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Anthropology and the Classics: War, Violence, and the Stateless Polis Author(s): Moshe Berent Source: The

Classical Quarterly, New Series, Vol. 50, No. 1 (2000), pp. 257-289 Published by: Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Classical Association Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1558951 . Accessed: 15/08/2013 12:48
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50.1257-289 Printed Classical in Great Britain (2000) Quarterly


I. INTRODUCTION in contemporary It has becomea commonplace to note the frequency historiography of warin ancientGreece.2 YvonGarlansaysthat,duringthe centuryand a half from the Persianwars(490 and 480-479 B.C.) to the battleof Chaeronea Athens (338 B.C.), was at war,on average, morethan two yearsout of everythree,and neverenjoyeda 'Giventhese conditions',says periodof peace for as long as ten consecutive years.3 Garlan,'one would expectthem (i.e. the Greeks)to considerwar as a problem.... But this was far frombeingthe case.'4 The Greekacceptance of waras inevitable was contrasted by Momigliano and others with the attention given to constitutional changes and to the preventionof stasis:'the Greekscame to acceptwar like birth and deathabout whichnothingcould be done.... On the otherhandconstitutions weremen-madeand could be modifiedby men.'5 Moralistovertoneswerenot absentfrom this re-evaluation of Greekcivilization. Havelockobserved that the Greeksexalted,legitimized, and placedorganized warfare at the heartof the European valuesystem,and Momigliano that: suggested Theideaof controlling liketheideaof theemancipation of women andtheideaof birth wars, is a part of theintellectual revolution of thenineteenth andmeant a break with control, century theclassical tradition of historiography of wars.6 More recentstudieshavequestioned the assumption that 'warwas an everpresent that it confusesimportance with frequency: war was realityin Greeklife', suggesting an 'everpresent at leastnot all thetimeand not yet not necessarily important, reality', for all thepoleis.7 ThusConnormaintains that'thesignificance of warin earlyGreek civilization... is not to be measured but by its symbolicpower'.8 It by its frequency has been arguedfurtheragainst the traditionalview that the rules of the hoplite pitched battle clearly indicatethat the Greeksknew and practised,at least in the archaicand early classicalperiods,a firm control of wars.Thus it seems that the Thispaper is basedon my Cambridge Ph.D.thesis. I owespecial to twomenin thanks DrPaul whohasalsohelped meto bring thispaper to its Cambridge: mysupervisor, Cartledge, andthelateProfessor finalform, Ernest whocommented on mythesis andon earlier Gellner, versions of thispaper. I wish alsoto thank W Z.Rubinsohn Professor of Tel-Aviv and University DrA. Avidov fortheir remarks. helpful


W R. Connor,'EarlyGreekwarfare as symbolicexpression', Past andPresent119(1988),

in theAncientWorld: A SocialHistory, trans. JanetLloyd(London,1975), 3 YvonGarlan,War andempire', in Ancient 15,andsee also M. I. Finley'War Evidence andModels History: (London, 1985),67. 4 Garlan(n. 3), 16. ' A. 'On causesof war in ancienthistoriography', in Studiesin Historiography Momigliano, (London, 1966), 120; Finley (n. 3), 68 says that 'it was universally acceptedin antiquitythat war is a natural conditionof humansociety.Neitherhistorians nor philosophers everaskedthe question,Whywar?' 6 Momigliano 'War as a wayof life in classical in E. Gareau (n. 5), 124;E. Havelock, culture', andtheModern World (ed.), ClassicalValues (Ottawa, 1972),37. 'War, 7 PeterT. Manicas, stasis,and Greekpoliticalthought',SCSSH(1982),673-4. Connor Connor(n. 2), 8. (n. 2), 6-8.

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traditional viewconfused'controlling wars'with avoiding themaltogether. It has been that the assumption that the importance and prevalence of pointedout furthermore warswererootedin Greekintellectual, or moraltraits,or related to the psychological, Greekconceptof humannature,tendsto ignorethe fact that war in ancientGreece was directly related to thatuniqueGreekinvention-thepolis.As Manicasobserves: Butthekeyto themeaning of warin ancient Greece is a firmunderstanding andgrasp of the thepolis.A failure Greek to keepeventhemostelementary factsaboutthepoliscity-state, inmind hasbeenthesource of much world confusion andmisunderstanding.9 One of these 'elementary natureof the facts', usuallyignored,is the decentralized As I will arguein this paper, polis which bears directlyupon its warlikecharacter. assumed,thepolis was not a state,but rather contraryto whathas beentraditionally what the anthropologistscall a stateless community.In Max Weber's celebrated definitionof the state, a statelesscommunityis characterized by the absenceof an agencyor classwhichmonopolizesthe use of violence,andby the fact thatthe ability to use force is more or less evenly distributed among armedor potentiallyarmed membersof the community. Theroleof warin acephalous communities has beenan objectof extensive studyby anthropologistsand receivedspecial attention in the various writingsof Ernest Gellner.One of the important factsaboutstateless communities that one shouldbear in mindis thattheyarepartof the agrarian world.Gellner pointsout thatwhilein our time 'violencebecomes... optional,counterproductive and probably fatal',this was not the case for the agrarian worldin whichviolencewas 'pervasive, and mandatory normative' andmilitary skillswerecentral to thedominant Oneof the reasons ethos.'0 for the primacyof violenceis that, unlikethe industrial world world,in the agrarian wealth can generallybe acquiredmore easily and quickly throughcoercion and thanthrough in violencearegenerally predation production. Consequently 'specialists endowedwith a rank higherthan that of specialistsin production'." Accordingto in a certainagrarian whether wouldtakethe formof coercion Gellner, societyviolence or predationdependson how the meansof coercionare distributed. Most agrarian communitiesare authoritarian, that is, stratified wherethe means of state-societies, coercionare centralized or monopolizedby a rulingclass.In such societiescoercion takesthe formof statedomination and stateappropriation of surplus Yet production. there is another kind of agrariansociety--egalitarian statelesscommunities. These societies are characterized that is, almost by a high militaryparticipation ratio,12 everybodycarries arms in wartime.A most obvious exampleof such societies is locatedin difficult pastoralnomadism, yet they can also be foundamongpeasantries terrain.What characterizes such communities is that they resist coercion.In such statelesscommunities violencewould take the form of defence,predation,and war againstthe outsideworld.13 Yet, accordingto Gellner,war has another importantfunction in acephalous communities: it is throughwar that thesecommunities maintaintheircohesion.The
9 Manicas(n. 7), 674. 'Ananthropological viewof warandviolence', in R. Hinde(ed.), TheInstitution 10 E. Gellner, of War (Basingstoke, 1991),62.

" Gellner (n. 10),63.


Gellner borrowed this phrase from S. Andreski, Military Organization and Society (London,

19682). 13 Gellner (n. 10), 63. See also his Muslim Society (Cambridge, 1981), 20-1.

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dominant role of war in fosteringthe unity of agrarianstatelesscommunitiesis of stateor centralized to the absence attributed authority.14 view of the role of war in stateless To what extent can Gellner's anthropological be helpfulfor the understanding of its role in the Greekpolis?Thereis communities Theacceptance of war herea possiblesolutionforthe 'paradox' posedby Momigliano. and the rejection of stasis is not paradoxicalif agrarianstateless communities theireconomythrough war.Thusif one chose maintaintheircohesionand sometimes politicallife,one had also to acceptwaras inevitable. II. POLIS,TRIBE,AND STATE. havetraditionally identifiedthe statelesscommunity Social anthropologists with the was not tribaland it is stronglydoubted The classicalpolis, thoughstateless, tribe."5 todaywhethertribalformseverexistedin ancientGreeceevenin archaictimes.Thus, of the Greekpolis, it is though my next step would be to establishthe statelessness how it differed from tribal also to out stateless societiesstudiedby necessary point anthropologists. definitionsof statecould be classifiedinto those Broadlyspeaking,the traditional and (ii) authority or the structure of the government basedon (i) stratification itself.16 stressthe correlationbetweenstates and the Definitions based on stratification socialclasses.In those definitions the stateis eitheridentified existenceof permanent with the rulingclass or viewedas dominated by the rulingclass, and is used as an of surplusproduction. for the appropriation instrument Althoughthose definitions andespecially withMarxism, withEngels's haveusuallybeenassociated Origins of the
Family, Private Property and the State, stratification is considered today as a universal

correlate of the early(andpre-modern ThusGellnerobserves that state.'7 agrarian)

lation, rigidly separate from the great majority of direct agricultural producers, or peasants. Generally speaking, its ideology exaggerates rather than underplays the inequality of classes and the degree of separation of the ruling stratum. This can in turn be sub-divided into a number of more specialized layers: warriors, priests, clerics, administrators, burghers .... The whole system favours horizontal lines of cultural cleavage, and it may invent and reinforce them when they are absent.18

theruling In thecharacteristic classforms a small of thepopuagro-literate polity, minority

14 Gellner (n. 13, 1981), 93-4. This is when compared to state-societies in general. When compared to the modem industrial nation-state, another factor is added here, that is, that 'by promising security and affluence for all those who acquire its culture in a literate manner, it can also secure popular loyalty'. Thus while in the agrarian state it is the centralized authority which commands loyalty, in the modem nation-state it is also 'the nation' and 'the culture' which secure loyalty through the affluence and security they promise. 15 See below n. 41. 16 R. Cohen, 'State origins: a reappraisal', in Henry Claessen and Peter Skalnik (edd.), The Early State (The Hague, 1978), 32-4; R. Cohen, 'Introduction', in R. Cohen and E. Service

have modified Cohen's position slightly, limiting myself to traditional definitions of the state. Thus under (b) Cohen includes also state definitions based upon 'information processing' ('Introduction', p. 2). This is a recent development (p. 3), and as such non-traditional. Cohen adds also (c) 'diagnostic traits' which 'lump together certain common traits found among early centralized states' (p. 3), which he rightly rejects because 'it is impossible to obtain a set of traits that applies to more than a few societies' (p. 3).
18 E.

