Challenges the assumption that ancient Athens is best understood as a polis. This book recasts our understanding of Athenian political and social life. It demonstrates that ancient sources referred to Athens not only as a polis, but also as a 'nation' (ethnos), and that Athens did encompass the characteristics now used to identify a 'nation.'
Challenging the modern assumption that ancient Athens is best understood as a polis, Edward Cohen boldly recasts our understanding of Athenian political and social life. Cohen demonstrates that ancient sources referred to Athens not only as a polis, but also as a "nation" (ethnos), and that Athens did encompass the characteristics now used to identify a "nation." He argues that in Athens economic, religious, sexual, and social dimensions were no less significant than political and juridical considerations, and accordingly rejects prevailing scholarship's equation of Athens with its male citizen body. In fact, Cohen shows that the categories of "citizen" and "noncitizen" were much more fluid than is often assumed, and that some noncitizens exercised considerable power. He explores such subjects as the economic importance of businesswomen and wealthy slaves; the authority exercised by enslaved public functionaries; the practical egalitarianism of erotic relations and the broad and meaningful protections against sexual abuse of both free persons and slaves, and especially of children; the wide involvement of all sectors of the population in significant religious and local activities. All this emerges from the use of fresh legal, economic, and archaeological evidence and analysis that reveal the social complexity of Athens, and the demographic and geographic factors giving rise to personal anonymity and limiting personal contacts--leading to the creation of an "imagined community" with a mutually conceptualized identity, a unified economy, and national "myths" set in historical fabrication.
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"A most interesting book and a thoroughly stimulating read... It is a highly welcome contribution."--Balbina Babler, Bryn Mawr Classical Review
About Edward Cohen
Edward Cohen is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Resource America, Inc., a specialty-finance company based in Philadelphia. He is the author of "Ancient Athenian Maritime Courts" and "Athenian Economy and Society: A Banking Perspective", both published by Princeton University Press.
Table of Contents
Preface ix Acknowledgments xvii List of Abbreviations xix Introduction: Athens as Paradox-Athens as Nation 3 Chapter 1: Anomalous Athens 11 An Anomalous Polis 11 An Anomalous Ethnos 22 Women in an Anomalous Democracy 30 Chapter 2: The Local Residents of Attika 49 Astoi and Politai 50 New, Old, and Former Athenians: The Historical Context 63 Attikismos: Becoming Part of Attika 70 Chapter 3: An Ancient Construct: The Athenian Nation 79 Motherland and Myth 82 Fatherland and Nationalism 91 Chapter 4: A Modern Myth: The Athenian Village 104 "Not Knowing One Another" in Attika 106 Anonymity and Mobility: The Reality of Deme Life 112 Chapter 5: Wealthy Slaves in a "Slave Society" 130 Unfree Wealth and Power: Slave Entrepreneurs and Civil Servants 132 "Corrective Interpretations": Evidence Rejected, Preconceptions Maintained 137 An Athenian Explanation for the Athenian Slave Economy 141 Chapter 6: The Social Contract: Sexual Abuse and Sexual Profit 155 An Academic Fantasy: Sexual Exploitation as Political Entitlement 159 Equal Employment Opportunity: Prostitution Not "the Special Preserve of Foreigners" 167 Consensual Sex: "Prostitution by Contract," Not Status 177 Works Cited 193 General Index 229 Index of Passages Cited 235
The Athenian Nation by Edward Cohen
Used - Good
Princeton University Press
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
The book has been read but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact and the cover is intact. Some minor wear to the spine.