purchasing..."
David B. Small, Lehigh University, Journal of Anthropological Research

"...discourse about the origins of Roman sociopolitical organizations will for the future be shaped by Smith's ponderous work, making an exemplary historical problem more accessible to nonclassical scholars broadly interested in the role of clans in emerging states." —Nicola Terrenato, University of Michigan

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521102254
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2008
  • Pages: 393
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

C. J. Smith is Professor of Ancient History and Dean of Arts at the University of St. Andrews. His previous publications include Trading and Traders in the Ancient World (1998), Religion in Archaic and Republican Rome (2000) and Sicily from Aeneas to Augustus (2000). He is the editor of Fragmentary Roman Historians (forthcoming).

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Table of Contents

General introduction; Part I: Introduction; 1. The ancient evidence; 2. Modern interpretations; 3. The gens in the mirror: Roman gens and Attic genos; 4. Archaeology and the gens; Part I conclusion; Part II: 5. The Roman community; 6. The Roman curiae; 7. The patricians and the land; 8. The patriciate; 9. Warfare in the regal and early republican periods; 10. Explaining the gens; 11. Roman history and the modern world; Appendix 1. Dionysius of Halicarnassus on the Roman curiae and religion; Appendix 2. The missing curiae.

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