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Unthinking the Greek Polis
Ancient Greek History beyond Eurocentrism

$46.99 (C)

  • Date Published: August 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521188074

$ 46.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • This 2007 study explores how modern scholars came to write Greek history from a Eurocentric perspective and challenges orthodox readings of Greek history as part of the history of the West. Since the Greeks lacked a national state or a unified society, economy or culture, the polis has helped to create a homogenising national narrative. This book re-examines old polarities such as those between the Greek poleis and Eastern monarchies, or between the ancient consumer and the modern producer city, in order to show the fallacies of standard approaches. It argues for the relevance of Aristotle's concept of the polis, which is interpreted in an intriguing manner. Finally, it proposes an alternative way of looking at Greek history as part of a Mediterranean world-system. This interdisciplinary study engages with debates on globalisation, nationalism, Orientalism and history writing, while also debating developments in classical studies.

    • Examines and criticises the orthodox model of Greek history centred on the polis
    • Proposes an alternative way of writing the economic, social, cultural and political history of the Greek world
    • Exploits work from disciplines such as history of historiography, modern economic history, history of political thought, Near Eastern studies, cultural anthropology and world-systems theory
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Anyone interested in Greek history will be stimulated by Vlassopoulos' book." --BMCR

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521188074
    • length: 304 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.45kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Defining the Contexts of Thinking about the Polis:
    1. An archaeology of discourses
    2. The ancient discourses on the polis
    3. Making use of Aristotle: concepts and models
    Part II. Rethinking the Contexts. The Polis as an Entity: a Critique:
    4. East and West, Greece and the East: the polis vs. Oriental despotism
    5. The consumer city: Ancient vs. Medieval/Modern
    Part III. The Polis as Part of a Systeme-Monde:
    6. The polis as a unit of analysis: poleis and koinôniai
    7. Poleis and space
    8. Poleis and polities
    9. Poleis and time
    10. Towards new master narratives of Greek history?

  • Author

    Kostas Vlassopoulos, University of Nottingham

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