The Shape of Hesiod’s Ascra

Anthony T. Edwards

in Hesiod's Ascra

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2004 | ISBN: 9780520236585
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520929579 | DOI:
The Shape of Hesiod’s Ascra

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  • Greek and Roman Archaeology


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It is shown that show Hesiod's Ascra is indeed a less complex community than the Homeric chiefdom. The Big Man collectivity stands at the more complex extreme of the range of societies comprehended within the category of a local group. Ascra exhibits traits that span the range from the family-level group to the Big Man collectivity but not beyond. The impression that Hesiod conveys of a weakly developed sense of territorial identity meshes with the embryonic hierarchy and ceremonialism of Ascra. The conquest of Ascra is described. It is observed in Works and Days the onset in embryonic form of a distinctively “peasant” sensibility about the integrity of the village boundary and the obligations interconnecting those living within that boundary, a sensibility that has arisen in direct response to the pressure exerted upon Ascra by the kings of Thespiae.

Keywords: Hesiod; Ascra; Works and Days; Big Man; embryonic hierarchy; ceremonialism; Thespiae

Chapter.  7590 words. 

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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