Rural Athens Under the Democracy

Rural Athens Under the Democracy

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Much of the evidence-literary, historical, documentary, and pictorial-from ancient Athens is urban in authorship, subject matter, and intended audience. The result has been the assertion of an undifferentiated monolithic "Athenian" citizen regime as often as not identifiably urban in its lifestyle, preoccupations, and attitude. In Rural Athens Under the Democracy, however, Nicholas F. Jones undertakes the first comprehensive attempt to reconstruct on its own terms the world of rural Attica outside the walls during the "classical" fifth and fourth centuries B.C. What he finds is a distinctly nonurban (and nonurbane) order dominated by a traditional, predominantly agrarian society and culture. Jones relies heavily upon the relatively neglected epigraphic record from the rural countryside and villages, as well as posing new questions of the well-known urban writings of Athenian historians, essayists, and philosophers and occasionally following the lead of Hesiod's agrarian poem Works and Days. From these sources he gleans new findings regarding settlement patterns, argues for a heretofore unrecognized system of personal patronage, explores relations between villages and the town of Athens, reconstructs the "Agrarian" Dionysia in several of its more important dimensions, and contrasts the realities of rural Attic culture with their various representations in contemporary literary and philosophical writings by Aristophanes, Xenophon, Plato, and others. Building on Jones's previous publications on the ancient Greek city-state, Rural Athens Under the Democracy presents the first holistic examination of classical extramural Attica. He challenges the received view that ancient Athens in its heyday was marked by a uniform cultural, ideological, and conspicuously citified order and, in place of the perception of things rural as mere deficits in urbanity, proposes that we look at Attica outside the walls in its own right and in positive more

Product details

  • Hardback | 344 pages
  • 155.4 x 233.7 x 31.8mm | 648.65g
  • University of Pennsylvania Press
  • Pennsylvania, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0812237749
  • 9780812237740

About Nicholas F. Jones

Nicholas F. Jones is Professor of Classics at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of Public Organization in Ancient Greece, Ancient Greece: State and Society, and The Associations of Classical Athens: The Response to more

Review quote

"This superb work belongs in the libraries of all universities. Essential."-Choiceshow more

Table of contents

Preface Figure Abbreviations Introduction An Epistemological Problem. Terminology and Design of the Study. Ancient Sources. Scholarly Literature and Overview of Argument. Town vs. Country. Chapter 1 Settlement State and Rural Community. Determinants of Rural Residence Patterns. Epigraphic Evidence for Farmstead Residence. Literary Evidence for Rural Residence. The Nucleated Village Center. Chapter 2 Society The Attic Rural Family. Philotimia and Rivalry. Patronage: Customary Usage and Institutional Form. Communal Activity in the Deme-Association Center. Conclusion. Chapter 3 Village Acharnai. Aixone. Halai Aixonides. Teithras. Three Models. Chapter 4 Dionysia Name and Orientation of the Festival. Distribution of the Festival over the Demes. The Events of the Festival and Their Sequence. The Dionysiac Festival beyond the Deme. Conclusions. Chapter 5 Realities Settlement, Residence, and Mobility. Patronage: Big Man, Crisis, and Reciprocation. Agricultural Labor: Family, Class, and Gender. Hesiod, the Seasons, and Seasonality. Diet. Clothing. Music. Speech, Orality, and Literacy. Religion: Myth, Cult, and the Town. Mentalite. Chapter 6 Images Old Comedy and Aristophanes. Xenophon. Theophrastos of Eresos. Middle Comedy. New Comedy and Menander. Chapter 7 Philosophy Reign of Kronos, Hippodamos of Miletos, and Phaleas of Chalkedon. Plato: Deme, Place of Residence, and Urban Outlook. Plato's Social Topography: Rural Spaces and Society in the Republic, Kritias, and Laws, Book 3. The Cretan City in Plato's Laws. Aristotle. Chapter 8 Paradigms Bibliography Subject Indexshow more