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date: 28 January 2023

citizenship, Greeklocked

citizenship, Greeklocked

  • John Davies


Greek citizenship stemmed from the fusion of two distinct but related elements, (a) the notion of the individual state as a ‘thing’ with boundaries, an ongoing existence, and a power of decision, and (b) the notion of its inhabitants participating in its life as joint proprietors. The first element was a product of the various processes of state formation which eroded personal chieftainship by centralizing power and exercising it through a growing number of offices or magistracies with limited length of tenure: at first denoted by an extended use of the word *polis (cf. ML 2), it later engendered the more abstract term politeia, ‘polity’, ‘constitution’, or ‘commonwealth’. The second element developed from the informal but ineradicable roles which *epic already portrays as being played in communal life by the dēmos (the territory or settlement and its inhabitants) and the laos (the people in terms of roles—especially military—and relationships): reflected in various ways in early texts such as ML 2 (Dreros on *Crete), ML 8 (*Chios), or the Great Rhetra of *Sparta (Plut.


  • Greek Law

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