Claiming a Homeland


in Landscapes, Gender, and Ritual Space

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2004 | ISBN: 9780520235441
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520929326 | DOI:
Claiming a Homeland

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  • Greek and Roman Archaeology


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This chapter explores the rationale for the appropriation of territory by the individual polis. Ancient Greek communities inhabited three landscapes: the natural, the human, and the imagined. These three landscapes coexisted and merged with one another. The individual polis was defined by the local landscape, each area's particular geological features shaping the way the territory was divided. One of the languages used to describe the landscape is the language of space. Ritual created community by creating and maintaining protected communal space. Greek cities created themselves by claiming a landscape. The association of certain kinds of space with particular divinities allowed new and fragile communities to recognize their landscape as protected by the gods. Genealogy is the earliest form of Greek historiography.

Keywords: polis; Ancient Greek communities; landscapes; Greek cities; genealogy; Greek historiography

Chapter.  9553 words. 

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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