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State interactions in archaic Greece

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Loy, Michael Philip Anthony  ORCID logo


In this thesis I consider the political and economic interactions of a representative sample of seventh and sixth century B.C. state-level societies from the Aegean basin. This thesis is structured around three material based case studies, all of which use computational network-analytical techniques, and all of which consider closely issues of representativeness and uncertainty surrounding the target datasets. First, I analyse how the distribution of coinage and of ceramic types might be used together to shed light on the nature of the ancient economy, and I also consider the extent to which coins might indicate that some economic and political networks overlapped. Second, I analyse the lettersets used on inscriptions from various parts of the Aegean, and I argue that scribes chose to associate themselves with or distance themselves from certain identities and networks of political affiliation by choosing to write in various ways. Third, I investigate what the remains of freestanding marble sculpture might tell us about the scale at which some aspects of the ancient economy operated, and about shipping routes in archaic Greece. I conclude that, contrary to the long-held belief by scholars, political activity did not determine other forms of networking between city-states, nor are political interactions readily visible in the archaeological record. Furthermore, I suggest that there was a greater degree of planning and targeting of markets in the formation of the economy of archaic Greece than has been generally understood. The contributions of this thesis, therefore, are both historical, in suggesting these alternative narratives, but also methodological, in providing ways to creatively engage with the critical mass of material data that exists from archaic Greece.





Osborne, Robin
Broodbank, Cyprian


classical archaeology, ancient history, archaic greece, archaic period, seventh century bc, sixth century bc, states, state theory, state interactions, network analysis, social network analysis, networks, ceramics, coins, alphabets, marble statues


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Awarding Institution

University of Cambridge
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Pembroke College, award number AH/L503897/1
Is supplemented by: