Elis : Internal Politics and External Policy in Ancient Greece book cover
1st Edition

Internal Politics and External Policy in Ancient Greece

ISBN 9780367594831
Published August 14, 2020 by Routledge
260 Pages

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Book Description

Elis examines the city of Elis from its earliest history, through the Archaic period and the Classical period where it reached its zenith, to its decline in the Hellenistic, Roman and later periods. Through examining this prominent city-state, its role in contemporary politics and the place of Olympia in its territory, Graeme Bourke allows the reader to explore broader issues, such as the relationship between the Spartans and their various allies, often collectively referred to as ‘the Peloponnesian League’, the connection between political structures and Panhellenic sanctuaries, and the network of relationships between various ancient sanctuaries throughout the Greek-speaking world. The volume, which makes available in English for the first time much of the debate about the city, provides a valuable resource for students and academics studying the city of Elis, the Peloponnese and the relationships within it, and pre-Hellenistic Greece as a whole.

Table of Contents


Ch. 1 The Land and its People

Ch. 2 Communities and Sanctuaries

Ch. 3 The Question of Pisa

Ch. 4 Archaic Political Events

Ch. 5 Synoikism and Democracy

Ch. 6 External Relations in the Archaic and Early Classical Periods

Ch. 7 Between the Arkhidamian and Dekeleian Wars

Ch. 8 The Eleian War

Ch. 9 The Early Fourth Century BC

Ch. 10 The Middle Fourth Century BC

Ch. 11 A New Context, 338-222 BC

Ch. 12 Resistance and Subjection, 221-146 BC


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Graeme Bourke is a Senior Lecturer at the University of New England, Australia.


"Scholarly work on the Peloponnesian city-state of Elis has made significant progress in the last two decades or so, and an English introduction to this important subject has been a real desideratum for long. Graeme Bourke now provides this much-needed introduction, discussing among other things such topics as the political history – including the synoecism – of Elis, its administration of the great sanctuary at Olympia and its relations with foreign powers, Sparta in particular, in a clear and accessible style. Students of ancient Greek history, Classics, Greek archaeology and Greek religion will find much to interest them in this wide-ranging monograph."

- Thomas Heine Nielsen, The Saxo Institute at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark

"Bourke’s study usefully surveys the landmarks of Eleian history. Those readers who lamented the absence of a monograph on Elis in an earlier tradition of epichoric synthesis will find this treatment repairs the gap."

- Ben Brown, University of Sydney, Australia, Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2019

"The book is well produced and clearly written ... Bourke is successful in bringing together relevant international secondary literature and making it accessible to an English-speaking readership, and some of his most challenging conclusions (most notably his hypothesis about the Omphalionids) will certainly spur scholarly debate. For these reasons, the book will be beneficial to any scholars interested in the history of Elea and the Peloponnese."

- Matteo Barbato, University of Edinburgh, UK, Classical Review 2018

"Bourke provides a number of insights ... A must purchase for research libraries."

- J.L. Miller, SUNY College at New Paltz, USA, CHOICE Reviews 2019