392 pages | 20 B/W Illus.
The Birth of the Athenian Community elucidates the social and political development of Athens in the sixth century, when, as a result of reforms by Solon and Cleisthenes (at the beginning and end of the sixth century, respectively), Athens turned into the most advanced and famous city, or polis, of the entire ancient Greek civilization. Undermining the current dominant approach, which seeks to explain ancient Athens in modern terms, dividing all Athenians into citizens and non-citizens, this book rationalizes the development of Athens, and other Greek poleis, as a gradually rising complexity, rather than a linear progression. The multidimensional social fabric of Athens was comprised of three major groups: the kinship community of the astoi, whose privileged status was due to their origins; the legal community of the politai, who enjoyed legal and social equality in the polis; and the political community of the demotai, or adult males with political rights. These communities only partially overlapped. Their evolving relationship determined the course of Athenian history, including Cleisthenes’ establishment of demokratia, which was originally, and for a long time, a kinship democracy, since it only belonged to qualified male astoi.
"(…) the wealth of material used is apparent, especially the extensive bibliography, the bulk of which includes relevant literature not limited to just English titles. In addition, the author offers an extensive index that works well." - Anja Pfeiffer, Institut für Geschichtswissenschaften, Abteilung für Alte Geschichte, Universität Bonn.
"This book will instantly become indispensable to academics for its extension and modification of Greek kinship, legal, and political groups, which are illuminated with unprecedented clarity. This is a unique achievement… Summing Up: Essential. Graduate students and faculty." - CHOICE, September 2018.
"(…) a fresh insight into the early history of Athens, which provides an interesting angle for new studies on the social organisation of Archaic communities and the wider development of Greek concepts of citizenship. It encompasses an impressive range of scholarship and engages in a number of controversial scholarly debates with an original and often persuasive voice. But its main contribution lies beyond doubt in its nuanced discussion of citizenship and its impact on the political and legal rights of an individual—a subject as relevant today as it was to Aristotle." - Bryn Mawr Classical Review
INTRODUCTION. More than a place: Athens in the sixth century
PART ONE. The kinship community
1. The Athenian kinsmen
2. Solon’s organization of the kinship community
PART TWO. The legal community
3. Politeia and politai
1. Grants of politeia "by decree" and ethnics
2. The status of politai
4. Solon and the Athenian politeia
1. Reinterpreting Solon’s politeia
2. The legal community and (written) laws
PART THREE. The political community
5. Politeia and politics
1. The political use of politeia
2. The diapsephismos of 510 and later diapsephismoi
6. Cleisthenes and the emergence of the political community
1. Status and participation
2. Cleisthenes’s reorganization of Attica
EPILOGUE. Approximating the Athenian community
1. The "citizenship of bastards"
2. Adultery and moicheia in ancient Athens
3. The "Plataean politeia"
4. Politeia and symbola
5. The "ancestral constitution" (patrios politeia)
6. The politeia of the younger Pericles
Index of Inscriptions and Papyri
Index of Classical Authors and Texts
Index of Names and Subjects