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- SEHEPUNKTE - Rezension von: The Bad Citizen in Classical Athens - Ausgabe 8 (), Nr. 7/8
- "The Bad Citizen in Classical Athens" BOOK REVIEW (1200 words)
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A good case in point is Herodotus 5. In this passage, Christ argues, Herodotus is echoing "the claims of Athenian civic ideology concerning the role of self-interest in motivating democratic citizens" Christ's interpretation, however, is refuted by Herodotus' antithesis.
Under the oppression of despotic rule, according to Herodotus, the Athenians felt that they were working for a master. They made no better showing in war than any of their neighbours; they were, in fact, less heroic, behaving like cowards on the battlefield ethelokakeon. Once freed of the tyrants, however, "each was zealous to succeed for his own self" autos hekastos hauto proethumeeto katergazesthai. Christ would have it that the phrase in inverted commas describes naked personal self-interest defined in the Shorter Oxford Dictionary as "one's personal profit, benefit or advantage; regard to or pursuit of this, esp.
The truth is, however, that this phrase refers to an entirely different sentiment, and to one that requires concern for others: the fighting spirit inspired by patriotism. Herodotus is saying that freedom from the hopelessness of perceived slavery had inspired the Athenians to regain the will to devote their every individual effort to the collective success of their country. He speaks of two virtues, that we today might call individualism and patriotism, which at Athens blended into a new motivational force.
Had Herodotus meant that this new freedom had produced a sea-change in which every Athenian was inspired ruthlessly to advance his own ends at the expense of others, we could only presume two things: first, that under the tyrants the Athenian warriors acted with selfless heroism on the battlefield - which would be a little odd, since at this time they are clearly said to have played the coward and generally to have done rather badly in battle; second, the fact that they seem to have got so much better at fighting following the establishment of isegoria should be put down to their new determination to save their own skins at the cost of their comrades.
On the surface of it, these implications appear to be absurd. Athenian authors frequently voiced the idea that when the community fares well the individual flourishes. Aristotle put it succinctly: "the political organization politike koinonia was originally formed, and continues to be maintained, for the advantage of its members" Ethica Nicomacheia a4.
The point that these authors were trying to make, however, was that individual and collective advantage went hand in hand, and that both were best secured by means of partnership koinonia rather than by means of individual selfish action. This is why Athens, whenever the good of the community stood in peril, required her citizens not only to forego self-interest, but ideally to perform acts of self-sacrifice. And during the plague, the majority of Athenians are said to have resisted the temptation, provoked by selfish behaviour, to neglect the sick and to have chosen instead to look after them at the risk of their own lives.
Let us now move on to Christ's 'bad citizen', described in his work as one who outdid even the 'good' Athenian citizen in selfishness: ''[ His chief evidence for this 'reasonable suspicion' is the 'relative frequency' - again we are not told to what or to whom this frequency relates - with which draft evasion, cowardice on campaign and the evasion of financial obligations are mentioned in public discourse.
Unfortunately, however, the frequency with which any phenomenon is mentioned in public discourse does not necessarily bear any relation to the frequency or scope of that phenomenon in real life as is clear from the briefest scrutiny of any modern news medium. The relative frequency with which bad citizenship figures in Athenian public discourse is indicative not of the prevalence of bad citizenship in everyday Athenian life, but rather of the intensity of the public pressure mounted to combat it. C5 B56 Unknown. More options. Find it at other libraries via WorldCat Limited preview.
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Bibliography Includes bibliographical references pages indexes. Contents 1. Rethinking Athenian citizenship-- 2. A bond between polis and gods-- 3.
SEHEPUNKTE - Rezension von: The Bad Citizen in Classical Athens - Ausgabe 8 (), Nr. 7/8
The value of descent-- 4. Citizens, male and female: vocabulary-- 5. Participation: public roles and institutions-- 6. Outlook: Athenians and others. It is conventionally understood as characterised by holding political office. Since only men could do so, only they were considered to be citizens, and the community polis has appeared primarily as the scene of men's political actions. However, Athenian law defined citizens not by political office, but by descent. Lacey's The Family in Classical Greece particularly influential.
Infant mortality was common in classical Athens, with perhaps 25 percent of children dying at or soon after birth. Janet Burnett Grossman writes that girls appear to be commemorated about as frequently as boys on surviving Attic gravestones, although previous scholars suggested that boys were commemorated up to twice as often. Classical Athenian girls probably reached menarche at about age fourteen, when they would have married.
Memorial vases for dead girls in classical Athens often portrayed them dressed as brides, and were sometimes shaped like loutrophoroi vases which held water used to bathe before the wedding day. Athenian girls were not formally educated; instead, their mothers taught them the domestic skills necessary for running a household. Formal education for boys consisted of rhetoric, necessary for effective political participation, and physical education in preparation for military service.
