A Small Greek World by Irad Malkin

By Irad Malkin

Greek civilization and id crystallized now not whilst Greeks have been shut jointly but if they got here to be a long way aside. It emerged in the course of the Archaic interval while Greeks based coastal urban states and buying and selling stations in ever-widening horizons from the Ukraine to Spain. No middle directed their diffusion: mom towns have been a number of and the recent settlements (»colonies») might frequently engender extra settlements. The «Greek middle» used to be at sea it was once shaped via back-ripple results of cultural convergence, following the actual divergence of autonomous settlements. «The beaches of Greece are like hems stitched onto the lands of Barbarian peoples» (Cicero). total, and despite distance, cost practices grew to become Greek within the making and Greek groups way more resembled one another than any in their specific pals just like the Etruscans, Iberians, Scythians, or Libyans. The distinction among «center and outer edge» infrequently mattered (all was once peri-, «around»), nor was once a bi-polar distinction with Barbarians of a lot importance.

Should we appreciate the Greeks for having created their civilization even with the big distances and discontinuous territories keeping apart their autonomous groups? Or did the salient facets in their civilization shape and crystallize due to its structure as a de-centralized community? This booklet claims that the reply lies in community attributes shaping a «Small Greek World,» the place separation is measured through levels of touch instead of by means of actual dimensions.

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Dormant for long periods, trade networks underwent a period of intensive activation and qualitative change. " The eighth century started the process of transforming disparate maritime cultures into a Mediterranean civilization based on ties among mostly city-oriented nodes. Phoenicians, Greeks, and to some degree Etruscans were founding new settlements, thus signaling a social and political model diametrically opposed to what the far more affiuent ancient Near East had to offer. " The transition to intensive connectivity among cities and emporia may be illustrated by a Greek literary representation of a Phoenician example: The Odyssey describes a fioating Phoenician emporion, a ship anchoring for one year, trading with the natives, yet making it impossible for the Phoenician traders to ever retum because, just before leaving, they also abduct the prince Eumaios, who ends up as Odysseus' s pig farmer in Ithaca.

The Internet lacks the hierarchical structure of the Cathedral and is more akin to the bazaar" and is therefore emblematic of the current view of decentralized networks. lt is also a type of network remarkably similar to the structure of historical networks in the Archaic Mediterranean (figure 1-4). Applying network concepts to historical civilizations seems to belong to our own Zeitgeist. "As a historical trend," says M. Castells, "dominant functions and processes are increasingly organized around networks.

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