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The Bad Citizen in Classical Athens

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  • This book provides a fresh perspective on Athenian democracy by exploring bad citizenship, both as a reality and an idea, in classical Athens, from the late sixth century down to 322. If called upon, Athenian citizens were expected to support their city through military service and financial outlay. These obligations were fundamental to Athenian understandings of citizenship and it was essential to the city’s well-being that citizens fulfill them. The ancient sources, however, are full of allegations that individuals have avoided these duties or performed them deficiently. Claims of draft evasion, cowardice on the battlefield, and avoidance of liturgies and the war tax are common. By examining the nature and scope of bad citizenship in Athens and the city’s responses—institutional and ideological—to the phenomenon, this study aims to illuminate the relationship between citizen and city under the Athenian democracy, and more broadly, the tension between private interests and public authority in human societies.

    • The first in-depth study of evasion of civic duties in classical Athens
    • Breaks new ground in exploring the tensions inherent in Athenian citizenship
    • Illuminates the relation between individual and community under the Athenian democracy
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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2006
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9780511254901
    • availability: Adobe Reader ebooks available from eBooks.com
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: The other Athenians
    1. The self-interested citizen
    2. The reluctant conscript
    3. The cowardly hoplite
    4. The artful tax dodger.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Ancient Greece
    • Athenian Democracy
    • Athens Window to Greek History
    • History of Athens
    • The Classical Age
  • Author

    Matthew R. Christ, Indiana University
    Matthew R. Christ is Professor of Classical Studies at Indiana University. He is the author of The Litigious Athenian.

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