"The Bad Citizen in Classical Athens" BOOK REVIEW (1200 words)
These skills were not considered necessary for women, who were barred from learning them. More is known about the role of Athenian children in religion than about any other aspect of their lives, and they seem to have played a prominent role in religious ceremonies. The primary role of free women in classical Athens was to marry and bear children. Marriage most commonly involved a betrothal engue , before the bride was given over to her new husband and kyrios ekdosis.
Rich families could provide much larger dowries; Demosthenes ' sister, for instance, had a dowry of two talents minae. Only in exceptional circumstances would there have been no dowry, since the lack of one could have been interpreted as proof that no legitimate marriage occurred.
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Married women were responsible for the day-to-day running of the household. At marriage, they assumed responsibility for the prosperity of their husband's household and the health of its members. In classical Athenian marriages, husband or wife could legally initiate a divorce. In classical Athens, women ideally remained apart from men. Tyrrell, for example, said: "The outer door of the house is the boundary for the free women". In Politics , Aristotle asked: "How is it possible to prevent the wives of the poor from going out of doors?
Women in Classical Athens
The ideal that respectable women should remain out of the public eye was so entrenched in classical Athens that simply naming a citizen woman could be a source of shame. In practice, only wealthy families would have been able to implement this ideology.
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Although wealthy families may have had slaves to enable free women to remain in the house, but most would not have had enough slaves to prevent free women from leaving at all. Even the most respectable citizen women emerged on ritual occasions primarily festivals, sacrifices, and funerals , where they would have interacted with men. David Cohen writes, "One of the most important activities of women included visiting or helping friends or relatives",  and even wealthy women who could afford to spend their entire lives indoors probably interacted socially with other women outside in addition to the religious and ritual occasions when they were seen in public.
Schaps citing Cohen , the ideology of separation in classical Athens would have encouraged women to remain indoors but necessary outside activities would have overridden it. The ideology of female seclusion may have extended inside the house. Literary evidence seems to suggest that there were separate men's and women's quarters in Athenian houses. Lisa Nevett , for instance, has argued that Athenian women were in reality only restricted to the "women's quarters" when unrelated men visited. The juridical status of women in Athens is beautifully indicated by the single entry under "women" in the index to Harrison's Law of Athens i: it reads simply "women, disabilities".
Residents of Athens were divided into three classes: Athenians, metics , and slaves. Eva Cantarella disagrees, arguing that both of the Greek words used to denote citizenship, aste and politis , were used to refer to Athenian women. She thus argues that the English words "citizen" and "citizenship" are best avoided when discussing Classical Athenian concepts.
In most cases, Athenian women had the same rights and responsibilities as Athenian men. Like slaves and metics , they were denied political freedom,  being excluded from the law courts and the Assembly.
Suggestions of this can be seen in a play written by Aristophanes called Lysistrata. The rights of metic women were closer to those of metic men. Metic women only paid 6 drachmas per year poll tax , compared to the 12 paid by their male counterparts, [note 5] and did not perform military service, but other than this their legal rights and responsibilities were the same as those of male metics. In Athenian law courts, juries were all male. In the political sphere, men made up the Assembly and held political office. Once, he says, she criticised Pericles for making war against other Greek cities;  on another occasion she pleaded with him not to prosecute her brother Cimon on charges of treason.
Until the Periclean law of citizenship in —50, any child with an Athenian father was considered an Athenian citizen. Walters, for instance, explicitly dismisses the possibility, arguing that without a citizen father a child had no way of gaining entry into a deme or phratry. Religion was the one area of public life in which women could participate freely;  according to Christopher Carey, it was the "only area of Greek life in which a woman could approach anything like the influence of a man".
The state-controlled Eleusinian mysteries , for instance, were open to all Greek speaking people, men and women, free and unfree alike. The cult of Athena Polias the city's eponymous goddess was central to Athenian society, reinforcing morality and maintaining societal structure. According to Herodotus , before the Battle of Salamis the priestess of Athena encouraged the evacuation of Athens by telling the Athenians that the snake sacred to Athena which lived on the Acropolis had already left. The most important festival to Athena in Athens was the Lesser Panathenaea , held annually, which was open to both sexes.
The girls were required to be virgins; to prevent a candidate from being selected was, according to Pomeroy, to question her good name. Each year, the women of Athens weaved a new peplos for a wooden statue of Athena. Every four years, for the Great Panathenaea, the peplos was for a much larger statue of Athena and could be used as a sail.
Women were able to take part in almost every religious festival in classical Athens, but some significant festivals were restricted only to women.