Cults, Territory, and the Origins of the Greek City-State
How did the classical Greek city come into being? What role did religion play in its formation? Athens, with its ancient citadel and central religious cult, has traditionally been the model for the emergence of the Greek city-state. But in this original and controversial investigation, Francois de Polignac suggests that the Athenian model was probably the exception, not the rule, in the development of the polis in ancient Greece.
Combining archaeological and textual evidence, de Polignac argues that the eighth-century settlements that would become the city-states of classical Greece were defined as much by the boundaries of "civilized" space as by its urban centers. The city took shape through what de Polignac calls a "religious bipolarity," the cults operating both to organize social space and to articulate social relationships being not only at the heart of the inhabited area, but on the edges of the territory. Together with the urban cults, these sanctuaries "in the wild" identified the polis and its sphere of influence, giving rise to the concept of the state as a territorial unit distinct from its neighbors. Frontier sanctuaries were therefore often the focus of disputes between emerging communities. But in other instances, in particular in Greece's colonizing expeditions, these outer sanctuaries may have facilitated the relations between the indigenous populations and the settlers of the newly founded cities.
Featuring extensive revisions from the original French publication and an updated bibliography, this book is essential for anyone interested in the history and culture of ancient Greece.
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ONE Cults Offerings and Sanctuaries
TWO The Nonurban Sanctuary and
THREE Cults and Colonial Foundations
FOUR The Hero and the Political
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acropolis agora Amyclae ancient Apollo Archaeology archaic period Argive Argolis Argos aristocracy Artemis Asine Athena Athenian Attica Berard bronze chora chthonic city's civic cohesion consecrated constituted Corinth Croton cult cult sites dark ages deities Demeter eighth century Eretria established extraurban sanctuary festival figurines foundation founder frontier funerary Gela Geniere Geometric period goddess Greco-Aegean world Greece Greek Greek city Greek world groups Helladic Hera Heraion Herakles Herodotus heroes heroic cults heroon hoplite indigenous integration Kalapodi late Geometric Lefkandi Locri Magna Grecia Megara Megara Hyblaea Messenians Metapontum monumental sanctuary Mycenae Mycenaean myths nonurban sanctuaries offerings Paros particular Pausanias Perachora Polignac polis political Pythaean Apollo region religious rites ritual role sacred Samos sanc Sanctuaires sanctuary of Apollo sanctuary of Artemis Selinus settlement seventh century Sicily situated sixth century Snodgrass social society space Sparta symbolic temple territory testify Thasos Thebes tion tombs took town tuary urban sanctuaries Zeus