Beyond potential citizenship: a network approach to understanding grants of Politeia

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Authors

Colleges, School and Institutes

Abstract

Within a Greek world which was, it is increasingly clear, characterised by high levels of personal mobility and a dense network of interconnections, the concept of citizenship played a crucial role in drawing lines between different groups of people to define the citizen-states which constituted its basic political fabric. It is striking, therefore, that politeia is most frequently attested in our documentary record in texts granting citizenship to outsiders, both to individuals and, remarkably, to entire communities. These grants of citizenship consequently form the basic structuring principle of the only modern attempt to write a history of citizenship in the ancient Greek world, Emil Szanto’s, Das Griechische Bürgerrecht (1892). This material, however, prompts two basic questions which, I would argue, have still not been answered adequately, for all that they have important implications for our understanding of citizenship: What did it mean when citizenship was granted? And, could one be the citizen of more than one political community? This article will seek to identify contemporary answers to these questions in the documentary record of citizenship grants of the Classical and early Hellenistic periods.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLa cité interconnectée dans le monde gréco-romain (ive siècle a.C.- ive siècle p.C.).
Subtitle of host publicationTransferts et réseaux institutionnels, religieux et culturels aux époques hellénistique et impériale
EditorsMadalina Dana, Ivana Savalli-Lestrade
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2019