A Small Greek World: Networks in the Ancient Mediterranean

Paperback | August 7, 2013

byIrad Malkin

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Greek civilization and identity crystallized not when Greeks were close together but when they came to be far apart. It emerged during the Archaic period when Greeks founded coastal city states and trading stations in ever-widening horizons from the Ukraine to Spain. No center directed theirdiffusion: mother cities were numerous and the new settlements ("colonies") would often engender more settlements. The "Greek center" was at sea; it was formed through back-ripple effects of cultural convergence, following the physical divergence of independent settlements. "The shores of Greece arelike hems stitched onto the lands of Barbarian peoples" (Cicero). Overall, and regardless of distance, settlement practices became Greek in the making and Greek communities far more resembled each other than any of their particular neighbors like the Etruscans, Iberians, Scythians, or Libyans. Thecontrast between "center and periphery" hardly mattered (all was peri-, "around"), nor was a bi-polar contrast with Barbarians of much significance. Should we admire the Greeks for having created their civilization in spite of the enormous distances and discontinuous territories separating their independent communities? Or did the salient aspects of their civilization form and crystallize because of its architecture as a de-centralized network?This book claims that the answer lies in network attributes shaping a "Small Greek World," where separation is measured by degrees of contact rather than by physical dimensions.

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Greek civilization and identity crystallized not when Greeks were close together but when they came to be far apart. It emerged during the Archaic period when Greeks founded coastal city states and trading stations in ever-widening horizons from the Ukraine to Spain. No center directed theirdiffusion: mother cities were numerous and th...

Irad Malkin is Cummings Chair for Mediterranean History and Culture and Professor of Ancient Greek History at Tel Aviv University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:306 pages, 6.1 × 9.21 × 0.79 inPublished:August 7, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199315728

ISBN - 13:9780199315727

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Table of Contents

List of Figures and MapsAcknowledgementsA note on transliterationAbbreviations1. Introduction: Networks and History2. Island Networking and Hellenic Convergence: From Rhodes to Naukratis3. Sicily and the Greeks: Apollo Arch^get^s and the Sikeliote Network4. Herakles and Melqart: Networking Heroes5. Networks and Middle Grounds in the Western Mediterranean6. Cult and Identity in the Far West: Phokaians, Ionians, and HellenesConclusion