Creating a Common Polity

Creating a Common Polity : Religion, Economy, and Politics in the Making of the Greek Koinon


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In the ancient Greece of Pericles and Plato, the polis, or city-state, reigned supreme, but by the time of Alexander, nearly half of the mainland Greek city-states had surrendered part of their autonomy to join the larger political entities called koina. In the first book in fifty years to tackle the rise of these so-called Greek federal states, Emily Mackil charts a complex, fascinating map of how shared religious practices and long-standing economic interactions faciliated political cooperation and the emergence of a new kind of state. Mackil provides a detailed historical narrative spanning five centuries to contextualize her analyses, which focus on the three best-attested areas of mainland Greece - Boiotia, Achaia, and Aitolia. The analysis is supported by a dossier of Greek inscriptions, each text accompanied by an English translation and commentary.

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Product details

  • Hardback | 590 pages
  • 159 x 235 x 44mm | 916g
  • University of California Press
  • Berkerley, United States
  • English
  • maps
  • 0520272501
  • 9780520272507
  • 1,008,274

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Review quote

"Offers a wealth of useful, hardly accessible information and interesting insights into the workings of Greek federal states ... recommended not only to classicists and ancient historians, but also to students of politics." Bryn Mawr Classical Review "A model of what scholarship in ancient history should ideally be: technically impeccable, theoretically bold and imaginative, rigorously argued, and-not least-a pleasure for both experts and novices to read." -- Barbara Weiden Boyd, Chair Society for Classical Studies

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Flap copy

`Well-informed and beautifully written, `Creating a Common Polity` represents a turning point in our approach to the political and economic life of the ancient world. It should attract readers far beyond the field of classics, particularly political scientists, who will find in this volume a mine of new data and analyses to conceptualize the formation of federal states.` Alain Bresson, author of `L'economie de la Grece des cites` `This is an excellent and very important study. Mackil is one of the most thorough, brilliant and accomplished Greek historians of her generation, and the book will be a ground-breaker.` Jeremy McInerney, author of `The Cattle of the Sun`

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About Emily Maureen Mackil

Emily Mackil is Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley.

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