The Folds of Parnassos: Land and Ethnicity in Ancient Phokis by Jeremy McInerney

The Folds of Parnassos: Land and Ethnicity in Ancient Phokis

byJeremy McInerney

Paperback | December 1, 1999

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Independent city-states (poleis) such as Athens have been viewed traditionally as the most advanced stage of state formation in ancient Greece. By contrast, this pioneering book argues that for some Greeks the ethnos, a regionally based ethnic group, and the koinon, or regional confederation, were equally valid units of social and political life and that these ethnic identities were astonishingly durable.

Jeremy McInerney sets his study in Phokis, a region in central Greece dominated by Mount Parnassos that shared a border with the panhellenic sanctuary at Delphi. He explores how ecological conditions, land use, and external factors such as invasion contributed to the formation of a Phokian territory. Then, drawing on numerous interdisciplinary sources, he traces the history of the region from the Archaic age down to the Roman period. McInerney shows how shared myths, hero cults, and military alliances created an ethnic identity that held the region together over centuries, despite repeated invasions. He concludes that the Phokian koinon survived because it was founded ultimately on the tenacity of the smaller communities of Greece.

About The Author

Jeremy McInerney is Davidson Kennedy Professor of Classical Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
A Companion to Ethnicity in the Ancient Mediterranean
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Title:The Folds of Parnassos: Land and Ethnicity in Ancient PhokisFormat:PaperbackDimensions:407 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:December 1, 1999Publisher:University Of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:029275230X

ISBN - 13:9780292752306

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

  • Maps
  • Plates
  • Acknowledgments
  • Preface
  • Abbreviations
  • Chapter 1. Introduction
  • Chapter 2. Race, Tribe, Ethnicity
  • Chapter 3. Topography and Settlement
  • Chapter 4. Settlement and Society
  • Chapter 5. Heroes, Myths, and Ethnicity
  • Chapter 6. Phokian Desperation
  • Chapter 7. State and Society
  • Chapter 8. The Lictor’s Axe
  • Appendix 1. A Gazetteer of Phokian Sites
  • Appendix 2. The Great Isthmus Corridor
  • Appendix 3. The Date of the Fortifications of Phokis
  • Bibliography
  • Index

From Our Editors

The history of ancient Greece often focuses on the dominance of the polis as the principle form of community. But Jeremy McInerney shows us that the koinon -- a regional confederation -- was also a major and durable form of community. Using the region of Phokis as the focal point of this study, The Folds of Parnassos considers such factors as wars, invasions, ecology and land in the fascinating analysis.