Evolution (edd.), Origins of the State: TheAnthropology of Political 1978),2-5. I (Philadelphia,

Claessen andPeter 'The state: andhypotheses', theories in Claessen Skalnik, early "7 Henry andSkalnik (n. 16),20-1.
from that of classical Marxism. According to the latter,stratification, or the emergenceof classes,

Gellner,Nationsand Nationalism (Oxford,1983),9-10. Gellner's positionis different

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Gellner himself does not think that his model of the agrarian state applies to the classical Greek world, pointing out that the Greek world lacked horizontal cultural

domination. IndeedGellnercallsGreeksocietya differentiation and a military-clerical

'domination-free society'.19Yet, the existence of exploitation (notably slavery) or of privileged groups (notably the citizens) in the polis could not be denied. In the same manner one could not deny that in a certain sense the citizens did have a monopoly on the application of physical force. These have led to attempts to modify the model (Gellner's) of the agrarian state in order to make it applicable to the ancient Greek arena. I will return to these attempts later on. A second set of definitions of the state focuses on the structureof the governmental system itself, looking for institutional hierarchy and centralization, territorial sovereignty, the monopoly of the application of physical coercion.20 Here the best starting point would probably be Max Weber'scelebrateddefinition of the state as that agency within society which possesses the monopoly of legitimate violence.21 Gellner follows Weber'sdefinition of the state: and important elaboration of the socialdivisionof The stateconstitutesone highlydistinctive labour. Wherethereis no divisionof labourone cannotevenbeginto speakof the state.Butnot makesa state:the stateis the specialization andconcentration of order any or everyspecialism The 'state' is that institutionor set of institutionsspecifically maintenance. concernedwith of order(whatever else they may also be concernedwith). The state exists the enforcement suchas policeforcesandcourts,haveseparated wherespecialized out order-enforcing agencies, fromthe restof sociallife.Theyarethe state.22 This definition is far from being true for the polis. Osborne observes that in Athens 'there was no equivalent to the authority of the state, no attempt to monopolize the use of force. Such a monopoly of legitimate use of force has been seen as one defining feature of the state ...'23 The rudimentarycharacter of state-coercive apparatus in the polis has been noted by Sir Moses Finley among others. With the partial exceptions of Sparta, the Athenian navy, and tyrannies, the polis had no standing army. Only in the case of tyrannies were militias used for internal policing.24 (Tyrannies were indeed attempts to centralize the means of coercion, that is, to create something which resembles a state.) As for police, it seems to be agreed that the ancient polis 'never that of the state.Thus,classicalMarxism must precede sees the stateas a 'thirdpower'and the the rulingandthe ruled.Gellner, between on theotherhand,identifies prizeof the classstruggle the rulingclasseswiththe (agrarian) stateandlimitsstruggles forpowerto the rulingstrataonly therulingclasses).SeeM. Mann,'States (thatis, in Marxisttermshe identifies only'one power': ancientandmodem',in States,War andCapitalism 48-9. (Oxford, 1988), (London,1991),22.

"9Gellner (n. 18), 14; E. Gellner, Plough, Sword and Book: The Structure of Human History M. Weber, Economy and Society: An Outline of InterpretiveSociology, 2 vols, ed. G. Roth

20 Cohen (n. 16, 1978), 34.

23 R. Osborne, Demos: The Discovery of Classical Attika (Cambridge, 1985), 7; C. Starr in his Individualand Community:The Rise of the Polls 800-500 B.c. (New York, 1986) says 'one cannot

and C. Wittich(Berkeley, 1978),54. 22 Gellner(n. 18), 4.

avoid the term "state"in a political analysis,but the polis differedfundamentally from the abstractentity implied in the word as used from Machiavelli onward'(p. 36). Starrdoubts whether the Weberian definitionof Stateis applicable to thepolis (p. 44). However, he seemsto see it as problematic in the caseof the early andnot fortheclassical one (p. 45). polis only 24 M. I. Finley, Politics in the Ancient World(Cambridge, 1983),18-20. 25 E. Badian, and H. H. Scullard 'Police',in N. G. L. Hammond Classical (edd.),TheOxford
Dictionary (Oxford, 19702),851.

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the nearest a proper thingto it was usuallya 'smallnumber policesystem';25 developed of publiclyownedslavesat the disposalof the different magistrates'.26 meantthatthe abilityto applyphysical The absenceof publiccoerciveapparatuses threat was evenly distributedamong armedor potentiallyarmedmembersof the thatis, the citizen-body. Thus,as Lintotthas observed, community, policingwasdone (that is, with the help of friends,neighbours, by self-helpand self-defence family). Therewas no publicprosecution to thepopularcourts system,andcaseswerebrought eitherby interested In the samemanner, courtorderswerenot partiesor by volunteers. sometimes carried out by the officialsbut by the interested Thus parties, by self-help.27 to VirginiaHunterobservesthat 'privateinitiativeand self-helpwere fundamental and that the 'Athenian citizen an Athens' to participated unprecedented policing degreein the socialcontrolof theirown society'.28 In Athens, for instance, the Eleven, who had the charge of the prison and Yet they, like most executions,could be seen as a state law-enforcement apparatus. wereordinary Athenianmagistrates, citizens,chosenby lot for one year.The Eleven makearrestson theirown initiative. Thosewerecarriedout by selfdid not normally or wordsthe prisoners were interested volunteers.29 In other individuals, by help, by wasnot normally a formof punishment imprisonment broughtto the Eleven.Further, sinceprisonsare (whichis not surprising, polis30 imposedby the courtsin the classical of the state);in Athensit was more usual to machinery typicalof the bureaucratic of the Elevenuntilthey were detainpeoplein the publicprisonunderthe supervision The Elevenwere also tried or while they were awaitingexecution(by the Eleven).31 for the executionwithouttrialof kakourgoi, that is, robbers, thieves,and responsible who werecaughtred-handed andconfessed. othercriminals were Againthe kakourgoi not arrested citizens.32 Therewas also by the Elevenbut broughtto themby ordinary whichwere 'probably in Athens a corps of Scythianarchers, more decorative than in for order law-courts and assemblies'.33 useful,especially keeping couldbe described To the extentthatthis apparatus as a policeforce,its rudimentbecomesobviouswhenone is considering the size of the populationin ary character Attica(above200,000including ThusFinleyemphasizes that: non-citizens34). Neitherpoliceactionagainst individual miscreants nor crisismeasures against largescale
'subversion' tells us howa Greekcity-state or Romewasnormally ableto enforce governmental decisionsthroughthe whole gamutfrom foreignpolicy to taxationand civil law,when they
Finley (n. 24), 18. Andrew Lintott, Violence, Civil Strife and Revolution in the Classical City. 750-330 B.c. (London and Canberra, 1982), 26; Virginia J. Hunter, Policing Athens: Social Controlin the Attic Lawsuits, 420-320 B.c. (Princeton, 1994), ch. 5, 140-3. 29 28 Hunter(n. 27), 149. Hunter(n. 27), 134-9.Lintott(n. 27). " Stephen Todd, 'Penalty', in the Glossary-Index of Nomos: Essays in Athenian Law, Politics

andSociety,ed. PaulCartledge, PaulMillett,andStephen Todd(Cambridge, 1990),234. to paya finecouldfaceimprisonment untilhe paidit. DouglasM. 31 Also a man condemned Athens MacDowell,TheLawin Classical (London,1978),257.

was a process(rarelymentioned (Odense,1976),9-25. However, ephegesis by the sources)in whicharrestwascarried out by the Elevenprobably becausethe prosecutor lackedthe powerto makethe arrest(ibid.,24-7). Hunter (n. 27), 134-9. to the krupteia as a 'secret police'.Hereselected youngSpartans 33 Badian(n. 25). Somerefer were terrorizing the helots by murdering secretlyany supposedlydangeroushelot. This was a sort of initiationrite.The krupteia was usedagainstthe Helotsand not againstthe probably andtheCrisis Badian,ibid.;P.Cartledge, Spartiates. Agesilaos of Sparta (LondonandBaltimore, of professional 1987),30-2. However, Spartawas not a typicalpolis sinceit was a community
warriors. 34 A. W Gomme and R. J. Hopper, 'Population', OCD2, 862.

M. H. Hansen, Apagoge, Endeixis and Ephegesisagainst Kakourgoi,Atimoi and Pheugontes

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withwhich, in Laski's 'to coerce theopponents themeans lacked vigorous language, evidently to break their to compel them to submission'.35 of thegovernment, wills, of state institutions'from the rest of or the separation As for the differentiation social life', Finleyhas noted also that Athens,with all its impressive politicalinstituno bureaucracy had virtually at all.36 Athens's tions and empire, politicalinstitutions, the Assembly(ekklesia),the Council (boule),and the Lawcourts were (dikasteria), fromthe demos.37 The variousofficesin Athens(most of popular,not differentiated the archonsbutnot the generals the magistrates, weredesignated including [strategoi]) of lot for one lot for short Designation politicalofficesby by periodsis another year.38 the differentiation a of of state. It also bore way preventing directlyon the 'constitutional' and actualpowerof thoseofficials. Osborne observes that executive officials whowere Athens didhave heldresponsible fortheir butthesemen actions,
This leadsto the elisionof anythingthat could werelittle morethan ciphersof a civil service. be termedan executive officersto individuals not distinctfromthe power,and reduces properly

In Athens it is possibleto distinguish also between'government' in the sense of and officials,on the one hand, and 'government' in the senseof politicalinstitutions and officeswerestaffed peoplewho formulated policy.Whilethe politicalinstitutions thusexhibiting no divisionof labour, one can speakof a certainkindof by amateurs, division of labour consideringthe 'professional politicians'in Athens, that is, the and those who and in Yetin the sensethat proposed spoke the assembly. demagogues thesepeoplecouldbe calleda government, thiswascertainly a non-state government. The Athenianleaderdid not haveany formalpositionand state coerciveapparatus at his disposal. He was simplya charismatic individual,a demagogue,who could persuadethe people in the Assemblyto accepthis policies,but still riskedlosing his influence(andhis life!),andhavinghis policiesrejected at anymoment.40 The statelessness of the Greekpolis makessocial anthropology a properdiscipline for its analysis. such an should not be carried out withoutqualificaHowever, analysis tions.The mainobstacleseemsto be thatanthropologists tendto identifythe stateless while it is communitywith the tribe (and Gellnerseemsto follow this tradition),41 agreedthatthe classical poliswasnot tribalandit is todayverymuchdoubtedwhether tribalformseverexistedevenin archaicGreece. the traditional was that the classical However, view,dominantuntil recently, polis had evolved from the archaicpolis which was tribal. This traditionseemed to be whichlooked supportedby the existenceof the Athenian phylai,gene,and phratries, like lineagesystems.The idea of the tribalpolis had receivedits traditional formulationin the nineteenth andwascanonized century by Groteand Fustelde Coulanges in the late nineteenth of socialanthropology, centurythroughthe influence especially the writingsof LewisMorgan.42 Yetit has in the last two decadescome undera fierce
35Finley(n. 24), 24.
36 37

Thisis the traditional view.However, Hansenarguesthatthe dikasteria, the lawcourts, were a differentiated M. H. Hansen,'Demos,ekklesia, and dikasterion: a reply body.See,forinstance, to MartinOstwald andJosiahOber',Classica et Mediaevalia 40 (1989),102. 38 Finley (n. 36), 75. (n. 23), 9. 39Osborne

M. I. Finley, The Ancient Greeks(Harmondsworth, 1977), 75.

M. I. Finley, Democracy Ancient and Modern (London, 19852),24.

G. Grote, History of Greece, vol. 2 (London, 1862), 265-6. N. D. Fustel de Coulanges (1864), The Ancient City: A Study on Religion, Laws and Institutionsof Greeceand Rome (Balti-

41 42

Gellner(n. 10),64;Gellner (n. 13, 1981),24-5; Gellner (n. 19, 1991),152.

