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Before the StateSystemic Political Change in the West from the Greeks to the French Revolution$
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Andreas Osiander

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780198294511

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198294511.001.0001

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Greeks and Romans

Greeks and Romans

Chapter:
(p.33) 2 Greeks and Romans
Source:
Before the State
Author(s):

Andreas Osiander

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198294511.003.0002

Following an analysis of the economic and ecological bases of society in the pre-Christian Mediterranean world, this chapter studies how and why the pre-Persian Greek pólis-world evolved — charting the rise of Athens, the rise of Persian Greek kingship, then the rise of Rome and the gradual absorption of the entire Mediterranean region into the Roman empire. It discusses what pre-Christian Greek and Roman authors — such as Plátôn (Plato), Aristotle, Isokrátês (Isocrates), Polýbios (Polybius), Sallust, Seneca, and Tacitus — had to say on the mutual relations of autonomous actors in the Mediterranean world. A special section is dedicated to an analysis of Thukydídês (Thucydides), showing that contrary to received wisdom he was far from an ancestor of Realist International Relations thought. In particular, he did not believe and never said that the ‘Peloponnesian War’ broke out because of a shift in the ‘balance of power’.

Keywords:   Greek pólis, Aristotle, Plato, Isocrates, Polybius, Sallust, Seneca, Tacitus, Thucydides, Peloponnesian War

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