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Extra resources for Archeology - Le Neolithique et l'Age du Bronze en France. Regards sur une recherche et un patrimoin
650 bc must be the terminus ante quem for polis as a city-state. What about Homer? Fifty years ago Moses Finley—and many in his wake—believed that there was no trace of the Classical polis in the Homeric poems. 18 Nowadays everybody accepts that polis in the sense of city-state is to be found in the poems,19 and there can be no doubt at all that a public that listened, in the sixth century bc, to 42 Chapter 5 a recitation of the Odyssey would instinctively have seen the polis of the Phaiakians as a Greek colony founded by Nausithoos (Od.
Many poleis were tribute-paying and so formally subordinate to the king, but many were formally free, independent states. 10 The history of the autonomous city-state did not end in the middle of the fourth century bc: on the contrary, that is when it began. 11 But the polis was still a self-governing community consisting of a city and its hinterland. The ‘decline and fall’ of the Greek city-state culture occurred in late antiquity. 12 And in the western part of the Roman Empire many cities sickened or completely disappeared as a result of the early medieval migrations.
But if polis is understood as an early form of a Classical polis, the answer is rather, ‘Well . ’. There is no trace of administrative structures,36 and the material remains cannot tell us anything about the political organisation of those early settlements: we have no idea how Zagora was governed. It may have been a small self-governing community, but without the political institutions that are a prerequisite for us speaking of city-states; or Zagora may have been the political centre for the whole of Andros, or a settlement in a much bigger state covering many of the Kyklades: we don’t know and probably never will.
Archeology - Le Neolithique et l'Age du Bronze en France. Regards sur une recherche et un patrimoin