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Rousseland Bourriot.43 attackwhichwas startedby the worksof two Frenchscholars, Accordingto these two scholarsthe tribal model of archaicGreecewas mainlya and earlytwentieth-century rationalizing. Heavilyinfluproductof late nineteenththeoriesof the day, historianspostulated enced by the evolutionistanthropological and Greeksmust(likeMorgan's havehad 'tribes','phratries', that primitive Iroquois) Roussel and Bourriot refuted the notion of the archaic Greek tribal 'clans'.44 communitybasicallyby pointing out there is no literaryevidencein Homericand clan cults,andjoint family,or that the obligation of clan property, Archaicliterature restedwithina joint family; rather in blood-feuds of assistance (thatis, self-help) they showedthat the wordgenosis usedin its normalmeaningof birthor familyorigins.45 evidencewhich supportsthe Further,they showed that there is no archaeological burialplots fromthe DarkAge to the classicaltimes.46 existenceof continuous adoptedRoussel's findings,suggestedthat the notion Finley,who enthusiastically and that 'in so far as it is not merely of the tribalpolis 'runscounterto the evidence' of a lineartheoryof humansocialevolution,it reflectsa fundamental the by-product confusionbetweenfamilyandclanor tribe'.47 withcontemporary Greeksocialstructure theoriesof tribal the archaic Comparing structuregives reasons for furtherdoubts over the allegedtribalnatureof archaic whichis associated withthe worksof Evans-Pritchard and Greece. theory, Segmentary when tribal that a Gellner,suggests communityis dividedin times of conflict,the to lineage.However, the divisionswithinthepolis were divisionshouldbe according wasexerted on an ad hocbasisby family, friends, Self-help usuallyad hoc associations. The and neighboursin orderto respondto particularsituationsor emergencies.48 Greek political divisions in the case of civil war, the staseis, were 'temporarily withthe so-calledGreekkinship andwerenot identical groupsof citizens'49 organized in the Greekpolis shouldbe addedto the proof units.The absenceof segmentation that these were not kinshipgroups (at least as those are envisagedby segmentary theory)."5

more, 1980), 92-112, esp. 109-12. LewisHenryMorgan(1877),AncientSociety(Cambridge, MA, 1964).

43 D. Roussel, Tribu et cite: itudes sur les groupes sociaux dans les cites grecques aux epoques archaiqueet classique (Paris, 1976). E Bourriot, Recherchessur la naturedu genos: tude d'histoire et classique (Lille and Paris, 1976). sociale Athinienne-periodes archai'que

of darkageGreece', 80(1985),295-6. Classical Donlan,'Thesocialgroups Philology 4 Walter Roussel(n. 43), 99-103. of the archaicperiod', 45 RichardC. Smith, 'The clans of Athens and the historiography ClassicalViews n.s. 4 (1985),53. Seealso Bourriot (n. 43), 240-300;Roussel(n. 43), 30-1. These formedthe traditional features notionof the tribalcommunity basedon the nineteenth-century definition of thegenosoriginally formulated by GeorgeGroteandmodified by LewisMorgan. 46 Bourriot (n. 43), 850-99;Smith(n. 45), 54-5. 47 Finley (n. 24), 44-5. See also Finley,'Max Weberand the Greekcity-state', in Ancient and Models(London,1985),p. 91; 0. Murray, 'Citiesof reason',in Oswyn History:Evidence
Murray and Simon Price (edd.), The Greek City: From Homer to Alexander(Oxford, 1990), 13.

M. Schofield, and R. Sorabji (edd.) Articles on Aristotle, vol. 2: Ethics and Politics (London,

See note 27 above. Marcus Wheeler,'Aristotle's analysisof the natureof political struggle',in J. Barnes,

polis, see M. Berent, 'Stasis, or the Greek invention of politics', History of Political Thought 19

1977),168. of the 50For a more detaileddiscussionof the relationbetweenstasis and the statelessness

between thepolisandthe tribe,see ibid.,344-8. (1998),331-62.Fora moredetailed comparison

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AND EXPLOITATION: THE POLISAND III. SLAVERY THE AGRARIANSTATE viewof the politicalsystemsof anthropological Generallyspeaking,withinGellner's the agrarianworld,the polis, being both statelessand non-tribal,seemsto haveno of the meansof coercionis concerned, so far as the distribution place.Nevertheless, statelesscommunities thepolis shouldbe classifiedalongwith the warlike egalitarian worldratherthanwith coerciveauthoritarian state-societies. of the agrarian However,the existenceof exploitation(notablyslavery)or of privileged groups (notablythe citizens)and the fact thatin a certainsensethe citizensdid havea monoof physical forcecouldindicatethat thepolis was a 'coercive' poly on the application community.5Thus attemptshave been made to modify (Gellner's)model of the agrarianstate in orderto makeit suitablefor the ancientGreekworld.An analysis couldelaborate further on the differences between thepolis and of thesemodifications state. the agrarian The most obviouswayto modifythe modelof the agrarian statewouldbe to follow Morris in drawingthe main horizontal line (which separatesrulers from ruled) betweenthe citizensand the slavepopulation.52 Again,seeingthe citizensas a 'ruling modelof the agrarian statebecauseof the absenceof a class'conflictswith Gellner's soldiersor administrators. Thus divisionof labour:the citizenswerenot professional seemsto be suggested who saysthat two necesa furthermodification by Runciman, in a polis: saryconditionsareparamount
autonomous in the senseof holdinga monopolyof the means First,a polis mustbe juridically to whichits lawsapply.Second,its formof social organization of coercionwithina territory betweencitizens,whosemonopolyof the meansof coercionit mustbe centredon a distinction the incumbency of central is, who shareamongthemselves roles,andwho subscribe government andnon-citizens, to an ideologyof mutualrespect, the product of whoselabouris controlled by
the citizens even if the citizens do the same work (when not under arms).

Runcimanstill considerscoercionin whathe calls 'a citizen-state',as a meansof His modelassumes of surplus thatthecitizen-body actsas production." appropriation in general.Is this a sort of a centralized body towardsthe slavesor the non-citizens viewjustified? Withthe conspicuous of Sparta,the absence of anyorganized militiasor exception otherwise bodies for internal is professional policing recognized today.How,then,were the slavescontrolled? Ancient Greecewas characterized by chattelslavery;that is, slaveswere usually ownedby individual mastersand not by the public.54 and this is important, Further, the control of the slaveswas also 'private', that is, by self-help.In an illuminating Socratesequatesthe slave-owner with the tyrant. It is the passage in the Republic business of the slave-owner to control the slaves.But why is it that 'Such slave'5

were sometimes employed as hoplites. Nevertheless, this employment created pressures for enfranchisement (see below). 52 See Ian Morris, 'The early Polis as a city and state', in John Rich and Andrew Wallace-Hadrill (edd.) City and Countryin the Ancient World(London, 1991), 46-9.

A case againstcitizens'monopolyof violencecouldbe madeby the fact that non-citizens

and Price (n. 47), 348 (emphasis added). ' Though there were public slaves in Athens, the demosioi, who helped the magistrates to perform their public duties and did other public works. M. H. Hansen, The AthenianDemocracy in the Age of Demosthenes: StructurePrinciplesand Ideology (Oxford, 1991), 123-4.

W G. Runciman, 'Doomedto extinction: thepolisas an evolutionary deadend',in Murray

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The answer is that'the entire owners... don'tlive in fearof theirslaves.' polis (pasae him'.55 ThatSocrates refers hereto self-help rather to polis)wouldrunto help(boethei) or professional helpbecomesmoreobviousfromwhatfollows: anyorganized
But imaginenow that some god wereto takea singleman who ownedfifty or moreslavesand him and his wife andchildren,his goods and chattelsand his slaves,to some wereto transport
desert place where there wouldbe no otherfree man to help him; wouldn't he be in great fear that

he and his wife and children wouldbe done awaywithby the slaves?56

The emphasis here is not on the absence of a state in some desert place, and not even on the absence of citizens, but rather on the absence of other free men who constitute the natural group from which help could come. In Xenophon's phrase in a similar passage, all the slave-ownersin the community act together as 'unpaid bodyguard'.57 The absence of any ready militia to crush slave revolts is complementary to the fact that 'slaves never represented a cohesive group either in their masters' or their own mind so for all their exploited situation they did not engage (for the most part) in social conflict',58and that we do not know of any slave revolts in ancient Greece, again with the conspicuous exception of Sparta. As for the latter, the Helots were not at all chattel slaves but were an identifiable and cohesive population who had been enslaved en bloc by conquest by Sparta. They were only able to revolt outright because of their ethnic and political solidarity, while 'these conditions did not obtain for chattel slaves of classical Greece'.59And indeed the Greeks had already discovered that slaves were easy to handle when they were disorientated. Thus Aristotle says that: of our polis shouldbe distributed, This is the way in whichwe suggestthat the territory and The classwhichfarmsit shouldideally,and if we can theseare the reasonsfor our suggestions. choose at will, be slaves-but slavesnot drawnfroma singlestock,or fromstocksof a spirited of a good supplyof labourand eliminateany temper.This will at once securethe advantage designs.60 dangerof revolutionary

wereimportant Disorientation and deracination tools for the controlof the slaves.
11 The traditional translations are imbuedwith statism,so that P. Shoreytranslates 'because the entirestate is readyto defendeach citizen'(Loeb edn, London, 1935)and DesmondLee 'becausethe individual translates has the supportof societyas a whole'.Whatis missingis the whichis projected notionof self-help Boemeansa shoutand also a cryfor by the verbboethein. forhelpandpeopleweresupposed to run help.Theboewasa mainwayof callingtheneighbours in responseto a cry for help.The verbboethein becameone of the standard Greekwordsfor See Lintott(n. 27), 18-20. givingassistance.

56 Plato, Republic578d-e (emphasis added), trans. Desmond Lee (Harmondsworth, 1974). Hiero 4.3. And see N. R. E. Fisher, Slavery in Classical Greece(London, 1993), 71-2. 57 Xen.

K. Raaflaub, and J. Emlen (edd.), City-States in Classical Antiquityand Medieval Italy (Stuttgart,

Thomas J. Figueira, 'A typology of social conflict in Greek poleis', in A. Molho,

'Were Greekslavesa class?',in TheBlackHunter[1981], 1991),302. See also P Vidal-Naquet, trans.AndrewSzegedy-Maszak and London,1986),159-67. (Baltimore 'Rebelsand sambosin classicalGreece',in P. Cartledge and E D. Harvey 5 Paul Cartledge,
(edd.), Crux: Essays in Greek History Presented to G E. M. de Ste Croix on His 75th Birthday

in his Slavery and London,1985),46. Garlan inAncient Greece NY andLondon, (Exeter (Ithaca, slaves'.Sincethesewereactually communities 1988),ch. 2, classifiesthemas 'community many scholars(e.g. de Ste Croixin his ClassStruggle) find it helpfulto classifythemas 'state-serfs' rather themas slaves: Fisher(n. 57), 23-4. Plato(Laws777) saysthat 'Thefrequent and repeated revoltsin Messenia, and in states 1946]); wherepeoplepossessa lot of slaves who all speakthe samelanguage, haveshownthe evilsof the areto submitto theirconditionwithoutgivingtrouble, systemoftenenough... if the slaves they shouldnot all comefromthe samecountryor speakthe sametongue,as faras it canbe arranged' andsee Garlan(n. 59), 177-83. J.Saunders (trans.Trevor [Harmondsworth, 1970]),

Aristotle, Politics 7.10, 1330a24-9 (trans. Ernest Barker, The Politics of Aristotle [Oxford,

