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Citadel to City-State: The Transformation of Greece, 1200-700 B.C.E. ebook

by Carol G. Thomas,Craig Conant


Citadel to City-State explores each century from 1200 to 700 . Craig Conant is a long-time student of ancient Greek history and works as . .

Citadel to City-State explores each century from 1200 to 700 . through an individual site - Mycenae, Nichoria, Athens, Lefkandi, Corinth, and Ascra - that illustrates the major features of each period. She is two-time president of the Association of Ancient Historians. Craig Conant is a long-time student of ancient Greek history and works as a records manager for the Environmental Protection Agency in Seattle, Washington.

Citadel to City-State book. Citadel to City-State explores each century from 1200 to 700 . E Thomas and Conant's short study looks at the archaeology at six sites from the end of the Mycenaean period to the time of Hesiod as . through an individual site-Mycenae, Nichoria, Athens, Lefkandi, Corinth, and Ascra-that illustrates the major features of each period. Thomas and Conant's short study looks at the archaeology at six sites from the end of the Mycenaean period to the time of Hesiod as a way of exploring that Dark Age.

Article January 1986.

Carol G. Thomas, Craig Conant. "Citadel to City-State serves as an excellent summarization of our present knowledge of the not-so-dark Dark Age as well as an admirable prologue to the understanding of the subsequent Archaeic and Classical periods. Lc Classification Number.

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The Transformation of Greece, 1200 -700 . Thomas and C. Conant, Citadel to City State. The Transformation of Greece, 1200 -700 . Thomas and Craig Conant. through an individual site-Mycenae, Nichoria, Athens, Lefkandi, Corinth, and Ascra-that illustrates the major features of each period

Carol G. From the publisher: Citadel to City-State serves as an excellent summarization of our present knowledge of the not-so-dark Dark Age as well as an admirable prologue to the understanding of the subsequent Archaeic and Classical periods.

Citadel to City-State serves as an excellent summarization of our present knowledge of the not-so-dark Dark Age as well as an admirable prologue to the understanding of the subsequent Archaeic and Classical periods. -David Rupp, Phoenix. The Dark Age of Greece is one of the least understood periods of Greek history. Thomas is Professor of History at the University of Washington, co-author of Citadel to City-State: The Transformation of Greece, 1200–700 BCE and author of Progress into the Past: The Rediscovery of Mycenaean. Thomas is Professor of History at the University of Washington, co-author of Citadel to City-State: The Transformation of Greece, 1200–700 BCE and author of Progress into the Past: The Rediscovery of Mycenaean Civilization. Indiana University Press, . The "Dark Age" of Greece is one of the least understood periods of Greek history

Carol G. The "Dark Age" of Greece is one of the least understood periods of Greek history. Following the collapse of the brilliant Mycenaean civilisation of Late Bronze Age Greece and preceding the equally brilliant and better documented Classical period, The Dark Age was, until the last few decades, largely neglected.

Citadel to City-State serves as an excellent summarization of our present knowledge of the not-so-dark Dark Age as well as an admirable prologue to the understanding of the subsequent Archaeic and Classical periods." ―David Rupp, Phoenix

The Dark Age of Greece is one of the least understood periods of Greek history. A terra incognita between the Mycenaean civilization of Late Bronze Age Greece and the flowering of Classical Greece, the Dark Age was, until the last few decades, largely neglected. Now new archaeological methods and the discovery of new evidence have made it possible to develop a more comprehensive view of the entire period. Citadel to City-State explores each century from 1200 to 700 B.C.E. through an individual site―Mycenae, Nichoria, Athens, Lefkandi, Corinth, and Ascra―that illustrates the major features of each period. This is a remarkable account of the historical detective work that is beginning to shed light on Dark Age Greece.

Iseared
This book covers the 500 years from the collapse of Mycenean domination of the Greek mainland, through the dark ages, to the beginnings of the polis, or city-state. Due to lack of sources beyond archaeology and the occasional reference in later literature, the treatment is of necessity academic and technical in detail. Thomas structures the book to cover a single city or geographical area in some detail as the embodiment of each of these stages.

