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Cults, Territory and the Origin of the Greek City-State (Hardback)
  • Cults, Territory and the Origin of the Greek City-State (Hardback)
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Cults, Territory and the Origin of the Greek City-State (Hardback)

(author), (foreword)
£58.00
Hardback 188 Pages / Published: 16/04/1996
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How did the classical Greek city come into being? What role did religion play in its formation? Athens, with its ancient citadel and central religious cult, has traditionally been the model for the emergence of the Greek city-state. But in this investigation, Francois de Polignac suggests that the Athenian model was probably the exception, not the rule, in the development of the polis in ancient Greece. Combining archaeological and textual evidence, de Polignac argues that the eighth-century settlements that would become the city-states of classical Greece were defined as much by the boundaries of "civilized" space as by its urban centres. The city took shape through what de Polignac calls a "religious bipolarity," the cults operating both to organize social space and to articulate social relationships not only at the heart of the inhabited area, but on the edges of the territory. Together with the urban cults, these sanctuaries "in the wild" identified the polis and its sphere of influence, giving rise to the concept of the state as a territorial unit distinct from its neighbours. Frontier sanctuaries were therefore often the focus of disputes between emerging communities. But in other instances, in particular in Greece's colonizing expeditions, these outer sanctuaries may have facilitated the relations between the indigenous populations and the settlers of the newly founded cities. Featuring extensive revisions from the original French publication and an updated bibliography, this book is intended for anyone interested in the history and culture of ancient Greece.

Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226673332
Number of pages: 188
Weight: 400 g
Dimensions: 220 x 150 x 17 mm
Edition: 2nd ed.

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