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From the mid-sixth to the mid-fourth century BCE a nexus of connections to Thrace defined the careers of several of Athens' most prominent figures, including Pisistratus, Miltiades, Alcibiades, and Iphicrates. This book explores the importance of Thrace to these individuals and its resulting significance in the political, cultural, and social history of Athens. Thrace was vitally important for Athens thanks to its natural resources and access to strategic waterways, which were essential to a maritime empire, and connections to the area conferred wealth and military influence on certain Athenians and offered them a refuge if they faced political persecution at home. However, Thrace's importance to prominent individuals transcended politics: its culture was also an important draw. Thrace was a world free of Athenian political, social, and cultural constraints – one that bore a striking resemblance to the world of Homeric epic.Read more
- Covers a two-century span of Athenian history
- Utilizes several types of evidence, including literary, archaeological and art-historical
- Addresses the important issue of cultural differences in antiquity, namely how the Greeks perceived the 'other'
Reviews & endorsements
"… this is undoubtedly a very stimulating book …"
Bryn Mawr Classical ReviewSee more reviews
"This is a book well worth reading, for the importance of the topic, the marshalling of a rich array of evidence, the good discussions of politicians or generals with Thracian connections and their impact, and likewise, the importance of Thracian mercenaries and military tactics. All will give much food for thought to the reader and provoke discussion and further work."
Lisa Kallet, The Classical Review
"A worthwhile read for anyone interested in Athens or in cross cultural influences in the ancient world."
A. A. Nofi, The NYMAS Review
"Matthew Sears has written a stimulating book about the interaction between Athens and Thrace. … overall this is a book that makes a convincing case for the historical significance of Greek–Barbarian interactions."
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- Date Published: March 2013
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781107030534
- length: 341 pages
- dimensions: 235 x 158 x 27 mm
- weight: 0.69kg
- contains: 5 b/w illus. 2 maps
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: egalitarianism, ambition, and the disciples of Thrace
2. Thrace as resource and refuge I: the Pisistratids to Thucydides
3. Thrace as resource and refuge II: Alcibiades to Iphicrates
4. Athenian ambivalence towards Thracians and Thracophiles
5. The cultural appeal of Thrace for the Athenian elite
6. Thrace as military academy
7. Epilogue: Chares and Charidemus in the Macedonian world.
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