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Benefaction and Rewards in the Ancient Greek City
The Origins of Euergetism


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  • Date Published: September 2020
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108940337

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About the Authors
  • This volume presents for the first time an in-depth analysis of the origins of Greek euergetism. Derived from the Greek for 'benefactor', 'euergetism' refers to the process whereby citizens and foreigners offered voluntary services and donations to the polis that were in turn recognised as benefactions in a formal act of reciprocation. Euergetism is key to our understanding of how city-states negotiated both the internal tensions between mass and elite, and their conflicts with external powers. This study adopts the standpoint of historical anthropology and seeks to identify patterns of behaviour and social practices deeply rooted in Greek society and in the long course of Greek history. It covers more than five hundred years and will appeal to ancient historians and scholars in other fields interested in gift exchange, benefactions, philanthropy, power relationships between mass and elite, and the interplay between public discourse and social praxis.

    • Analyses an historical phenomenon from an anthropological perspective
    • Deals with a very long period of history, enabling proper attention to the relationship between change and continuity
    • All the texts from ancient literary sources and inscriptions appear in translation, and Greek words are kept to a minimum and transliterated
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    • Co-winner, 2017 Runciman Book Award, The Anglo-Hellenic League

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Domingo Gygax competently guides us through the dense evidence to show how euergetism developed in democratic Athens … we can be grateful to Domingo Gygax for an insightful study of this rich material …' Onno van Nijf, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2020
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108940337
    • length: 337 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.454kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Synchronic approaches
    2. Creating an institution
    3. Continuity and change (1): foreigners and athletes
    4. Continuity and change (2): citizens
    5. The generalization of euergetism

  • Author

    Marc Domingo Gygax, Princeton University, New Jersey
    Marc Domingo Gygax is Associate Professor of Classics at Princeton University and author of Untersuchungen zu den lykischen Gemeinwesen in klassischer und hellenistischer Zeit (2001). His main interests lie in ancient Greek history, historical anthropology, historical theory and modern historiography.


    • Co-winner, 2017 Runciman Book Award, The Anglo-Hellenic League

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