The Greek City: From Homer to Alexander (Clarendon by Oswyn Murray, Simon Price

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By Oswyn Murray, Simon Price

Those fourteen serious essays research the independent Greek polis from its origins within the "Dark Age" till the purpose at which it was once remodeled right into a foundation for international civilization by way of the conquests of Alexander the nice and the following growth of polis associations. individuals akin to B. D'Agostino, N. Purcell, O. Rackham, A. Snodgrass, L. Nixon, S. cost, M. Jameson, P. Schmitt-Pantel, M.H. Hansen, O. Murray, and W.G. Runciman, between others, speak about quite a lot of subject matters, together with the connection among panorama and town, the connection among private and non-private spheres, the phenomenon of the polis, the urbanization of the Italian peninsula, and the eventual decline of the polis.

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To what extent does it embrace smaller or less extensive sets of social relations and cultural identities? , who rejects the term entirely, along with the notion that societies form unitary wholes that are in some way “bounded,” preferring to speak of multiple overlapping and intersecting power networks. We are not sure that this is necessarily a better way to theorize “society,” but it does at least ask the right questions. For historically grounded discussion for the late Roman and early Islamic period, see Haldon and Conrad 2004.

Historians have generally referred to the expansive political entities of the East and pre-Renaissance Europe as “empires”—whether that of China, of Charlemagne, of Rome, Russia, Persia, Byzantium, or many others. The “national state” is then something that emerges with the renaissance monarchies of Europe. Yet in fact most so-called national states emerged through conquest or inheritance of previously distinct political or cultural domains, even in Western Europe. This was true of the integration of Ireland into the British monarchy (or monarchies, as Scotland remained institutionally distinct as well until the eighteenth century); it was true of the French incorporation of regions such as Flanders, Alsace-Lorraine, and the Burgundian inheritance; it was true of various Italian peninsular states; and it was a fortiori true for such expansive multinational entities as the properly named Prussian, Russian, and Austro-Hungarian empires.

And, in the case of both Christianity and Islam, ritual incorporation (that is to say, conversion) served as a fundamental tool of political integration and domination. 23 Various elites—religious, political, warrior, mercantile—may each have their own ideological basis for defining their identity and their relationship and integrating ties with the central authorities. Similarly, different popular groups likely have their own group narratives that establish both their identity and the accepted basis of their relationships to local elites and to central state powers.

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