The Limits of Altruism in Democratic Athens (BOK)

Matthew R. Christ

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Athenians in the classical period (508-322 BC) were drawn to an image of themselves as a compassionate and generous people who rushed to the aid of others in distress, both at home and abroad. What relation does this image bear to actual Athenian behaviour? This book argues that Athenians felt little pressure as individuals to help fellow citizens whom they did not know. Democratic ideology called on citizens to refrain from harming one another rather than to engage in mutual support, and emphasised the importance of the helping relationship between citizen and city rather than among individual citizens. If the obligation of Athenians to help fellow citizens was fairly tenuous, all the more so was their responsibility to intervene to assist the peoples of other states; a distinct pragmatism prevailed in the city's decisions concerning intervention abroad.


Språk Engelsk Engelsk Innbinding Innbundet
Utgitt 2012 Forfatter Matthew R. Christ
ISBN 9781107029774
Antall sider 135 Dimensjoner 15,2cm x 22,8cm x 2,3cm
Vekt 460 gram Leverandør Bertram Trading Ltd
Emner og form European history, Ancient history: to c 500 CE