The book begins with Mycenae (think Agamemnon), which dominated almost the entire Greek world during the Bronze Age. This was the time of the citadel, an elite administrative enclave of palaces, food storage facilities, and workshops with walls to bar commoners from access. Residences of the majority of the population (peasants and slaves, who doubled as cannon fodder) were outside and obscure. The workshops produced a wide range of goods, principally for export to the other elite enclaves of the Bronze Age, in such places as Egypt, Anatolia, and Mesopotamia. There was a rudimentary system of writing, Linear B, for keeping accounts, though its inflexibility as a syllabic system made the composition of poetry difficult if not impossible.

For unknown reasons, this civilization completely collapsed some time during the 12C BCE. Thomas reviews the possible causes - invasion, revolt, climate change, plague, natural catastrophe - and chooses the current consensus view that it was a "systems failure", whereby whatever it was sparked a self-reinforcing downward spiral. The result was a near-complete breakdown in trade (and artisanal production), the complete loss of literacy, and a precipitous decline in population, probably due to starvation and violence.

The middle of the book covers what happened in a variety of cities. While there are too many distinctions to cover in a review, it boils down to a subsistence economy, the renewed importance of an oral cultural tradition, and the reorganization of small groupings in isolated locales to marshal resources for survival and security. Mycenae remained a somewhat active urban center for much of the dark age, Athens rose as a relatively dynamic area, but most of the Greek cities sunk into near-oblivion. The settlements were run by "big men", anthropologists believe, who governed by competence and their riches rather than by hereditary rights of sovereigns; they could lose their status quickly if they did not deliver the goods.

Finally, we see the rise of larger agglomerations as precursors to the golden era of the city state. Corinth is the model in this section. As the "big man" organization no longer sufficed, a new socio-political organization began to emerge, i.e. as the population and trade revived, larger groupings came together for purposes of defense and resource management as they dealt with a wider world also in recovery. This sowed the seeds, according the to authors, of a unique political culture of duty and honor as a means to glorify the city-state, i.e. the well known traits of Classical antiquity, including in some places alternating leadership. Literacy was recovered and so many great oral poems were written down (i.e. Homer) in the easier alphabet that was adapted from the Phoenician system. There is also a wonderful chapter on Hesiod (of Ascra), the first Greek poet identified as an individual of the early city-state era.

While I think the book errs on the side of inevitability of the city-state culture - we are never told why it arose in Greece the way it did - it is an interesting review and solid argument. The polis emerged as self-governing, each with its own culture, and resulted in an era of prolific experimentation in all areas.

As a classics major who has dabbled in ancient history ever since, I found the book a treat, if occasionally dry, and very well written. Though there is nothing particularly original about it, the book offers a nice review as based on concrete evidence and inference from physical remains. Nonetheless, I would recommend the book only for serious history buffs or undergraduate students - it does not cross into the territory of popular history.
furious ox
As one of the authors of Citadel to City State, I believe that it is inappropriate for me to rate it. However, Amazon's format forces me to assign a rating to the book and since I am proud of it, I gave it a high rating. I can confess that work invested in the book was rewarding and even pleasant, at least most of the time. And I was happy to learn that the publisher judged it worthy of a paperback edition so that our picture of early Greece might reach more people.
Its focus is the centuries between the collapse of the heroic Mycenaean civilization and the Classical Age of Greece, i.e. from a civilization based on citadels to one founded on city states. Once thought to be a long, bleak period in which little of significance occurred, new evidence shows it to be a bridge of transformation from one way of life to another. We track that process by focusing on five individual places that demonstrate the steps in the process, a Plutarch's Lives of Places rather than of People.
A recent and suprising token of the appeal of our approach was an invitation to speak to a joint meeting of the local Sigma Xi chapter and the Puget Sound American Chemical Society. The inviter wrote, "recently I read your book, Citadel to City State...It was intriguing about how, in the absence of writing, that it was possible to piece together the social events of that period." The book showed, he continued, "the synergy between the sciences and the humanities." Lessening the divide between the sciences and humanities was not a conscious goal of our book but it is an unexpected and welcome result. Growing specialization has produced such tight compartments of fields over the past half century that collaboration has been difficult. The new spirit of cooperation and interest is vital to an understanding of the base.
EROROHALO
Citadel to City-State: The Transformation of Greece, 1200 - 700 BC (1999) Carol G. Thomas and Thomas Conant (Indiana University Press: Bloomington)

