Proxeny and Polis: Institutional Networks in the Ancient Greek World

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This book offers an re-examination of our evidence for this important Greek institution and uses it to examine the structure and dynamics of the interstate system of the Greek world and the way in which these were transformed under the Roman Empire. This book presents a new reconstruction of proxeny, based on a detailed analysis of the function of the formulaic language of honorific decrees, and explores the way in which interstate institutions shaped the behaviour of individuals and communities in the ancient world. It draws on other material which has not been systematically exploited before to reconstruct the proxeny networks of Greek city states. This material reveals the extraordinary density of formal interconnections which characterized the ancient Greek world before the age of Augustus and reflected both trade and political contacts of different kinds. This book also traces the disappearance of both proxeny and the broader institutional system of which it was part. Drawing on nuanced analysis of quantitative trends in the epigraphic record, it argues that the Greek world underwent a profound reorientation by the time of the Roman Principate, which fundamentally altered how Greek cities viewed relations with each other.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages432
ISBN (Print)9780198713869
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2015

Publication series

NameOxford Studies in Ancient Documents
PublisherOxford University Press


  • proxeny
  • proxenia
  • polis
  • institutions
  • interstate relations
  • honorific decrees
  • networks


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