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The Ancient City


Part of Key Themes in Ancient History

  • Date Published: November 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521198356

£ 65.99

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About the Authors
  • Greece and Rome were quintessentially urban societies. Ancient culture, politics and society arose and developed in the context of the polis and the civitas. In modern scholarship, the ancient city has been the subject of intense debates due to the strong association in Western thought between urbanism, capitalism and modernity. In this book, Arjan Zuiderhoek provides a survey of the main issues at stake in these debates, as well as a sketch of the chief characteristics of Greek and Roman cities. He argues that the ancient Greco-Roman city was indeed a highly specific form of urbanism, but that this does not imply that the ancient city was somehow 'superior' or 'inferior' to forms of urbanism in other societies, just (interestingly) different. The book is aimed primarily at students of ancient history and general readers, but also at scholars working on urbanism in other periods and places.

    • Offers a brief and accessible survey of some of the main scholarly debates on the ancient city
    • Provides an overview of the main characteristics of Greek and Roman cities (their politics, society, economics, urban space, and so on)
    • Argues for the historical specificity of the ancient city in comparison with cities in other periods and places and thus contributes to the ongoing debates concerning the nature of the ancient city and pre-modern cities more generally
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This book is a thoughtful study of cities in the ancient world, arguing that the similarities between the Greek and Roman models far outweighed the differences.' Rupert Jackson, Classics for All

    '… this compact scholarly book will be useful to scholars of urbanism across many disciplines.' CHOICE

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2016
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521198356
    • length: 266 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 235 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.45kg
    • contains: 6 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: the ancient city as concept and reality
    2. Origins, development and spread of cities in the ancient world
    3. City and country
    4. Urban landscape and environment
    5. Politics and political institutions
    6. Civic ritual and civic identity
    7. Urban society: stratification and mobility
    8. The urban economy
    9. City-states and cities and states
    10. The end of the ancient city?

  • Author

    Arjan Zuiderhoek, Universiteit Gent, Belgium
    Arjan Zuiderhoek is Associate Professor of Ancient History at the Department of History, Ghent University. He is author of The Politics of Munificence in the Roman Empire: Citizens, Elites and Benefactors in Asia Minor (Cambridge, 2009) and editor, with Paul Erdkamp and Koenraad Verboven, of Ownership and Exploitation of Land and Natural Resources in the Roman World (2015).

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