The World of Odysseus (1954, [1974]) Moses I. Finley (New York Review of Books: New York)

Classicists are an odd bunch. They took a specific geography and a specific time period handed them by Renaissance Italians and created an academic discipline divorced from other segments of archeology, architecture, history and literature. This discipline is "Classics." Classicists are often territorial. Mary Lefkowitz's Black Athena Revisited pays lip service to the idea that a non-classicist could study the period but then blasts anybody who does (especially Martin Bernal) as "amateurish." The non-classicist historian, Michael Parenti, questions even the motives of classicists. In the appendix on sources to his 2003 The Assassination of Julius Caesar, Parenti states: "Most present-day historians of antiquity seem determined to make [classic sources] inaccessible, a fact that itself might be indicative of the pedantic and elitist nature of their training" (223).

This elitism and inaccessibility creates a false image of the classical world. Everything from the Fall of Troy (c. 1200 BC) to the Sack of Rome (476 AD) exists at one time. Homer, Socrates and Caesar would hangout together and grab a beer! M.I. Finley comments "The human mind plays strange tricks with time perspective when the distant past is under consideration: centuries become as years and millennia as decades" (7).

Fortunately, I have just read two works that seek to break down ivory walls of classicists and try to build a real image of the timeframe from The Fall of Troy to the rise of Archaic Greece. M.I. Finley delves into the social construction of Homer in his 1954 (1974) The World of Odysseus. In their 1999 From Citadel to City State, Carol Thomas and Greg Conant, meanwhile follow the archeological evidence to see how Classical Greece arose from the ashes that ended Mycenaean Greece.

Homer was once thought to have been a Bronze Age Greek. His Iliad was nothing more than a poetic version of Ernie Pyle's war correspondence. Yet we now know that the Iliad and the Odyssey were written down in their current form in the mid- to late- Eighth Century BC. This means that the epics exist in two periods what modern historians would refer as the Late Bronze Age and the Archaic Age.

The first age, the Late Bronze Age, is home to the fall of Mycenae, the Fall of Troy and the arrival of the mysterious "Sea-Peoples." It is unknown from the archeology if these three events are in anyway connected. Yet we do know, according to Thomas and Conant, the power of the Mycenaean wanax (or "king") was abruptly curtailed in at the end of the thirteenth century. While final destruction of Mycenae in 1175 brought down the end of the entire society that any historical Odysseus would have been a part of.

The descendants of Mycenaean Greece eked out a survival in a pastoral and hunting existence. In the Early Dark Age (eleventh century), residents of Messenian Nichoria, survived to build a small simple society on the site of the former Pylian outpost. Thomas and Conant suggest that the evidence at Nichoria may point to a social structure similar to the Melanesian "Big Man" society. The Big Man was a community leader not by law or formal structure; instead it was by the personal qualities of the leader. When the Big Man died or lost statue, there was no electing of a new Big Man.

What we think of as the World of Odysseus, the Late Bronze Age, is left only in snippets of memories. Literacy had vanished. In order to pass down the knowledge needed by current societies, Thomas and Conant believe they created oral transmission in the form of poetry. With theological, cultural and moral values woven into the surviving stories the oral poets created what Eric Havelock, in his 1963 Preface to Plato, called "The Encyclopedia of the Dark Age." Thomas and Conant argue: "Nonliteracy and the epic encyclopedia open a number of windows looking in upon Dark Age life" (p. 48).

