Thursday, January 12, 2023

Democracy in the Peloponnese, c.550–146 BCE

Frullini, Stefano
This thesis is a study of the nature and development of democratic constitutions in the Peloponnese between the late archaic and the mid-Hellenistic period. It investigates the emergence and permanence of democratic government in three major Peloponnesian poleis (Elis, Mantinea, Argos) and one federal state (the Achaean League), as well as the way in which those institutions effectively operated in those specific contexts. Its overarching aim is to reevaluate the impact of popular rule in the shaping of the historical trajectory of the polities examined and, to an extent, of the Peloponnese as a whole. Chapter 1 provides an outline of the general features of Greek democracy, followed by a survey of the local specificities that may have had a bearing on how democratic institutions actually worked in the context of the Peloponnese. I also list the main relevant sources for a study of Peloponnesian democracy and review the existing scholarship on both non-Athenian democracy and the political history of the ancient Peloponnese from a regional angle. The following three chapters (2–4), devoted respectively to Elis, Mantinea and Argos, follow in broad terms the same tripartite structure. In each of these chapters, the first section explores the late archaic, pre-democratic context to illuminate the environment in which democracy would later emerge; the second section reconstructs the creation and consolidation of democratic institutions, reappraising the innovative and disruptive nature of the processes of democratisation concerned; the third section follows ‘democracy in action’, i.e. how these democratic poleis navigated the complex international environment of the early fourth century BCE and how being democratic shaped their policy decisions. Chapter 5 investigates the democratic elements in the constitution of the Achaean League from its foundation in 280 BCE to the Roman conquest in 146. This chapter follows a thematic structure, although each of its three sections deals with diachronic change. While the first section lays out the theoretical groundwork for a study of the League’s federal institutions and makes a case in favour of their democratic nature, the following two sections explore how – respectively – the Achaean dēmos and its leaders were both empowered and constrained in their political behaviour by the constitutional framework in which they operated. The concluding chapter (6) draws from the theory of the ‘democratic advantage’ to argue that the historical performance of the democracies examined can be explained by interpreting their processes of democratisation as processes of rearrangement of the relations between internal sub-groups on a more egalitarian basis.
Osborne, Robin
Millett, Paul
Awarding Institution
University of Cambridge
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Leventis Studentship in Greek Culture; King’s College Studentship; Craven Studentship.
All Rights Reserved



No comments:

Post a Comment