Aristocracy in Antiquity: Redefining Greek and Roman Elites (Kataloge Und Schriften Der Staatlichen Bibliothek Regensburg)

9781910589014: Aristocracy in Antiquity: Redefining Greek and Roman Elites (Kataloge Und Schriften Der Staatlichen Bibliothek Regensburg)
Reseña del editor:

The words 'aristocrats', 'aristocracy' and 'aristocratic values' appear in many a study of ancient history and culture. Sometimes these terms are used with a precise meaning. More often they are casual shorthand for 'upper class', 'ruling elite' and 'high standards'. This book brings together 12 new studies by an impressive international cast of specialists. It demonstrates not only that true aristocracies were rare in the ancient world, but also that the modern use of 'aristocracy' in a looser sense is misleading. The word comes with connotations derived from medieval and modern history. Antiquity, it is here argued, was different. Aristocracy in Antiquity explores and challenges the common assumption that hereditary 'aristocrats' who derive much of their status, privilege and power from their ancestors are identifiable at most times and places in the ancient world. They question, too, the related notion that deep ideological divisions existed between 'aristocratic values', such as hospitality, generosity and a disdain for commerce or trade, and the norms and ideals of lower or 'middling' classes. They do so by detailed analysis of archaeological and literary evidence for the rise and nature of elites and leisure classes, diverse elite strategies, and political conflicts in a variety of states across the Mediterranean. Chapters deal with archaic and classical Athens, Samos, Aigina and Crete; the Greek 'colonial' settlements such as Sicily; archaic Rome and central Italy; and the Roman Empire under the Principate.

Biografía del autor:

Nick Fisher is internationally acknowledged as leading authority on the social and political values of classical Athens. His book HYBRIS: a Study in the Values of Honour and Shame in Ancient Greece (1992) is a landmark. Nick Fisher was for many years Professor of Ancient History at Cardiff University. Hans van Wees is among the world's foremost experts on the warfare, ethics and economy of archaic Greece. His noted books include Status Warriors (1992), Greek Warfare (2004) and Ships and Silver (2013). He is currently Grote Professor of Ancient History at UCL.

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