The Athenian Nation by Edward Cohen

By Edward Cohen

Hard the fashionable assumption that old Athens is healthier understood as a polis, Edward Cohen boldly recasts our knowing of Athenian political and social lifestyles. Cohen demonstrates that historic assets stated Athens not just as a polis, but additionally as a "nation" (ethnos), and that Athens did surround the features now used to spot a "nation." He argues that during Athens financial, non secular, sexual, and social dimensions have been no less important than political and juridical issues, and for this reason rejects winning scholarship's equation of Athens with its male citizen body.In truth, Cohen indicates that the types of "citizen" and "noncitizen" have been even more fluid than is frequently assumed, and that a few noncitizens exercised substantial strength. He explores such topics because the fiscal significance of businesswomen and filthy rich slaves; the authority exercised via enslaved public functionaries; the sensible egalitarianism of erotic kin and the vast and significant protections opposed to sexual abuse of either loose folks and slaves, and particularly of kids; the extensive involvement of all sectors of the inhabitants in major spiritual and native actions. All this emerges from using clean felony, monetary, and archaeological facts and research that display the social complexity of Athens, and the demographic and geographic elements giving upward push to private anonymity and proscribing own contacts--leading to the construction of an "imagined group" with a at the same time conceptualized identification, a unified financial system, and nationwide "myths" set in ancient fabrication.

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77 In Aristotle’s Politics, general political theses or inclusive observations are rendered universal through verbal phrasing that explicitly encompasses both ethne¯ and poleis. )79 74 Koinon (commonwealth, confederacy) emphasized that which was “common” to individuals or entities, “from the smallest club to the United Nations” (Larsen 1955: 24). Sympoliteia as “confederation” seems first to have appeared in literature in the late Hellenistic period (cf. 3). Symmakhia emphasized the military aspects of an alliance (βοηθειασ γαρ χαριν η συµµαχια πεφυκεν, Aristot.

Pol. 1327a1–2: το πληθοσ το των ανθρωπων ευσυνοπτον εφαµεν ειναι δειν. 8 Pol. 1326b12–17: εισι γαρ αι πραξεισ τησ πολεωσ των µεν αρχοντων των δ αρχοµενων, αρχοντοσ 6 7 δ επιταξισ και κρισισ εργον προσ δε το κρινειν περι των δικαιων και προσ το τασ αρχασ διανεµειν κατ αξιαν αναγκαιον γνωριζειν αλληλουσ, ποιοι τινεσ εισι, τουσ πολιτασ. Aristotle consistently focuses on the “right of sharing in deliberative or judicial office” as key to the functioning of the polis: ω γαρ εξουσια κοινωνειν αρχησ βουλευτικησ και κριτικησ, πολιτην ηδη λεγοµεν ειναι ταυτησ τησ πολεωσ (Pol.

24 The political unification (synoikismos) of Attika produced a single huge entity of a size unparalleled in the Hellenic world25—but it was not, by relevant criteria, a polis. 29 Similarly, Babylo¯n—although surrounded by a wall and thus urban in form—was so large in physical extent that three days after its capture portions of the population were supposedly not yet aware that it had fallen. 30 Although self-sufficiency was an essential characteristic of a polis (see p. 179) characterizes an Athenian deme’s power as negligible.

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