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Feeding the DemocracyThe Athenian Grain Supply in the Fifth and Fourth Centuries BC$
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Alfonso Moreno

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199228409

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199228409.001.0001

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Ex PONTO: The Athenian Grain Supply and Black Sea Archaeology

Ex PONTO: The Athenian Grain Supply and Black Sea Archaeology

Chapter:
(p.144) 4 Ex PONTO: The Athenian Grain Supply and Black Sea Archaeology
Source:
Feeding the Democracy
Author(s):

Alfonso Moreno (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199228409.003.0004

This chapter examines the role of the Black Sea as a source of grain for the Aegean Greek world, and particularly for Athens, in the fifth and fourth centuries. It is argued that the beginning of Athens' reliance on the Black Sea as more than a lucrative and strategic asset, and ultimately as the systematic source of most of its imported grain, first began near the end of the Peloponnesian War, with the collapse of Athens' Aegean empire. For most of the fourth century Athens and the Bosporan (Spartocid) Kingdom were bound in a tight social and economic relationship largely designed and determined by the mutual interests of their elites. Archaeological evidence and the iconography of Graeco‐Scythian art illustrate this interdependence. The “school” of the Athenian rhetorician Isocrates is argued to have been the crucial network along which this elite relationship functioned culturally and politically.

Keywords:   Black Sea, archaeology, Bosporan Kingdom, Graeco‐Scythian art, Isocrates, elites, iconography, Athens, Spartocid (dynasty)

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