Violence, Civil Strife and Revolution in the Classical City: 750-330 BC

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Violent conflict between individuals and groups was as common in the ancient world as it has been in more recent history. Detested in theory, it nevertheless became as frequent as war between sovereign states. The importance of such 'stasis' was recognised by political thinkers of the time, especially Thucydides and Aristotle, both of whom tried to analyse its causes. Violence, Civil Strife and Revolution in the Classical City, first published in 1982, gives a conspectus of stasis in the societies of Greek antiquity, and traces the development of civil strife as city-states grew in political, social and economic sophistication. Aristocratic rivalry, tensions between rich and poor, imperialism and constitutional crisis are all discussed, while special consideration is given to the attitudes of the participants and the theoretical explanations offered at the time. In conclusion, civil strife in the ancient world is compared to more recent conflicts, both domestic and international.