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Household Interests:
Property, Marriage Strategies, and Family Dynamics in Ancient Athens
Cheryl Anne Cox

Paperback | 2014 | $34.50 / £24.95 | ISBN: 9780691602042
304 pp. | 6 x 9 | 4 line illus. 9 tables
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Household Interests is one of the first books to explore in-depth the nature of the Greek household (oikos) in classical Athens. Whereas the oikos traditionally has been defined as the household of the nuclear family in Greece, Cheryl Anne Cox reveals it as a much more fluid structure, taking care to distinguish between the concepts of "household" and "family." The legal basis of the typical elite household emerges as Cox describes marriage patterns or strategies among the families represented in Attic orations and funerary inscriptions: property interests were a strong motivating force, with the elite marrying within their kin, primarily through paternal lines in which property was transferred. The author ultimately shows that the household was not limited to "family" or kinspeople. Friends, neighbors, concubines or prostitutes, and slaves also shared in property interests and all could have a profound influence on the household.

After first examining marriage patterns, Cox turns to inter-family relationships. Using anthropological sources and historical studies of European societies, she shows how property interest shaped often conflicted relations between parents and their children and among brothers, and yet it encouraged male charity toward sisters. Cox next considers how property transfer through adoption, guardianship, and remarriage, and the intervention of friends, concubines, and slaves, all contributed to expanding the boundaries of the household beyond kin.

Originally published in 1997.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

Table of Contents:

List of Figures and Tables
Preface
Introduction
Ch. 1The Families of the Private Orations3
Ch. 2Town and Country; Marriage and Death38
Ch. 3Harmony and Conflict within the Household68
Ch. 4Sibling Relationships105
Ch. 5What Was an Oikos?130
Ch. 6The Nonkinsman, the Oikos, and the Household168
Conclusions209
AppThe Political Families216
References231
Index245

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    File created: 11/10/2014

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