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Polis and Revolution
Responding to Oligarchy in Classical Athens


  • Date Published: January 2021
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108984843

£ 31.99

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About the Authors
  • During the turbulent last years of the fifth century BC, Athens twice suffered the overthrow of democracy and the subsequent establishment of oligarchic regimes. In an in-depth treatment of both political revolutions, Julia Shear examines how the Athenians responded to these events, at the level both of the individual and of the corporate group. Interdisciplinary in approach, this account brings epigraphical and archaeological evidence to bear on a discussion which until now has largely been based on texts. Dr Shear particularly focuses on the recreation of democracy and the city, both ritually and physically, in the aftermath of the coups and demonstrates that, whilst reconciliation after civil strife is difficult and contentious, it is also crucial for rebuilding a united society. Theories of remembering and forgetting are applied and offer a new way of understanding the dynamics in Athens at this time.

    • The only comprehensive book-length treatment of the two oligarchic revolutions to date
    • Offers an innovative approach to the study of the revolutions by applying new theories of memory politics
    • All Greek is translated and technical terms are explained, so the book is accessible to non-specialists
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Shear displays unusually deep and extensive knowledge of the preserved physical material.' Classical World

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2021
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108984843
    • length: 384 pages
    • dimensions: 150 x 230 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.57kg
    • contains: 19 b/w illus. 11 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Responding to oligarchy in Athens: an introduction
    2. Revolution, oligarchy and the patrios politeia
    3. Restoring Athens: democracy and law
    4. Reclaiming Athens: the demos and the city
    5. Remembering and forgetting: rituals and the demos
    6. The Thirty and the law
    7. Reconciling the Athenians
    8. Recreating democracy: documents and the law
    9. The agora and the democratic city
    10. Forgetting or remembering: oligarchy, stasis and the demos
    11. The strategies of democracy.

  • Author

    Julia L. Shear, American School of Classical Studies, Athens
    Julia Shear is a Senior Associate Member at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens.

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