In this unusual synthesis of political and socio-economic history, Philip Manville demonstrates that citizenship for the Athenians was not merely a legal construct but rather a complex concept that was both an institution and a mode of social behavior. He further shows that it was not static, as most scholarship has assumed, but rather has slowly evolved over time. The work is also an explanation of the origins and development of the polis.
Originally published in 1990.
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"There can be no questioning the value and validity of Manville's patient unravelling of the strands that...make up the close weave of classical Athenian citizenship: corporate identity, territoriality, population density, personal freedom, and landownership above all. It is one of the many strengths of Manville's quietly persuasive approach that he can deploy comparative ethnographic evidence from so-called 'primitive' states with telling sensitivity."--Paul Cartledge, The Times Literary Supplement
"This book well repays the attention of anyone, whether historian, literary critic, or archaeologist, who is interested in the wider context of pre-classical Athenian society."--Gregory Crane, Bryn Mawr Classical Review
"A real contribution to the perennial debate on the Athenian way of life. I would recommend it strongly to all who are also interested in the origins of our own society and our own brand of citizenship."--Harold B. Mattingly, History
Hardcover published in 1990