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Title: Greeks outside the πόλις in the fourth century B.C.
Author: McKechnie, Paul
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1985
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This thesis examines Greeks who in the fourth century B.C. did not live in the sovereign city- and town-sized communities in which most inhabitants of South Greece spent their lives. In it I argue that the number of Greeks living outside these communities increased very significantly during this period. I examine what Greek cities were destroyed and what Greek cities were founded in the fourth century, considering wherever possible how many Greeks are likely to have been added to or taken from the number of stateless Greeks by these destructions and foundations. I argue that until Alexander the Great and Timoleon began large programmes of settlement in the East and West respectively, there were probably many more Greeks losing their city homes than finding new ones (and that this is in contrast to the position before 400 B.C.). I consider the increasing numbers of Greek mercenaries, pirates, skilled workers and traders. Though people of widely differing kinds entered these occupations, I suggest that the way in which they all grew simultaneously in the fourth century indicates that the movement towards living outside cities was not entirely a response to difficult political circumstances in cities. Though some who were outside cities were so perforce, nevertheless an ideology which treated loosening of city ties as normal was being developed and was contrary to the established ideology whereby πόλις life was definitive of normal Greek life. I suggest that the availability of a large number of people with specialist skills from soldiering to diplomatic and literary skills created a world fit for Hellenistic Kings to live in. They could easily find recruits for their armies and courts. This contributes to explaining how Alexander and his Successors managed to conquer and subdue all Greece, which no power had previously done.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Cities and towns, Ancient ; History ; Social conditions ; Greece ; To 146 B.C