A Companion to Archaic Greece by Kurt A. Raaflaub, Hans van Wees

By Kurt A. Raaflaub, Hans van Wees

A scientific survey of archaic Greek society and tradition which introduces the reader to quite a lot of new methods to the period.

  • The first finished and available survey of advancements within the research of archaic Greece
  • Places Greek society of c.750-480 BCE in its chronological and geographical context
  • Gives equivalent emphasis to tested themes equivalent to tyranny and political reform and more moderen matters like gender and ethnicity
  • Combines debts of historic advancements with local surveys of archaeological proof and in-depth remedies of chosen themes
  • Explores the effect of jap and different non-Greek cultures within the improvement of Greece
  • Uses archaeological and literary proof to reconstruct wide styles of social and cultural development

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A fourth view, taking practicality to extremes, has interpreted cult and ritual above all in terms of redistributing surplus produce, providing a locus for meetings on safe neutral ground, and offering a sanctified mode of maximizing personal or communal prestige via display. In sharp contrast, a fifth view takes Greek spirituality seriously and sees its two main manifestations as being, first, the central role which oracles came to play in Greek public and private life in the archaic period, and, second, the evidently strong appeal which mystery cults and ceremonies of initiation had for Greeks of all classes and both genders.

G. W. Schuller 1985: 24–33, Osborne 1996a: 226–32, or Lardinois and McClure 2001: 19–92 for the archaic period, besides the many books of the 1980s and 1990s on women in antiquity in general. 30 See ch. 22 for discussion of aspects of religion. 31 Hasebroek 1928/1933; Boardman 1957; Coldstream 1977: 17–21 for overtly mercantilist language. 32 Finley 1973a (1985), with Osborne 1996b, Tandy 1997, von Reden 2002, and Reed 2003 among many more recent contributions. See ch. 23. 33 Review of evidence and arguments in Kim 2001.

The Story Evolves In consequence, until about the late 1970s each of the three currents of activity described above regarded the others with polite incomprehension, not so much because the primary evidence was diverse as because interpretative skills, intellectual agendas, and cultural assumptions had come to diverge substantially. qxd 25/02/2009 14 02:26PM Page 14 John K. Davies that is still largely true, alas, but the study of “Archaic” Greece is undergoing a revolution. It has become ever clearer that none of these currents can flow much further on its own: they have to be made to converge.

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