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into the Greeksociety.In their and a certainincorporation Anotherwas manumission analysisof slaveryin Africa, Miers and Kopytoff suggestthat while emphasishas for fromthe host society... the problem usuallybeenlaid on 'howslavesareexcluded to treathim as the stranger whilecontinuing the host societyis reallythatof including Africanslavesocietiesoffer social mobilityto the slaves a stranger'.61 Consequently towards the incorporation into the kinshipgroup fromthe statusof the total stranger to kinshipcontinuum'.62 in what Miers and Kopytoff call 'the 'slavery In classical Greecemanumission and a certainmobilityexistedalongwithwhatmightbe calleda in manumission continuum'. Onepotentialsourceof large-scale to citizenship 'slavery in warriors and rowersfor the armyand the navy.63 The fact thepolis wereshortages at a very earlystage and full was arrested that usuallythe processof incorporation of slavesinto the citizenbodywasrareand couldhavetakenmorethan incorporation It is important to its existence and importance.64 does not undermine one generation into the Greek Plato's note thatGreekslaveswerealso incorporated culturally society. thatin Athensslaves couldnot be identified and the OldOligarch's by their complaints other In an overstatement of this were phenomenon. perhaps physicalappearance of words, the cultural horizontal cleavageswhich Gellner sees as characteristic communities wereabsentin the Greekcase. authoritarian stratified agrarian madethe polis less equippedfor domination The absenceof coerciveapparatuses of such The domination wouldhavebeen the creationof a price throughconquest. the that is, turning communityinto a militarycamp.65 Spartan-typecommunity, in manycases,thoughcolonization startedindeedwith a conquest,the Consequently, or expelthem,or to sell eitherto annihilate the local inhabitants, newpoleispreferred them as slaves,ratherthan to enslavethem and createa Spartan-type community.66 also prevented the increaseof the numberof The absenceof coerciveapparatuses slaves beyond a certainpoint. Thus the relativenumberof slaveswithin the total modelof the agrarian state.Whilein populationseemsalso to conflictwith Gellner's formonlya tinyfraction of the totalpopulation, in the Greek the latterthe rulers polis the slaves ('the ruled'in this case) wereat most 35-40 per cent of the total population.67 to whichinternal coercionwasnot organized Thisfeatureof thepolis,according or exerted but rather that means that the by self-help, is, by volunteers, professional polis as Aristotlesays,an association was not a state,but rather, or partnership (koinonia). This does not mean, of course,that thepolis'economywas not basedalso upon the of surplusproduction of the slaves(or the 'poor'in general),but that appropriation and slavery could existin stateless This point is madeclearer conditions. exploitation whenwe examineto whatextentmodesof exploitation associated with the agrarian stateexistedin thepolis. Khazanov observes that:


I. Kopytoff (edd.), Slavery in Africa: Historical and AnthropologicalPerspectives(Madison, WI, 1977), 15-16. 62 Ibid., 19-26. 63 Fisher (n. 57), 67-70. I. Morris, Burial and Ancient Society: The Rise of the Polis (Cambridge, 1987), 174. 64 65 There seem to have been such communities on the island of Crete, in Thessaly, Heraclea on the Black Sea, Syracuse, and a few others. See Fisher (n. 57), 32-3. 66 Tracy Rihll, 'War, slavery,and settlement in early Greece', in J. Rich and G. Shipley (edd.), Warand Society in the Greek World(London, 1993), 92-105. 67 Fisher (n. 57), 34-6; P. Cartledge, The Greeks(Oxford, 1993), 135.

S. MiersandI. Kopytoff, 'African as an institution of marginality', in S. Miersand "slavery"

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of most, if not all, earlystatesdeserves Onecharacteristic specialattentionbecauseit maywell features. I am referring hereto the significant roleplayed turnout to be one of theirdistinctive throughtaxation,compulsory by the early state in the direct exploitationof the producers labourand otherobligations.68

Modesof Production, Hindessand Hirstincludedirect In theirbook, Pre-capitalist and compulsorylabourin the ancientmode of prostate taxation, appropriation, duction.69 Among modern historians de Ste Croix applies the same modes of exploitationto the Greekpolis. In his Marxistanalysis,The Class Strugglein the of de Ste Croixseesthe Greek AncientGreek World, polis as a state,or,in the language of one class for as 'the the Communist organizedpower oppressing Manifesto, betweenwhathe calls directand individual another'.70He distinguishes exploitation or collective, on the one hand(wage-labourers, slaves,serfs,debtors, etc.) and indirect that is, state coercion,on the other.The latteris definedby de Ste Croixas 'when forcedlabouror other servicesare exactedsolely or taxation,militaryconscription, from a particular class or classes. . . by a Statedominatedby a disproportionately class'.71 superior Let us examine to what extent these modes of state-exploitation (taxes, forced in existed the and forced labour) polis. conscription As for taxation,de Ste Croixhimselfadmitsthat'in the citiesbeforethe Hellenistic In fact the absenceof directtaxationof periodsit may often havebeenquitelight'.72 featureof the polis.73 Taxationusuallycharacterized citizenshas been a recognized power,that is, to tyrannies, yet the latterwereindeedattemptsto createcentralized not onlywasdirecttaxationnot imposedon the poorof Athens, createa state.Further, The liturgysystemwas a it was also the legal duty of the richto undertake liturgies. by system wherebythe rich carrieda largefinancialburdenand wererecompensed honours.It points to the fact that, generallyspeaking,the economic corresponding burden uponthe richratherthanthepoor citizensand points of thepolisfell directly rather than a state.Of course,it could furtherto the Greekpolis beingan association on the poor-the rich exstill be claimedthat the economicburdenfell indirectly rather than'stateexploitation'. exploitation' ploitedthe poor.Yetthis was 'individual If we moveto de Ste Croix's secondmode of stateexploitation, thatis, forcedconscriptionof the poor,he himselfadmitsthat 'in the Greekcitiesmilitaryservice... (the hoplite army) was a "liturgy" expected mainly of those I am calling "the classes"'.However, invokingMarx,who had alreadynoted that 'military propertied servicehastenedto so greatan extentthe ruinof Romanplebeians', he maintains that
'Sometheoretical of thestudyof theearlystate',in Claessen and problems 68 A. M. Khazanov does not considerthe Greek'state'to be an earlystatebut 'the Skalnik(n. 16), 87. Khazanov

next, higher state of development' (p. 77). 69 B. Hindess and P. Hirst, Pre-Capitalist Modes of Production(London, 1985), 86-7. (London, 1981), 287. 70 G. E. M. de Ste Croix, The Class Struggle in the Ancient Greek World

73 M. Austin and P. Vidal-Naquet, Economic and Social History of Ancient Greece:An Introduction (London, 1977), 121. By contrast there was no hesitation in taxing non-citizens. Thus metics in Athens had to pay regularly a special tax, the metoikion, which was admittedly moderate, but which symbolized their inferior status as compared with citizens (ibid.). Although the metoikion might have been economically important for the polis, the fact that it was moderate and symbolic meant probably that it did not bear heavily upon the metics (who could freely migrate if they felt attacked). Indirect taxes (usually on trade) were frequently resorted to and were one of the main sources of revenue.Those usually did not distinguish between citizens and non-citizens and even between Greeks and non-Greeks (ibid., 122-3).




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while conscription bore heavily on the poor it 'presented no really serious burden on the well-to-do, who did not have to work for their living'.74 However, as Paul Millett says, while this was true for the Roman plebeians, 'in Athens, if anything, the reverse seems to have been the case, with wealthier citizens bearing the costs of campaigns while the mass of the people enjoyed any benefits'.75 De Ste Croix's claim that military service impoverished the poor ignores the centrality of war in the economy of agrarian society in general and in the Greek world and the polis in particular. War also promised the participants a direct share of the booty76 and through soldiering people could escape poverty, that is, could be fed and paid.77 This was especially true in the case of Athens where the empire benefited both the poor and the rich: the former earned their pay for rowing in the fleet, while the latter needed to pay less for the public treasurybecause of the tribute paid by the subjugated cities.78 Further, the history of Athens becoming a democracy shows that, from the class point of view (though perhaps not from the individual point of view), conscription was a privilege, not a duty. It was the emergence of the infantry hoplite army which hastened the downfall of the aristocracy-cum-oligarchy, and the centrality of the Athenian navy in maintaining the empire hastened the development of democracy. From a purely class point of view it was not in the interest of the oligarchy to arm the masses (that is, to 'conscript' them). Aristotle has pointed out their dilemma: Changesmay happenin oligarchiesowing to internalreasonsand without any attack from outside alike in war and in peace.They happenin war when membersof the oligarchyare If a singleman is encompelledby distrustof the peopleto employan armyof mercenaries. of thesemercenaries, he frequently trustedwiththecommand becomesa tyrant,as Timophanes did at Corinth;and if the commandis vestedin a number of persons,they makethemselves a sometimes forcesan oligarchy to employa popular clique.Fearof suchconsequences governing
force, and thus to give the masses some share in constitutional rights.7

Thus forced conscriptionin the case of the Greekpolis was the enemy of class domination, and as a class the masses should have been and were interestedin but ratherwas 'conscription'.The latter was not forcedupon the disenfranchised forcedby externalconditions,likewars,upon the franchised. It seems,then,thatwhenone examines aboutclass closelyde Ste Croix's argument exploitation, this argumentis very weak concerningwhat he calls 'indirectand collective' class'. exploitation by a 'Statedominated by a superior

74 De Ste Croix (n. 70), 207-8.

66), 184; W K. Pritchett, The GreekState at War,part 5 (Berkeley, 1991), 473-485. K. Pritchett, The GreekState at War,part 1 (Berkeley, 1971), 82-4; id. (n. 75), 363-401, 76 W. 438-504.

in classical Athens',in RichandShipley economyanddemocracy (n. 75 PaulMillett,'Warfare,

(n. 75), 458-9. Anothermatteris the fact thatone of the primetargetsof warin 75 Pritchett ancientGreecehadbeenthe destruction of cropsandotheragricultural resources. See L. Foxhall andfighting in ancient in RichandShipley Greece', 'Farming (n. 66), 134-6.Thuslong invasions did not affectall alike-farmerswerehit harder thanthosewithoutlandand somefarmers were
hit harder than others (pp. 142-3.) See also R. Osborne, Classical Landscape with Figures: The Ancient Greek City and its Countryside(London, 1987), 154. 78 A. Gouldner, Enter Plato: Classical Greeceand the Originsof Social Theory(London, 1965), and Society in Ancient Greece,ed. Brent D. Shaw and Richard P. Saller (London, 1981), 58-9. Politics 5.6, 1306a20-26 [trans.Barker(n. 60)], and see also Plato, Republic551e. 79 Aristotle,

a balancesheet'[1978], in M. I. Finley,Economy 142-3;M. I. Finley'TheAthenian empire: repr.

