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Title: Exile and the political cultures of the Greek polis, c. 404-146 BC
Author: Gray, Benjamin D.
ISNI:       0000 0003 8338 1090
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis uses the evidence for a wide range of phenomena relating to the exile of citizens, by judicial decision or through stasis, to investigate the political cultures of Greek poleis in the period c. 404-146 BC: the fundamental ideas about citizenship which were in circulation in poleis in that period. Political communication in the context of exile phenomena forced citizens to make explicit their fundamental assumptions about the criteria for civic inclusion and exclusion and about the extent and basis of civic obligation. Analysis of surviving evidence for that communication thus offers unique insights into prominent Greek ideas about citizenship. This method is applied, in chapters 1 and 2, to laws and discussions relating to, first, lawful expulsion and exclusion and, second, civic reconciliation and the reintegration of exiles; and, in chapters 3 and 4, to the political rhetoric, organisation and ideas of participants in exclusionary stasis and of exiled citizens. Wherever possible, ancient Greek philosophers’ arguments, rhetoric and assumptions are compared with those of non-philosophers. Study of the four different bodies of evidence suggests that most poleis’ political cultures were distinguished by their extremes, paradoxes, indeterminacies and contradictions. In particular, many poleis’ political cultures included very significant, radical norms of civic voluntarism, encouraging citizens to exercise extensive voluntary initiative in political contexts. Moreover, most poleis political cultures were dominated by two coexisting, radically opposed basic paradigms of the good polis and of good citizenship: these are defined in the introduction and chapter 1 as a ‘unitarian teleological communitarian’ paradigm and a ‘libertarian contractarian’ paradigm. In addition to revealing fundamental ideas of citizenship, some of the exile evidence enables study of the effects of those ideas in practice in this period: citizens’ political choices, claims and behaviour in relevant periods of stress, such as a bout of exclusionary stasis or a spell of political agitation while in exile, represent a well-defined and revealing case-study of the multiple, competing effects of those ideas on political interaction. It is argued that the exile evidence suggests that the same fundamental ideas of citizenship were conducive both to civic stability and flourishing and to destructive civic unrest.
Supervisor: Ma, John T. C. Sponsor: All Souls College
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History of the ancient world ; Ancient philosophy ; Conflict ; Migration ; Return and reintegration ; Political ideologies ; Ancient Greek politics ; Ancient Greek political thought ; exile ; refugees ; civil war ; political culture ; citizenship