Interaction by Design: The Greek City State

Anthony Snodgrass

in Archaeology and the Emergence of Greece

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print May 2006 | ISBN: 9780748623334
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653577 | DOI:
Interaction by Design: The Greek City State

Show Summary Details


Peer polity interaction, like many concepts recently under discussion in archaeological circles, is by no means the exclusive property of archaeology. One of the problems on which the model of peer polity interaction could be expected to throw light is that of the origins of the Greek (or any other) form of state. The operations of peer polity interaction are by no means confined to fully fledged states. For the sake of accuracy, it is better to replace the familiar phrase ‘city state’, with the Greek term polis, denoting in its strict sense a polity consisting of a settlement and its territory, politically united with one another, and independent of other polities. The fifth-century polis of Mycenae had become a very small place; yet Thucydides assumes without question that he can use it as a measure of the size and power of Agamemnon's capital, and thus make a fair comparison with contemporary Athens. The case of classical Greece has proved able to furnish a series of fairly concrete instances of the operation of peer polity interaction.

Keywords: Greece; peer polity interaction; polis; city state; archaeology; Mycenae; Thucydides; Agamemnon; Athens

Chapter.  8244 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.