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IV. WAR AND ECONOMY As far as collective action was concerned, the polis was not an instrument for the appropriation of surplus production through domination. As a stateless (egalitarian) political community, one would have expected the polis to be engaged either in defence or predation against the outside world, rather then coercion. Here Sparta's relative reluctance to go to war after establishing the polis as a 'conquest state' has been noticed. This could be explained also by its being rather an untypical polis, that is, a coercive rather than predatory community. The limited resources of the polis meant that the control of the Helots (that is, a form of coercion) had to come at the expense of the ability to conduct external war.80Also the control of the Helots perhaps contributed to Sparta's having less economic motivation than the typical polis to go to war. The relationship between the economy of the polis and war could be seen from Plato's construction of the first city in the Republic.As Gellner points out, as long as Plato's city is ascetic, there is no need for the warriors (that is, the Guardians). However, once civilization is preferred,war becomes inevitable: We are to studynot only the originsof society,but also societywhenit enjoysthe luxuriesof We shall have to enlargeour state again.... If we are to haveenough for civilization. .... And if theytoo are territory. pastureand plough,we shallhaveto cut a sliceof our neighbours' to necessities and haveembarked on the pursuitof unlimited no longerconfiningthemselves additionto materialpossession,they will want a slice of ours too .... it meansa considerable whichwillgo out anddefendthe property andpossessionwe our state,the additionof an army, havejust described againstall comers.81 In fact Plato identifies civilization with war and seems to suggest asceticism as a solution to the problem of war.82 Yet, could the ascetic community avoid war altogether? Although it does not need to go to war for economic reasons and, being poor, it is not a temptation of prey for other communities, it still would need to escape subjugation, enslavement, annihilation, or expulsion.83Thus it seems that a stateless community would attain its predatory character also because of the need to defend its own possessions (as in the case of nomadic tribes where raiding for cattle and the defence against raiding by others reinforce each other).84 In fact, the predatory character of the polis was complementary to its decentralized nature. As Rihll points out, the fact that in the earlypolis arms were hanging at every citizen'shouse 'provided a fertile physical, social and psychological environment for military entrepreneurs: armed insurrectionists,mercenaries,pirates and adventurers'.85 In any case, the Greeks rejected the Platonic 'City of the Pigs' and wanted instead the 'good life', that is, civilized life. For Plato this meant an abandonment of the 'First City' by the addition of a multitude of occupations needed for the creation of luxurious life and the introduction of a class of professional warriors, the phylakes. Here
80 A. Andrewes, 'Spartan imperialism?',in P Garnsey and C. R. Whittaker (edd.), Imperialism in the Ancient World(Cambridge, 1978), 91-102. Cartledge (n. 33), 15. 81 Plato, Republic 372e-374a (emphasis added) [trans. Lee (n. 56)]. See also discussion in Gellner (n. 13, 1981), 16-18. 82 There is a similar argument in the Phaedo 66c: wars are fought for wealth, which we need only for our slavish attention to the body. See W K. C. Guthrie, A History of GreekPhilosophy, vol. 4 (Cambridge, 1975), 338 n.1 and 448. 83 It could be that Plato relies here on what he sees as the rules of war among Greeks (as distinguished from wars between Greeks and non-Greeks) which prohibited these actions. See Republic469c-471c. 84 Gellner (n. 13, 1981), 16-21. 85 Rihll (n. 66), 87.

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model of the statelessGreekpolis and seems to Plato departsfrom the traditional state,whichconsistsof separated professional approachthe model of the agrarian As it has an economic classesrulingovera class of producers. warrior/administrator class, the Platonic ideal city is not dependentupon war, and the function of the warriors (besidesruling)is to defendthe wealthof thepolisfromoutsideaggression. was one way to achievethe 'good The case of the realpolis was different. Slavery becausetherewerenot enoughslaves.We life', but it could not be enough,probably that in agrarian must remember states,the smallcivilizedminoritywho appropriated of the vast majority, consistedof a tiny fractionof the entire the surplusproduction while in Athens the slaves were at most 35-40 per cent of the total population, madethe increase in the number of population.The absenceof coerciveapparatuses anddangerous. Thuswarbecamea meansfor slavesbeyonda certainpointimpossible the good life. The centrality of war and booty in the economy of the polis has long been In the PhaedoPlatosaysthat'all warsare undertaken for the acquisition recognized. and Aristotlepoints out five modes of acquisition,'the pastoral,the of wealth',86 the fishing,and the life of the chase',and he sees war as a farming,thefreebooting, Indeed 'warfare in the ancientGreekworldwas a 'naturalmode of acquisition'.87 mode of production'.88 One importantthing that could have been acquiredby war was territory.In as Plato indeedtells mountainousGreece,wherearablelandwas scarce,boundaries, fortheemerging However, us, werea sourceof disputes poleis.89 generally speaking,'it of territory'.90 is only rarelythat warsbetweenGreekswereaimedat the acquisition werea different case and in manycasescolonization started Warsagainstnon-Greeks with a conquestfollowedby the annihilation, expulsionor sale (as slaves)of the local population.91 Yet, generallyspeaking,the absenceof a standingarmy imposed a severelimitationupon the abilityof the polis to increaseits territory or to control other peoples. Also war was the major slave-supplying instrumentin the Greek observesthatthe Greek'state'interfered world.92 Bolkestein verylittlewitheconomic life,yet: Thereis one trade, the mostextensive which Greek everknew, which wasnaturally society At firstsight on bytheState, of war. carried wewaywonder thatwaris ranged viz.thewaging in a description theenterprises a place of economic so life,butweareentitled among deserving to do by the circumstance thattheirprincipal oftenwasthebooty,to be distributed object
Warwas a meansof securinga fortuneor simplya livelihood among the luckyparticipants. insteadof or next to the othermeansof subsistence, consistingof labour.93

and Finleycommentson this as follows:

No simpleanswer is available. In the Whydid the Greekpoleiswarwitheachotherincessantly? in men, land maysufficethat Greekpoleislackedthe resources presentcontext,the suggestion and materials withwhichto provide fortheircitizensthe 'goodlife'thatwasthe avowed purpose
87 Politics 1.8, 1256bl, 1256b23. 88 Rihll (n. 66), 105. Millett (n. 75), 183-4 says 'As far as the Greek themselves were concerned warfare was conceived as potentially profitable.' 89 Hugh Bowden, 'Hoplites and Homer: warfare, hero cult, and ideology of the polis', in Rich and Shipley (n. 66), 48. 90 Austin and Vidal-Naquet (n. 73), p. 13. 91 Pritchett (n. 75), 445-53; Rihll (n. 66), 92-100. 92 93

86 Plato,Phaedo 66c.

Pritchett (n. 76, 1971),82;Rihll(n. 66), 79. H. Bolkestein, Economic Golden Life in Greece's Age (Leiden,1958),140-1. And see also Pritchett (n. 76, 1971),53-84.

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of the state. They could overcome chronic scarcities only at the expense either of a sector of their own citizenry or of other states.94

V.WARAND SOCIALCOHESION As Gellnerpoints out, warhas anotherimportantfunctionin statelesscommunities, which is that of securing social cohesion. MarshallSahlins says that 'The tribe overcomesits local cleavages and in the only so muchas it mustto prevailmilitarily, absenceof sustainedoppositionthe normalseparatist tendencies areperiodically free to reassertthemselves.'95 It is important not to confusethe fact thatcommunities can securesocialcohesion throughwar with the fact that the economicobjectsof war could enhancesocial cohesion.The establishment of the Athenianempireprobably tendedto ease social tensionsbecauseit benefitedboth the poor and the rich:the formerearnedtheirpay for rowing in the fleet, while the latter needed to pay less for the public treasury becauseof the tributepaid by the subjugated cities.96 Here war indirectly enhances social cohesion.However, wardirectly enhances socialcohesionthroughthe threatof the otherand the actualparticipation in fighting. The idea that political communitiesattain cohesion throughwar has become rather traditional. to Gallie,'thestateandwarcomeinto existence in a kind According of symbiosis'. The historicaldependenceof the state upon war means that 'in not simplywith a particular becomingpolitical, human beings identifythemselves politicalunit but potentiallyagainstother competingunits:politicalcohesionturns the subjectinto a soldier,and the foreigner into a foe'.97 Howeverwhile war could enhance social cohesion in any society, its role in statelesssocieties, accordingto is a dominantone: Gellner,
Segmentary theory explains the cohesion and co-operation of groups, notwithstanding the fact that they are devoid of strong leadership or effective central institutions; it explains this cohesion by invoking the threat of other, similar and rival groups. The unifying effect of external threat is something which of course operates in all societies; what distinguishes 'segmentary' ones is not just that it is present, but that it is proportionately far stronger and becomes, if not the only principle in operation, at least the main and dominant one-or very nearly the only one.98

rooted in strong civic solidarity. For there was no strong state power of the kind that exists in modern times . . .' and that 'such friendship was possible only if there was

Indeed one reason for the dominantrole of war in securingsocial cohesion in stateless communities whencompared to statecommunities is, of course,thatthelatter havealso stateapparatuses to securesocialcohesion.99 Christian Meierarguesthatthe consolidationof the Greek city out of the divisionsof civil war presupposes the existenceof a commonenemy.Meierobservesthat the 'powerof the polis had to be

94 M. I. Finley, 'Politics', in M. I. Finley (ed.), The Legacy of Greece:A New Appraisal(Oxford, 1981), 33. However, it must be emphasized that war which was directed or caused by competition for markets or for trading advantage or motivated by other forms of mercantile or capitalistic imperialism was simply not possible and such explanations should be dismissed as 'anachronisms'. Manicas (n. 7), 679-80. See also M. I. Finley, The Ancient Economy (London, 19852),ch. 6, esp. 158-9. Gouldner (n. 78), 142-3; Finley (n. 78), 58-9. 97 W. B. Gallie, UnderstandingWar(London, 1991), 31. 98 Gellner (n. 13, 1981), 39. 99 Ibid., 93-4.

Cliffs,NJ, 1968),45. (Englewood 95 M. Sahlins,Tribesmen

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to keepthe existingfactionsin check,and,however sufficient solidarity strangeit may commonhostilityto the worldoutside'.'" seemto us, this ultimately presupposed in securing waris also moreeffective socialcohesionin stateless societies However, thatis, thereis no gap between becausein those societiesthereareno standingarmies, of (non-professional) the armyand the community. in warriors, Beingcommunities those societiesit is not only the threatof war but also and mainlythe actualparticiin warthatcreates'effective groupcohesion,engendered pationof the community by in rudeand lawlesscircumstances'.'1' WalterBurkert in his book on the self-reliance of ancientGreeksacrificial ritualsaysthat'waris ritual,a self-portrayal anthropology of malesociety.Malesocietyfindsstability in confronting and self-affirmation death, in defyingit througha displayof readiness to die,and in the ecstasyof survival.'"02 The connectionbetweenwar and cohesionhad been noted by the Greeks.Here, for the different the role of war in concerning emphasis perhaps,lies the explanation on the one hand, and his city in the Laws,on the Plato's'IdealCity'in the Republic, war seems to be the activity of a limited and specialized other. 'In the Republic in the Laws 'the fear of war and the preparation while for it permeate the soldiery', The Republic is to some extenta utopia,a no-place;the city of entirecommunity'.103 'realistic'. Thewarlike character of the latter the Lawsis more,thoughnot completely, when comparedto the formeris due to the fact that in the formersocial cohesionis of the community, whilein the latter by the statestructure supposedto be maintained and Plato returns to the traditional Greekformof the the state structure disappears of (non-professional) warriors whichattains egalitarian community polis as a stateless its social cohesionthroughwar.Indeeda similarpoint is madeby Alcibiadesat the meetingof the AthenianAssemblywherethe fataldecisionfor the launchingof the who advocated Sicilianexpedition had beenvoted.Alcibiades, the launching, says:
will growout of date;but in conflictit willconstantly be gaining rest,and its skill in everything new experienceand growingmore used to defend itself not by speeches,but in action. In general,my view is that a city whichis activeby naturewill soon ruinitself if it changesits natureand becomesidle . . .104 Aristotle, who objects to the idea that the polis should make war its prime aim, has a note of warning to warlikepoleis, which, indirectly,points to the connection between war and social cohesion: Most of thepoleiswhichmakewartheiraimaresafeonlywhiletheyarefighting.Theycollapse as soon as they haveestablished an empire,and lose the edge of theirtemper,like an unused is to blameforhaving no training for theproper sword,in timeof peace.The legislator provided use of leisure.l05 Since Aristotle admits that for the Greek poleis of his day 'the legislators . . . have

willwear outof itsownaccord if it remains at Remember, too,thatthecity,likeeverything else,

fallenshortof this ideal','06his statement is confirmation thatthereis a contradiction betweenthe realpolis and peace.
TheOrigins in 1990),117.Seealso Gouldner (n. 78), 143-4;PhilipBrookManville, of Citizenship
'00 Christian Meier, The GreekDiscoveryof Politics, trans David McLintock (Cambridge, MA,

Ancient Athens (Princeton, NJ, 1990), 87. 101'Gellner (n. 13, 1981), 27. 102 Walter Burkert, Homo Necans: The Anthropologyof Ancient Greek Sacrificial Ritual and

1983),47. Myth,trans.PeterBing(Berkeley,

103 Gouldner (n. 78), 237. (n. 6), 75. 'o Thuc.6.18. See also Havelock 106 Politics 7.14, 1333b5. 05sPolitics 7.14, 1334a5-10.

