Polis and Revolution: Responding to Oligarchy in Classical Athens

Polis and Revolution: Responding to Oligarchy in Classical Athens


By (author) Julia L. Shear


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  • Format: Hardback | 386 pages
  • Dimensions: 158mm x 228mm x 28mm | 721g
  • Publication date: 30 May 2011
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521760445
  • ISBN 13: 9780521760447
  • Illustrations note: 19 b/w illus. 11 tables
  • Sales rank: 614,769

Product description

During the turbulent last years of the fifth century BC, Athens twice suffered the overthrow of democracy and the subsequent establishment of oligarchic regimes. In an in-depth treatment of both political revolutions, Julia Shear examines how the Athenians responded to these events, at the level both of the individual and of the corporate group. Interdisciplinary in approach, this account brings epigraphical and archaeological evidence to bear on a discussion which until now has largely been based on texts. Dr Shear particularly focuses on the recreation of democracy and the city, both ritually and physically, in the aftermath of the coups and demonstrates that, whilst reconciliation after civil strife is difficult and contentious, it is also crucial for rebuilding a united society. Theories of remembering and forgetting are applied and offer a new way of understanding the dynamics in Athens at this time.

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Author information

Julia Shear is a Senior Associate Member at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens.

Review quote

'Shear displays unusually deep and extensive knowledge of the preserved physical material.' Classical World

Table of contents

1. Responding to oligarchy in Athens: an introduction; 2. Revolution, oligarchy and the patrios politeia; 3. Restoring Athens: democracy and law; 4. Reclaiming Athens: the demos and the city; 5. Remembering and forgetting: rituals and the demos; 6. The Thirty and the law; 7. Reconciling the Athenians; 8. Recreating democracy: documents and the law; 9. The agora and the democratic city; 10. Forgetting or remembering: oligarchy, stasis and the demos; 11. The strategies of democracy.