A History of the Archaic Greek World, Ca. 1200-479 Bce

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-08-19
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


A History of the Archaic Greek World offers a theme-based approach to the development of the Greek world in the years 1200-479 BCE.

  • Updated and extended in this edition to include two new sections, expanded geographical coverage, a guide to electronic resources, and more illustrations
  • Takes a critical and analytical look at evidence about the history of the archaic Greek World
  • Involves the reader in the practice of history by questioning and reevaluating conventional beliefs
  • Casts new light on traditional themes such as the rise of the city-state, citizen militias, and the origins of egalitarianism
  • Provides a wealth of archaeological evidence, in a number of different specialties, including ceramics, architecture, and mortuary studies

Author Biography

Jonathan M. Hall is the Phyllis Fay Horton Distinguished Service Professor in the Humanities and Professor in the Departments of History and Classics and the College at the University of Chicago. He is the author of Ethnic Identity in Greek Antiquity (1997), Hellenicity: Between Ethnicity and Culture (2002), and Artifact and Artifice: Classical Archaeology and the Ancient Historian (2013).

Table of Contents

List of Maps

List of Figures

List of Documents



1 The Practice of History

The Lelantine War

The Lelantine War Deconstructed

What is History?

History as Literature

Method and Theory

2 Sources, Evidence, Dates

Evaluating Sources

Dating Archaic Poets

Non-Literary Evidence

Ancient Chronography

Archaeological Dating

3 The End of the Mycenaean World and its Aftermath

Mycenaean Greece

Gauging the Historicity of the Dorian Migration

Alternative Explanations

The Loss and Recovery of Writing

Whose Dark Age?

4 Communities of Place

Defining the Polis

The Urban Aspect of the Polis: Houses, Graves, and Walls

Political and Economic Functions

Cultic Communities

Polis and Ethnos

5 New Homes Across the Seas

On the Move

The Credibility of Colonial Foundation Stories

Pots and Peoples

A Spartan Foundation? Taras, Phalanthos, and the Partheniai

Hunger or Greed?

6 The Changing Nature of Authority

Charting the Genesis of the State

Kings or “Big-Men”?

The Emergence of an Aristocracy

Laws and Institutions

The Return of the “Big-Man”

Excursus I. A Cautionary Tale: Pheidon of Argos

7 Fighting for the Fatherland

A Hoplite Revolution?

Some More Equal Than Others

Conquest, Territory, and Exploitation

Excursus II. Archaeological Gaps: Attica and Crete

8 Defining the Political Community

Looking to the End

The Role of the Dêmos and the Great Rhetra

Drawing Boundaries

Land, Labor, and the Crisis in Attica

The “Second Sex”

Excursus III. Evaluating the Spartan Mirage

9 The City of Theseus

The End of the Tyranny

The Birth of Democracy?

The Unification of Attica

Theseus: Democrat or Autocrat?

The (A)typicality of Athens

10 Making a Living

Conceptualizing Ancient Economic Activity

A Peasant Economy?

Plying the Seas

The Introduction of Coinage

Excursus IV. The Rise of Persia and the Invasions of Greece

11 Imagining Greece

“Greek” Culture: Unity and Diversity

Greeks and Others: The External Dimension

The Emergence of Panhellenism: The Internal Dimension

The Invention of the Barbarian

12 Writing the History of Archaic Greece

The First Sacred War: Fact or Fiction?