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whichidentifies socialcohesionor civicspiritwithwar,andpeacewith Theequation the destruction of the politicalcommunity, has received a veryfamousformu-lation Arab sociologistIbn Khaldun.His importance to the from the fourteenth-century are also directedto statelesscompresentstudylies in the fact that his observations weretribal.According munities,although,unlikethe Greekpolis, those communities or humansocialorganization, is to Ibn Khaldun,the firststageof humancivilization, is characterized deserttribalcommunitybased on kinship.This community by him culture'whichattainsits unity,its civic spirit,throughsolidarity, as 'primitive which is createdthroughkinshipon the one hand,and throughbeingconstantly engagedin culture' aimsat becominga 'civilwarwith othergroupson the other.This 'primitive ized culture' and a peacefulone.It thenmovesinto a stagewhereit establishes cities,or takesoverexistingones,andthe oncetribalmenbeginto enjoythe fruitsof peaceand civilized life. As a result they lose their cohesion and their political communities culture'.'7" The equationthat by new tribesfroma 'primitive disintegrate, conquered Ibn Khaldundrawsidentifieswarwith politicalcohesionand civic spirit,on the one on the other. hand, and peace, civilization,and cities with political disintegration, Whilethe Greekswouldhaveprobably thatwarwasessential to civicspirit,they agreed wouldhaveobjected to the ideathatcivilized life andcitiescontradicted it. Indeed,the Greekpolis seems to defy Ibn Khaldunin this respect,for it generated civic spirit within cities. Yet, following Ibn Khaldun'slead, the question which we must now addressis: how did the Greekpolis manageto generatethis spirit?How could civic spirit arise within an egalitarian,non-kin, relativelyindividualistic, civilized community?'"8

VI. HOPLITE FIGHTINGAND SOCIALCOHESION War plays an importantrole in fosteringthe cohesion of acephaloustribal communitiesmainlybecausethese are also communities of (non-professional) warriors. in the classical the notion of the polis as an egalitarian However,though polis a communityof homoioi,existedand had a valuablesymcommunityof warriors, bolic power,only a third or so of the citizensof the polis, with the exception of in the strictsense,thatis, hoplites.In otherwords,the classical Sparta,werewarriors of warriors. polis was not a community Yet, was this true also for the earlypolis?Max Weberhad alreadysaid that 'The ancientpolis . . . fromthe time of the creationof the disciplined hopliteformations, wasa guildof warriors.' Weber usedthe phrases 'a guildof warriors', 'a military camp', and 'militaristic association' theearly mainlyto describe polis'afterthedownfallof the He addedthat 'this institution, patriciate'. however, decayedveryearlyin most cities and thenbecamealtogether as paidmercenaries superfluous or,in the maritime cities, navalservicegainedin importance'.'09Here I intendto followWeber's lead and to as a community of warriors wasmore arguethatthe natureof the stateless community visiblein the earlypolis. An important difference betweenthe stateless tribalcommunities polis and stateless
107 Ibn Khaldun, The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History, trans. Franz Rosenthal, abridged and ed. N. J. Dawood (London, 1967), 97-100; Gellner (n. 13, 1981), 16-28. Historical Essays (London, 1957), 29. 108 See Gellner (n. 13, 1981), 17-19; H. R. Trevor-Roper, '09 Weber (n. 21), 1359-63. See also J. M. Bryant, 'Military technology and socio-cultural change in the ancient Greek city', Sociological Review 38 (1990), 484-6. Bryant notes that Marx had fully anticipated Weber on this connection between militarism and social organization.

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is the non-tribalnatureothe latter.As Gellnerobservesthe mechanism for attaining lies in its kinshipstructure. The social cohesionthroughwar in a tribalcommunity to balancedoppositionbetween relativeorder in segmentarysocietiesis attributed factions: warring
socialenvironment ... the orderwhichwasthereto be foundin an anarchic, was ungoverned producedby balancedopposition,by a balanceof power.... in this kind of societyunits of different size are, as it were, nested in each other; the tribe divides into clans, clans into levelof size is in fact verymuchmoreimportant sub-clansand so on.... No particular than scale, any other.At each and everylevel,thereis oppositionbetweengroupsof that particular and oppositionof two sub-clans, whichkeepseachof theminternally and the rivalry cohesive, does not preclude co-operation as fellow-unitsof the full clan, and so forth. Balanced likean adequate of the maintenance of order, if explanation oppositioncan only be sometimes unitsdo indeedexistat everylevelof size at whichconflictis liableto arise.1l10 Yet, the polis was not a tribal or segmentary community. Indeed we are faced here with a problem raised by Ibn Khaldun. How could civic spirit arise within a non-kin, relatively individualistic, civilized community? It is here that social anthropology proves to be inadequate for the analysis of the Greek polis and the mechanism for

warhas to be lookedforelsewhere. In whatfollowsI attainingsocialcohesionthrough lies in the masstacticsemployed will arguethat this mechanism by thepolis in which the hoplitecitizen army,the pitchedbattle, there were threeimportantingredients: In otherwordsI will arguethat as the tribeis isomorphic and the phalanxformation.
with its kinship structure, the early polis was isomorphic with the phalanx. Further,

when the various as we shall see, it is possibleto see Greeksociety as segmentary of therulesof the pitched a systemof battle,constitute poleis,throughthe observation balancedopposition. I would like to start with the less problematic issue,that is, the relationbetween
hoplite fighting and social cohesion. The relation between the phalanx formation and comradeship has long been recognized. Hanson points to two factors, unique to classical Greek battle, that tended to create exceptional ties among soldiers. First: and tacticsof the ancientphalanxwereideallysuitedto ideasof loyaltyand ... the armament friendship;fighting together in column, ratherthan spread along a line, drew all in close or lapse into cowardice was physicalproximitywith each other:a man'smomentof bravery
manifest to all who fought in rows and files to his rear, front and side .... Similarly ... the man to his right for the protection of his own right side.'11 the

natureof hopliteequipment-especiallythe shield-dictated that each becamedependenton

the secondand 'moreimportant' consideration is However,

... the peculiarnatureof the ties amongthe men of the phalanx: unlikemost modernarmies, the bonds betweenhopliteson the line did not originate withinmilitaryserviceor in weeksof shareddrill in boot camp; they werenaturalextensionsof alreadylong-standing peacetime and kinships.So far as we know,hoplitesin nearlyall city-states weredeployedin friendships theirphalanxes withthoseof theirown by tribe,andmostlikelywereof coursewellacquainted town or deme.Men who kneweach otherthroughpolitical,religious, and ceremonial associationsand who may havebeen relatedstrengthened theseexistingbondsas they foughtside by side in the phalanx.112 Hanson stresses here what has been traditionally stressed: the bonds among the men of the phalanx were natural extensions of peacetime relations between citizens,
110Gellner (n. 13, 1981),189-90. "' V. D. Hanson, The WesternWayof War InfantryBattle in Classical Greece(London, 1989), 119. 112 Ibid., 121.

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fosteredby the mixtureof personalrelationsand war and the uniquecomradeship what seems to be relatively turnedthe phalanxinto a mightyweapon."3However, in fosteringthe socialcohesion neglectedis the role of fightingin phalanxformation As Andreskisays, the cohesion of the armed forcestends to of the community."4 producethe cohesionof the body politic."5More so in our case: since the deployto phylai(thatis, 'tribes'), the phalanxreflected mentsin the phalanxwereaccording the body politic and political associationswithin the community.Consequently, reinforced the stability of the community. on the battlefield solidarity the Greekwar from an anthropological Indeed Connor,who approaches angle, of the hopliteritualin fostering the unity of the city.He the importance emphasizes speaksof hoplite warfareas a verypowerfulsymbolicsystempointingat its 'ritual like one greatsacrificial action'.116 Yet elements',whichmakethe Greekwar 'appear what Connorseemsto omit is the role of this specialway of fightingwithinphalanx Here I believethat Hanson rightly formationas a means for community-building. approachtowardsthe Greek battle tends to complains that the anthropological it and ignorewhat is particularly universalize Greekabout it.117 Ritualizedwarfare tends to fosterthe unity of any (primitive) Yet, as the kinshipstructure community. withinwhichwar is conductedand cohesionis attainedin providesthe framework the phalanx,beingisomorphic with the earlypolis, provided tribalcommunities, the and the cohesionof the Greekpolis was framework withinwhichwarwas conducted attained. lies a majorkey to the understanding of Cleisthenes' reforms. These Here,perhaps, reforms of the so called'Athenian includedthe reorganization tribes'and the creation of ten tribesinsteadof the old four.Attica was dividedinto threeregions:the city, the inlandregion,and the coast. Eachregionwas dividedinto ten trittyes,and a new tribewascomposedof a trittysfromeachregion.Thepurpose of thesereforms was 'to have "mixedup" the people, and have encouragedthe unificationof the state by combiningin one tribe men from differentparts of Attica'."8As ChristianMeier observes,'one wondershow it was possible,in the absenceof any police authority and without provokingopen disturbances, to destroytraditional religiouslinks and affiliations-supposing that these were still strong-simply by an administrative Whileit mightbe arguable whether Cleisthenes did indeeddestroy reorganization'.'19 linksandaffiliations,'20 traditional thereis another crucialquestionhere,that religious
"3 Ibid., 25-6, 30-1. See also E E. Adcock, The Greekand MacedonianArt of War(Berkeley, 1957), 4.

114 Yet not entirelyneglected.Thus Cartledge points at the 'levellingeffect'of fightingin See Cartledge phalanxes. (n. 33),44.

Hoplites: The Classical GreekBattle Experience (London, 1991), 8-9. 8 P. . Rhodes, A Commentaryon the AristotelianAthenaionPoliteia (Oxford, 1981), 253-4. 119 Meier (n. 100), 61. 120Thus Ehrenberg, using traditional 'statist' language says that 'regional connections of kinsfolk and clans weredecisivelydestroyed'by Cleisthenes' reforms (emphasis added) (The Greek State [London, 19692], 29). However,others thought they had to account for this peaceful in 507' (The Greeks [London, 1967], 82). Another possibility is that the new cults supplemented rather then replaced the old one, as the genos and phratry seemed to have been little affected by the reforms. See E. Kearns, 'Religious structures after Cleisthenes', in Cartledge and Harvey (n. 59), 204-7.

