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Title: Renewing Athens : the ideology of the past in Roman Greece
Author: McHugh, Sarah
ISNI:       0000 0004 6497 9190
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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In this thesis we explore the period of renewal that Athens experienced during the second century AD. This century saw Athens at the peak of her cultural prominence in the Roman Empire: the city was the centre of the League of the Panhellenion and hosted a vibrant sophistic scene that attracted orators from across the Greek world, developments which were ideologically fuelled by contemporary conceptions of Classical Athens. While this Athenian 'golden age' is a standard feature of scholarship on Greek culture under Rome, my thesis delves further to explore the renewal of the urban and rural landscapes at this time and the relationship between that process and constructions of Athenian identity. We approach the renewal of second-century Athens through four lenses: past and present in the Ilissos area; the rhetoric of the Panhellenion; elite conflict and competition; and the character of the Attic countryside. My central conclusions are as follows: 1. The renewal of Athens was effected chiefly by Hadrian and the Athenian elite and was modelled on an ideal Athenian past, strategically manipulated to suit present purpose; the attractions of the fifth-century golden age for this programme of renewal meant that politically contentious history of radical democracy and aggressive imperialism had to be safely rewritten. 2. Athens and Attica retained their uniquely integrated character in the second century. Rural Attica was the subject of a powerful sacro-idyllic ideology and played a vital role in concepts of Athenian identity, while simultaneously serving as a functional landscape of production and inhabitation. 3. The true socio-economic importance of the Attic countryside as a settled and productive landscape should be investigated without unduly privileging the limited evidence from survey, and by combining all available sources, both literary and documentary, with attention to their content, cultural context and ideological relevance.
Supervisor: Moreno, Alfonso Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History ; Ancient ; Panhellenion ; euergetism ; Athens ; renewal ; Attica ; Roman Empire ; 2nd Century AD ; Pausanias ; culture ; urban landscape ; Hadrianic ; Greek culture ; Cephisia ; estate ; elite ; Marathon ; revival ; Emperor ; Philostratus ; Second Sophistic ; gravestone ; Marcus Aurelius ; benefactor ; Antonine ; city ; Herodes Atticus ; countryside ; Milesian ; sacro-idyllic ; rural landscape ; restoration ; Hadrian ; villa ; Roman Greece ; Ilissos