The Limits of Narrative History

Dividing up Time and Space

Abbreviations and Glossary of Literary Sources

Works Cited in the Further Reading

Guide to Electronic Resources



0.1 The Aegean

3.1 Migrations according to the literary tradition

3.2 Distribution of the Greek dialects

4.1 Distribution of Late Geometric burials at Athens

4.2 Distribution of Geometric burials at Argos

4.3 Plan of Unit IV-1, phase 2 at Nikhoria

5.1 Foundations in Italy, Sicily, and the West

5.2 Foundations in the Black Sea and Propontis

5.3 Plan of the zone around the Archaic agora at Megara Hyblaea in (a) the sixth and (b) the eighth centuries

7.1 The Peloponnese

II.1 Attica

II.2 Crete

IV.1 Xerxes’ route and the Persian War of 480–79

11.1 Central Greece


1.1 The alliances that have been proposed for Eretria and Chalcis in the Lelantine War

2.1 List of months at Athens, Miletus, Rhodes, and Epidaurus (n.b. the year began in mid-summer)

2.2 Ceramic chronology for Attica and Corinthia

2.3 Argive Late Geometric pyxis, Argos Museum

2.4 Laconian black-figure hydria, Rhodes Museum

2.5 Thucydides’ dates for the foundations in Sicily

3.1 Grave Circle A, Mycenae

3.2 The tribal organization of selected Dorian cities

3.3 Attic Late Geometric oinokhoe, National Archaeological Museum, Athens

3.4 Increases/decreases in site numbers from the twelfth to the seventh centuries

3.5 Percentages of graves with metal items at Lefkandi by cemetery and period

3.6 Average number of metal items in graves at Lefkandi by cemetery and period together with the standard deviation around the mean

4.1 Estimated sizes and population levels for eighth-century settlements

4.2 “Chiefly” dwelling at Eretria

4.3 The members of the Delphic Amphictyony

5.1 Euboean pendent semicircle skyphos

5.2 Heröon at Megara Hyblaea

5.3 Early Corinthian aryballos depicting Athena and Heracles

6.1 The twelve constituent phratriai of the phylê of the Hyrnathioi at Argos in the mid-fifth century

6.2 The diolkos on the Corinthian isthmus

I.1 The variant dates ascribed to Pheidon of Argos

I.2 Boundary stone of the enclosure of the Seven against Thebes in the Argive agora

7.1 “Corinthian” hoplite helmet dedicated by Miltiades, Olympia Museum

7.2 Line drawing of the battle frieze from the Chigi Vase

7.3 Anavysos Kouros, National Archaeological Museum, Athens

8.1 Korê, signed by Antenor and dedicated by the potter Nearkhos, Acropolis Museum, Athens

8.2 Phrasikleia Korê, National Archaeological Museum, Athens

III.1 The sanctuary of Helen and Menelaus near Sparta

9.1 Ballots used in ostracism

10.1 “Wild Goat” oinokhoe, Rhodes Museum

10.2 Aeginetan stater, ca. 510-485 BCE

11.1 Temple of Hera, Olympia

11.2 Delphi


4.1 Tyrtaeus fr. 10 70

4.2 Homer, Od. 6.262–72 71

4.3 Thucydides 1.10.2 77

4.4 Aristotle, Pol. 2.1.4–5 88

5.1 Thucydides 1.12.3–4 95

5.2 Antiochus fr. 13 and Ephorus fr. 216 112

6.1 Solon fr. 4 132

6.2 Hesiod, WD 248–51, 256–62 133

I.1 Herodotus 6.127.3 146

I.2 Ephorus fr. 115 ?? Strabo 8.3.33 146

I.3 Greek Anthology 14.73 149

I.4 Pausanias 2.36.4–5 151

7.1 Aristotle, Pol. 4.10.10 158

7.2 Tyrtaeus fr. 10: 1–10, 15–32 166

7.3 Tyrtaeus fr. 11: 1–6, 11–14, 17–38 167

7.4 Pausanias 4.14.4–5 ?? Tyrtaeus frs. 6 and 7 175

8.1 Plutarch, Lyc. 6 184

8.2 Tyrtaeus fr. 4 and (in italics) Diodorus 7.12.5–6 185

8.3 Herodotus 5.68 189

9.1 Thucydides 2.15.1–2 219

9.2 Homer, Il. 2.546–68 220

10.1 Herodotus 2.178–9 243

IV.1 ML 27 ?? Fornara 59 267

11.1 Thucydides 1.3.1–3 256

11.2 ML 7 ?? Fornara 24 258

11.3 Xenophanes fr. 2 273

11.4 Hesiod frs. 9, 10(a) 20–4 274

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