"17 Hanson, 'The ideology of

"5 Andreski (n. 12), 139.

116 Connor (n. 2), 21-4.

hoplite battle, ancient and modern',in V. D. Hanson (ed.)

transition. A. Andrewes claimsthat'thegeneral remains thatclansandphratries had impression ceasedto playa part,as such,in Athenian of Cleisthenes already politics,wellbeforethe reform

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is, how it was possibleto forgenewties between peoplefromdifferent regions(in some

cases there was no territorialcontinuity between the trittyes that formed a tribe) simply by an administrative reorganization. The answer could be that if deployments in the

in the phalanxwouldhavebeen to tribes,then redeployment phalanxwereaccording

one way to foster these new ties.121 VII. THE POLIS AS A COMMUNITY OF WARRIORS We must now approach the more problematic issue. The connection between fighting in phalanx formations, on the one hand, and the cohesion of the early polis, on the

as a community other,couldbe established only if the earlypolis had indeedemerged

of hoplites. Here it seems that Weber'snotion of the early polis as a community of hoplite warriors has been rejected by most contemporary historians. According to

the dominantview today the hopliteswerenot identifiedwith the (early)polis but

rather with a class within the polis. This view assumes the pre-existence of a (political) community from which the warriors were drawn.122 Yet others have followed Weber'slead and maintained that the polis had emerged as and was identified with the hoplite warrior group. As Vernant noted in his introduction to Problkmesde la guerre en Grece ancienne, many of the contributors to that volume insisted that 'the army was the popular assembly under arms, or the city on campaign', on the one hand and that 'the city was a community of warriors', on the other.123In her review of this volume Humphreys argues that: Contributorsto this volume have successfullyshown that the idea of the Greekpolis as a communityof citizen-soldierswho were all alike-homoioi-existed as one model (among of the city whichinfluencedGreekthought,not least that of others) of the social structure Plato.But thereis no city in whichrealitycorresponded to thismodel.124 perfectly

Yet the case for the archaic to polis, I will argue,was different. Here,it is plausible assumethatthe archaic poliswas a groupof egalitarian hoplite-warriors veryclose to
this ideal type.125 The main objection to the identification of the polis with its hoplites is usually that 'the entire concept of a hoplite army must always be based on a qualification of wealth: the wealth necessary for the individual soldier to pay for his own panoply'.126

Thus Snodgrass thatthe hopliteswererecruited concludes fromthe farmers, not from

an old one. H. van 121Actually Cleisthenescreateda new army ratherthan rearranged Effenterre has pointedout that while the politicalaspectof the Cleisthenes reforms has been et les mesuresde thoroughlyemphasizedthe militaryaspect has been neglected('Clisthene REG89 [19761, mobilisation', 1-3). Effenterre pointsto the needto createa new armyafterthe whodisarmed thepopulation andrelieduponmercenaries reignof the Peisistratids (pp.3-4). He thatCleisthenes' concludes reform wassimultaneously a political measure anda military measure one considering the victories both againstGreekneighbours and in the (p. 16), and a successful Persian wars.However, he stillremains withinthemainstream whichseesthe armyas a reflection of the reformand not also as an instrument for bringing it about.Siewert, on the otherhand, seems to belittle the political motives of the reformand see the latteras a largelymilitary in stateless communities with a highmilitary However, ratio,thatis, wherealmost participation carries armsin wartime, it is impossible to separate themilitary fromthe political. everybody 122 Bowden (n. 89),47. 123 Forthe sameposition,see M. Detienne, 'Laphalange: et controverses', probl"mes ibid., 140-2.

reorganization (Die Trityyen Attikas und die Heeresreform des Kleisthenes [Munich, 1982]).

J.- P. Vernant (ed.), Problkmesde la guerre en Graceancienne (Paris and La Haye, 1968), 18.


S. C. Humphreys, JHS 91 (1971), 192.

126 A. Snodgrass, 'Thehoplitereform andhistory', JHS 85 (1965),114.

See,forinstance, Vernant J.-P. (n. 123),19-20.

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the smallholders. Cartledge points out that 'the other side of the hoplitecoin is the of the poor peasantry and "wearers of skins"in the country,of exclusion,militarily, and casuallabourers the shopkeepers, in the town'127 petty traders,handicraftsmen, (to these one could add also slaves,serfs,debtors,foreigners, etc.). This exclusionof the non-hoplitesseems to supportthe traditionalview which saw the hoplitesas a class withinthe polis. However, it seemsthat to a certainextentthe traditional view with the idea of a community is imbuedwith statism,or, to be moreprecise, whichis defined by territory.Thus it does not distinguishbetween the emergenceof the a certainterritory, on the one hand,and the emergence hoplitesas a richclass within of richclass of citizenswithinthepolis, on the other,becauseit assumesthat thepolis was a territorial the polis was an entity,some its membersbeing hoplites.However, ratherthan a politicalsystemdefinedby territory. association(koinonia), The nondefinitionof the polis has been noted by Finleyand others(and indeedis territorial of statelesscommunities considered as a characteristic in general).Thus Finley says that 'the polis was not a place,thoughit occupieda definedterritory; it was people This means that in in concert the not was established .. acting membership polis .,128 the of but as a of the association principle territoriality, by membership (whichin some cases, like colonization,precededchronologically the actual settlement).As Hansenhas pointedout, one of the corollaries of the non-territorial definitionof the polis was that 'a high proportionof the populationof a polis wereliablenot to be citizens.. .'129Thus the hoplitescould be identifiedwith the polis on the one hand, and they could still formthe richlayerof the societywithina certainterritory, on the was mainlya politicaland a legal category, other.In classicaltimes,whencitizenship the non-citizenmale populationconsistedmainlyof slavesand metics.In the early and the conceptof citizenship wereonly beginpolis, when the politicalcommunity be to the was defined more to formed, ning polis probably according socialposition and wealth,andconsequently the poor.The sameis truein oligarchies excluded of the classicalperiod.Thus it is possibleto arguethat in archaictimes the hopliteswere identifiedwith the polis, while the rest of the populationwerenot membersof the political communityin the strict sense or were not full membersof the political community. in the polis Having said all this, it is importantto note that while membership was not definedaccording to the principle of territoriality, only citizenswereallowed to own land. Thus one should distinguishbetweenthe exclusionof smallholders fromthe hopliteclasson the one hand,andthatof theotherlowerclasseson the other. If citizensalonecould own landand if, as Snodgrass smallholders couldnot suggests, haveafforded the panoply, thenthe identification of the hopliteswiththe citizenbody must be rejected.Yet Hugh Bowden,who followsVernantin maintaining that the hoplites were 'isomorphicwith the polis','13 tries to overcome this objection by that eventhe poor farmers werealso hoplitesand that initiallythe hoplite suggesting
127 P. Cartledge, 'Hoplites and heroes: Sparta's contribution to the technique of ancient warfare', JHS 97 (1977), 23. 128 Finley (n. 36), 56; cf. his Authorityand Legitimacy in the Classical City State (Copenhagen,

see M. FortesandE. E. Evans-Pritchard, Introduction to African communities, Political Systems, ed. M. Fortesand E. E. EvansPritchard Nomads and the (Oxford,1940),10-11;A. Khazanov, OutsideWorld(Cambridge, 1984),138,149-51.Gellner(n. 13, 1981),34. 129 130 M. H. Hansen(n. 54), 58-9 and61-4. Bowden (n. 89), 48.

CPC Papers 4 (Copenhagen, 1997), 9-86. For the non-territorial definition of stateless tribal

The literary andepigraphical 1982),3-4; M. H. Hansen,'Thepolisas an urbancentre. evidence',

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armour was not as expensiveas it has been traditionallyassumed.John Salmon of weaponsandof methodsof warfare not yet suggeststhat'uniformity maytherefore whatmattered wasits cohesionandthe havebeenthoughtvitalforthe (early) phalanx: maintenance by its membersof theirground',and that it will be hardly unflinching if in the earliestphalanxessome membersfought without the full pansurprising As we are going to see, this positionseemsto be supported also by evidence oply.131 the appearance which suggeststhat phalanxfightingpreceded of maturehoplitesin the middleof seventhcentury(seebelow). of the suggested One corollary modelof the archaic the relative size polis concerns of the non-hoplite of archaic it has been assumed that in segment society. Traditionally the so-called'hopliteregime',the hoplite'rulers' formedonly a smallminoritywhen withnon-hoplite'ruled'. Whilethisviewis in accordance withthe modelof compared in the stateless the agrarian conditions of archaic Greece. Thepolis state,it is untenable could have been a communityof hoplitesand thus excludedthe non-hoplitelower classes as long as the number of the latter was relativelysmall. As they were than the slaves,the non-hoplitesprobindigenous,and thus maybeless controllable even constituted an smaller of the total populationin the hoplitepolis ably portion thandid the slavesin the classical polis.132 it was assumed thatthehopliteclassweredistinguished not onlyfrom Traditionally the poorer membersof the society, but also from the so called 'aristocrats' who themas a dominantclass.The relationbetweenthe hoplitesand the former preceded 'aristocratic' regimecouldthrowmorelight on the natureof the emerging polis as an of warriors. association The notion of the aristocratic from that of the polis as a regimeseemsdifferent of warriors in two it had beensuggested that it was community important ways:first, an aristocraticstate, that is, a stratifiedcommunityin which the aristocratshad formedthe rulingclass. This means that the aristocratic regimedeviatedfrom the modelof the stateless to the first,the absenceof egalitarian polis. Second,and related mass tacticsin the aristocratic assumed.This imageof regimehad beentraditionally the aristocraticregimeseems problematic from the point of view presented in this to the hoplite paperbecauseit meansthatthechangefromthearistocratic regime polis was a very significant one and in fact involvedthe transitionfroma stratified stateand stateless one. Thus it is important to examine societyinto a relatively egalitarian the natureof the aristocratic to the hoplitepolis. regimeand its transition About the issueof stratification thereis long-standing divisionof opinionbetween those who believe that Greek society of the early Iron Age was in generalrather hold that it was markedly stratified.'33 egalitarian,and those who, on the contrary, The latter view corresponds, more or less, to the model of the agrarianstate, thus seeing the aristocratic communityas a state. GabrielHermanclaims that Gellner's modelof the agrarian stateappliesto archaic whileadmitting thatthe appearGreece,
bronze,or shieldsof different JHS 97 (1977), shapeandmaterials. hoplites?' J.Salmon,'Political
G. Mytchell and P. J. Rhodes (edd.), The Developmentof the Polis in Archaic Greece (London,

andothers without or usingleather helmets instead of greaves corselets, '31Somewithout

90-2.Bowden (n.89),48-9. A. Raaflaub, citizens andtheevolution of theearly 132 Kurt in Lynette 'Soldiers, greek polis',
of powerin the pre-state andearly-state 1997),54. WalterDonlan,'Therelation polities',ibid., 45-6. Lin Foxhall,'Aviewfromthe top:evaluating the Solonianproperty classes',ibid., 131. 'The riseof thepolis:the archaeological in M. H. Hansen(ed.), evidence', '33 A. Snodgrass, TheAncient Greek City-State 1993),35. (Copenhagen,