While what we know as the Iliad and the Odyssey are products of the late Eighth Century and they refer to events at the end of the Bronze Age; could the foundations of society represented by actually Dark Age society? Thomas and Conant, as well as Havelock believe this to be true. Finley, in the World of Odysseus, echoes this belief. Finley sees Homer not standing in two time periods, the Late Bronze Age and the early Archaic Age, but in three. Finley places the beliefs and societal structures of Homer in the Ninth and Tenth Century.

Yet the complex society found in Homer is not that of poor pastoral eleventh-century Nichoria. Odysseus' society is one of certain leadership, not the Nichorian Big Man. Agamemnon, Odysseus and Nestor are defined kings. Yet, the Linear B title "wannax" is not used by Homer; instead, it is the later Greek, "basileus." A basileus was not the great king who centralized power around his citadel in Mycenaean times. Instead he is at best, "nobleman" in charge

These noblemen were the head of a household or estate called the oikos. Each head of oikos would have been a representative in a territory's government. The basileus was the "first among equals" in a council of oikos. Finley points to the decision making in the chariot race dedicated to Patroclus. Each basileus had equal right to speak. While each can speak it is not the duty of the leader to mete justice. Finley points to the arbitration of the chariot race in the Iliad and the council called by Telamachus in Odyssey. In neither instance is there a strong central authority who has what Weber termed the "monopoly of violence." Finley points not to a united state, but a confederacy of oikoses. In both the Iliad and the Odyssey, "The defense of right was purely a private matter" (Finley, 111).

With a flatter social pyramid then that of the Mycenaean Age, Dark Age Greece was defined by this oikos. The master, his family, extended family and slaves and servants along with the buildings and fields of this household were the oikos. The archaeology Thomas and Conant find at Tenth Century Athens and Ninth Century Lefkandi supports Finley's belief. (Note that Finley's work based on sociology and cultural anthropology predates much of the archaeology.) And, anyone from outside of an oikos is of subservient status. Lower than even the slave in an oikos is the thes and the trader.

A thes is a landless peasant who must work for pay on an oikos. He is therefore outside of the structure of Dark Age Greece. When Odysseus meets Achilles in Hades (Book XI of the Odyssey), Achilles describes the thes as the lowest form of life. Achilles would rather be dead than one of these landless peasants.

The second outcast in Homer's world is the trader. According to Finley the trader seeking exchange for profit is anathema to Dark Age society. In his 1973 "Ancient Economy" he rejects any proto-capitalism found in Greece. Finley finds trading beneath the oikos in the "World of Odysseus" pointing to disguised Athena in the Odyssey excusing what can only be seen as trade.

Here the archaeology turns from Finley. Thomas and Conant look to Ninth Century Lefkandi and Eighth Century Corinth. Trading from Euboea and later Corinth brought wealth to both centers. In Eighth Century Corinth we find the expansion of pottery production for what could only be trade purposes. As wealth came to both of these regions, the various oikoses began to form more permanent connections.

The city-states - polies - of Plato, Herodotus and Leonidas are born from this increase of wealth. Thomas and Conant use Hesiod's own Askra to represent this point. Once Homer was written down and Hesiod was writing his own advice to farmers, Greece was stepping from the Dark Age into the Archaic one. Yet the accidental "nation building" from the destruction of Mycenae to the Seventh Century with its oikos, Olympian pantheon and trade and colonization were the foundations of Classical society.

Both Finley and Thomas & Conant use their distinctive expertise to open a window on the lost "Dark Age" of Greece.
Citadel to City-State: The Transformation of Greece, 1200-700 B.C.E. ebook
Author:
Carol G. Thomas,Craig Conant
Category:
Ancient Civilizations
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EPUB size:
1709 kb
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1371 kb
DJVU size:
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Publisher:
Indiana University Press (January 21, 2003)
Pages:
240 pages
Rating:
4.6
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