02/21/2018 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

The Autobiographical Polis

Community and History in Classical and Hellenistic Greece

Daniel Tober

All communities tell stories about themselves. In literate communities, this historical consciousness manifests itself not only as cultural memory but also as local historiography. The ubiquity of the form is astonishing; whether the focalizer is polis or urbs, county or parish, state or nation, local history abounds. My talk, "The Autobiographical Polis," explores the phenomenon of local history in Classical and Hellenistic Greece, suggesting that the self-identity of a Greek community is reflected in the way its members construct narratives of the collective past.
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