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    Stasis and Stability: Exile, the Polis, and Political Thought, c. 404–146 BC

    Gray, Benjamin (2015) Stasis and Stability: Exile, the Polis, and Political Thought, c. 404–146 BC. Oxford Classical Monographs. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198729778.

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    Book synopsis: This book uses exile and exiles as a lens for investigating the later Classical and Hellenistic polis and the political ideas which shaped it. It discusses the rich evidence for varied forms of expulsion and reintegration of citizens of poleis across the Mediterranean, analysing the full range of relevant civic institutions, practices and debates. It also investigates civic activity and ideology outside the polis, addressing the complex and diverse political organisation, agitation and ideas of exiles themselves. The issue of the political and ethical status of exile and exiles necessarily raised fundamental questions about civic inclusion and exclusion, closely bound up with basic ideas of justice, virtue and community. This makes it possible to interpret the varied evidence for exile as a guide to the complex, dynamic ecology of political ideas within the later Classical and post-Classical civic world, including both taken-for-granted political assumptions and more developed political ideologies and philosophies. The book develops an argument that the rich Greek civic political culture and political thought of the period studied were marked by significant extremes, contradictions and indeterminacies. In particular, two contrasting fundamental paradigms of the good city, which often remained implicit, coexisted and sometimes competed with each other: a paradigm of the good city as a fraternal community of devoted citizens, dedicated to shared demanding goals; and a paradigm of the good city as a more egoistic association for mutual security, justice and advantage. The simultaneous influence of radical principles of solidarity and reciprocity, self-sacrifice and self-interest often helped to sustain civic life, but those ideals could also contribute, individually and collectively, to provoking acute civic tensions and even divisions, of which exile was a common result. The contrasting paradigms were thus integral to both civic unrest and civic flourishing, both stasis and stability.


    Item Type: Book
    Additional Information: Reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press.
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Depositing User: Benjamin Gray
    Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2020 10:24
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:05


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