Student blog of the Stanford University Urban Studies Department

Event: ‘Polis: The Greek City-State 600 BC – AD 800’

What: The spring 2011 Lorenz Eitner Lecture on Classical Art and Culture, ‘Polis: The Greek City-State 600 BC – AD 800,’ with John Ma

When: Thursday, April 14, 6 p.m.

Where: Building 320, Room 105 (Braun Geology Corner, 450 Serra Mall, Stanford)

Description from the Classics Department, via Michael Kahan:

Polis: the Greek city-state, as a particular form of social and political organization, lasted around twelve centuries, throughout the whole of the ancient “classical” world. The polis is a salient feature, in one way or another, of every period of ancient history, from the Dark Ages (1000-800 BC) to “late late Antiquity” (AD 450-600). Is there a single, continuous history of the ancient city-state across this timespan? Such a history would have to pay attention to differences, but also attempt to unite the many issues and debates (emergence, “decline”, democracy and elitization, power, economic life, town and country…) around questions of continuity, change and resilience, that might reveal why (and at what price) polis proved such a long-lasting and robust social organism.

John Ma is an ancient historian at Oxford University. His research interests include Greek History, especially Hellenistic; Asia Minor; epigraphy and the discourse analysis of documentary evidence; the classical and post-classical polis; social space and monumentality. All of these topics are covered in his Antiochos III and the Cities of Western Asia Minor, his forthcoming book on Statues and Cities: honorific statues and civic culture in the Hellenistic polis, and a wide-ranging series of scholarly articles.



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