Regional Approaches to Society and Complexity - Alex R. Knodell

Regional Approaches to Society and Complexity - Alex R. Knodell

7. Political Borders in Pausanias' Greece

Regional Approaches to Society and Complexity - Alex R. Knodell

Sylvian Fachard [+-]
American School of Classical Studies at Athens
Sylvian Fachard was a Swiss National Science Foundation Senior Research Associate at the University of Geneva, and he has recently been appointed Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Classical Studies at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. He co-directs the Mazi Archaeological Project in northwestern Attica, Greece and has directed excavation and publication projects in Eretria and in Argos. His monograph La défense du territoire. Etude de la chóra et de ses fortifications, Eretria (In Folio, 2012) was awarded the Georges Perrot Medal from the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres de l'Institut de France.

Description

While touring the province of Achaia in the second century AD, Pausanias crossed and described dozens of political borders dividing Greek poleis. This may seem trivial, but no other Greek author dedicates such attention to the position and nature of political limits. In this paper, the author establishes a catalog of 60 borders recorded by Pausanias, mapping and categorizing each border-crossing according to its type and nature. The examination of the evidence shows that Pausanias’ attention and sensitivity for borders do not only betray a personal interest, but also a historical, topographical, geographical, and, perhaps more importantly, a geopolitical one as well. It also suggests that the Greek polis remained an important and recognized territorial cell in the world system of the Roman empire and that the borders of poleis continued to play a significant role. Moreover, the author argues that Pausanias should be held as an essential source for understanding how the polis, as a regional political entity braced by centuries of peer polity interaction, responded to the macro-geographical phenomenon of ‘global’ Roman ascendancy throughout the Mediterranean.

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Citation

Fachard, Sylvian. 7. Political Borders in Pausanias' Greece. Regional Approaches to Society and Complexity. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 132-157 Jan 2018. ISBN 9781781795279. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=30807. Date accessed: 17 Nov 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.30807. Jan 2018

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