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ance of the polis, which, according to him, was superimposed upon this archaic order, made this model inapplicablebecause of the polis levelling effect.134 Herman'sposition is based upon the existence of a small inter-polis aristocratic layer which 'tried to differentiate themselves from those below them' and were interconnected through guest-friendship and marriage. However, Herman seems to ignore Gellner's prerequisite for a cultural gap between the rulers and the ruled. The Greeks emerged from the Dark Age as the 'nation' of Homer, that is, no class had a monopoly of literacy and culture.135 Further, if, as Herman says, the 'prerequisites for entering this (aristocratic) sphere were wealth, power and status', then one should bear in mind that archaic Greece was much poorer than classical Greece. Although the polis indeed had a levelling effect, it has also created wealth, honour, and status. In other words, we are more likely to encounter class differentiation based on wealth and status in the classical age than in the archaic age. Herman is right to point out that class conflict in the classical period is a result of the political emancipation of the demos,136 but is certainly also a result of the existence of more wealth and differentiation in the community.137 Indeed, Snodgrass has pointed out that the archaeological evidence indicates that Greek society before the eighth century could not have reached a high level of social differentiation mainly because the individual communities were isolated and small: 'an isolated community of less than 500 people cannot generate a sharply-differentiated elite'.138 This means that the so-called 'aristocraticcommunity' was stateless as well as the archaic and the classical poleis. Though we should not rely too much upon his knowledge of the eighth and seventh centuries, Aristotle also emphasizes the small number of the population in general and of what was to become the infantry in particular, and sees the latter as a main reason why the 'middle class' tolerated 'aristocratic'domination: It is not surprising that the old constitutionsshould havebeen oligarchical and, earlierstill, monarchical. Withtheirpopulation still small,stateshadno largemiddleclass;andthebodyof the people,still few in number, and insignificant in organization, weremore readyto tolerate fromabove.139 government As I have already pointed out, in stratified societies the size of the ruling classes is usually a tiny fraction of the size of the ruled, while what Aristotle portrays here are groups (the aristocrats and the middle class) which seem to be, if not of the same size, at least of a similar magnitude. The conclusion that could be reached here is that the aristocratic community was stateless and in principle the aristocrats dominated the middle class in the same manner as the 'hoplite regime' which followed dominated the non-propertied classes, and in the same manner as the classical democratic polis which followed the 'hoplite regime' dominated the slaves and the metics. This was a domination by exclusion from political and economic rights, backed by the ideology of the existing order and self-help. The absence of stratification points to a structural continuity between the late Dark Age communities and the archaic and classical poleis. Consequently it might be arguable whether the Dark Age was 'aristocratic'at all.140
'34 G. Herman, Ritualised Friendshipand the Greek City (Cambridge, 1987), 162-5.

(n. 133), 32-3.


A. Snodgrass, Archaic Greece: TheAge of Experiment (London,1980),160-1;Snodgrass Herman(n. 134),164.


Starr (n. 23),43-5.

138 Snodgrass (n. 133), 39.

Aristotle, Politics 4.10, 1297b25-30 (trans. Barker[n. 60]). '40 Bowden (n. 89), 61.

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it has also beenassumedthatthe breakbetweenthe so called'aristoTraditionally and the hoplitepolis was accompanied also by a changeof war cratic community' tactics.It has been suggestedthat the pre-hoplite that polis was ruledby aristocrats, was 'loosely(if at all) organised' and 'conducted warfare pre-hoplite pre-eminently by This is heldto havechangedsomewhere individual champions, opulentaristocrats'.141 with the appearance of the phalanx.The appearance between700 and 650 B.C. of the as an 'hoplitereform' or 'hopliterevolution' new hoplitefightingwas considered and of powerfromthe aristocracy to the new emerging was markedby a transfer hoplite therehas been an ongoingdebateconcerning class. Consequently the emergence of and 'sudden theories have been offered to hoplite fighting:'gradualchange' change' of the hopliteand collectivefightingin phalanxformation.142 explainthe appearance Snodgrass,who offers a 'gradualchange theory', suggests that since the hoplite couldhaveafforded armourwas expensive, it. Consequently the only richindividuals change from the individualistic'aristocratic' fighting to fighting in phalanx was gradual: rich individuals,heroes of the precedingindividualisticfighting, first on their old weapons.143 acquiredhopliteweaponsas improvement Snodgrasstreats the question of the adoption of the various individualitems which made up the of the new phalanx hoplite panoply,on the one hand, and that of the introduction formof tactics,on the other,as separate issues.144 Thisapproach wouldnot inclineone with the polis becauseit considersthe phalanxas to see the phalanxas isomorphic accidentalto the polis. The adoptionof mass fightingseemsto havebeen dictated, of the militaryeffectiveness of the phalanx accordingto this view,by the discovery and by the fact thatthe hoplitearmour to be suitable forphalanxfighting. happened An important criticismof the 'gradualchange theory' points out that 'as an inventionfor use in pre-hoplite warfare the hopliteshieldwouldnot merelyhavebeen at to its but in certaincircumsingle handledpredecessors barely (if all) superior anddangerously stancespositively Theconclusion is thatthe hopliteshield inferior'.'45 otherpartsof thepanoplyweredeveloped and perhaps fromthe beginning forfighting in phalanxes. Thus Cartledge subscribes to a 'suddenchangetheory'whichsuggests that the changefrom individualistic 'aristocratic' fightinginto fightingin phalanxes was suddenand precededthe appearance of maturehoplites.The 'suddenchange' of the polis and the approachis not at odds with the notion of the isomorphism phalanx,since it assumessome sort of collectiveadoptionof war tactics(yet it does not necessarilyidentify the collectivewith the polis). The major problemfor the 'suddenchange'theory seemsto be that it does not reallyexplainwhy this 'sudden in the firstplace.Whywas individual change'happened fightingsuddenly replaced by masstactics? The military effectiveness of the phalanxis, of course,a possibleanswer. or military determinism: However, Cartledge rejects rightly anytechnological
even primarily is apparently confirmed military(in a narrowsense)considerations by the fact that there was no narrowlymilitary reason why, once one state had 'gone hoplite', its shouldautomatically and necessarily havefollowedsuit.146 competitors

Thisfirst thattheGreeks' invention of hoplite warfare wasnotdictated or impression bypurely

'Going hoplite'wouldmean forminga phalanx,acceptingthe notion of the pitched battle as a directcollision betweentwo phalanxeswhich involvesface-to-facekilling at close range, having a general reluctanceand contemptfor the conduct of
141 143

Cartledge (n. 127),18. (n. 126),110. Snodgrass 145 Cartledge (n. 127),19-20.



Snodgrass (n. 126), 84-5. '"44 146 Ibid., 18.

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and ambush,and disdainfor those who fight from hit-and-run tactics,skirmishing afar.147Cartledgeconcludesthat the motivesfor 'going hoplite'were 'importantly moral and social as well as narrowlytechnologicaland military'.148Yet what were these moral and social reasonsfor the adoption of mass fighting?Thus while the regime'and the 'gradualchange'theoryoffersa continuitybetweenthe 'aristocratic regime hoplite era, the 'suddenchangetheory'offersa breakfrom the aristocratic it. withoutreallyexplaining Here,I believe,a thirdkindof theoryis possible,one whichwouldassumethat the of mass tacticswerethe same.The polis of the polis and the emergence emergence who fromthe verybeginning warriors used of as a group (non-professional) emerged of hoplitefighting(seediscussion character masstactics.The ritualistic below)clearly suggeststhat this form of fightingwas fromthe outset adaptedby and for political the masstacticsuntilit had reached its matureformin systems.Thepoleis developed maturehoplitefighting. Indeed recently a growing numberof scholars have challengedthe notion of individualistic fightingin the epics,on the one hand, and in the earlyor pre-hoplite the other.Pritchett on suggeststhatin Homer'thepitchedbattle community, pre-polis created and that 'the generalimpression was the decisiveelement' by the poem is one maintains also that 'There is no of hoplitesfightingin massformation...'149 Pritchett wide that there a for a view which has was evidence gained currency changein literary warfareto hoplite warfare.'"15 tactics in the early seventhcenturyfrom pre-hoplite of phalanxfighting in Homerandin the early reaffirms the dominance KurtRaaflaub archaicperiod,and he furtherarguesthat the pitchedbattleswerebetween(loosely organized) poleis,and that thepolis and the phalanxevolvedin an interactive process Hansonmaintains that 'Dark-Agesoldiershad fought over a long periodof time.151 for manyyearsin ancientGreece, in most casesunderthe looselyin mass formations direction of aristocraticleadersand clansmen'and that 'the constituted"hoplite was thusthe old DarkAge winein newagrarian flasks'.152 phalanx" Indeedit is possibleto pushthe idea of thepolis and the phalanxfurther backto a 53 It a nomadic has been or Hanson and others that, stage. suggested by pre-agrarian suitedfor establishing as phalanxfightingseemsespecially territorial borders between of the phalanxwasdirectly the emergence to the processof sedentarirelated farmers, of agrarianism.154 zationand the emergence it is important to note that Nevertheless, whilemobile,the nomadtribe'doesoccupy... a specific andin thissensecan territory be regarded as a territorial and that consequently it is not unreasonable to unit',"55 attributephalanx fightingto nomads fightingover disputedpastures.Further, the so-called'aristocratic was identified with the hippeis, or the 'cavalry'.156 This regime' has been a traditionalsourceof confusionas to the existenceof the phalanxin the was credited with aristocratic individualistic earlypolis, for this 'cavalry' fighting.Yet it is generallyacceptedtoday that duringarchaictimes the hippeiswere mounted
Hanson (n. 111), 9-18. (n. 33),43. '48 Cartledge W. K. Pritchett, The GreekState at War,part 4 (Berkeley, 1985), 33. See also Morris (n. 64), 196-204. 150 Pritchett (n. 149), 44. "'5Raaflaub (n. 132), 49-57. 152 V. D. Hanson, The OtherGreeks: TheFamily Farm and the Agra Civilization(New York, 1995), 238. 53 On Early Iron Age pastoralism, see Snodgrass (n. 135), 190-209. 155 Khazanov (n. 128), 149-50. 154 Hanson(n. 152),223. 156 Aristotle, Politics 4.10, 1297b15-24.
147 149

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hoplites,and that 'the horsewas used only for transport,and on the battlefieldthe accoutred as a hoplite,dismounted andtook his positionin the line, aristocrat, already Thosewho subscribe to the notionof the 'aristocratic leavinghis horseto a squire'.'57 by individualfightingsuggestedthat the first phalanxeswere regime'characterized or hippeis,on the one hand, and the newlyemerged composedof both aristocrats, mass tacticsas 'a deft compromise' for the hoplites,on the other.They considered as 'reluctant and the so-called'aristocrats' Othersseemto pushthe hippeis hoplites'.158 idea of the 'mounted thatthe firstphalanxes were hoplite'one stepfurther, suggesting of or mounted and that the archaic hoplites composedentirely hippeis hippeiswere but alwaysmountedinfantrymen neveractuallycavalrymen or mountedhoplites.159 The notion of the 'mountedhoplite', or notion of the polis as an association of 'mobilehoplites',could indeedsupplyus with the connectionbetweenthe earlypolis and nomadism. Anotherinteresting featureof the Greek that of the nomadic polis whichresembles definition. tribeis its non-territorial The non-territorial identityof the nomadictribe to its mobility. has beentraditionally attributed Gellnerobserves that 'nomads, people of no fixedabode,cannotbe defined,or havetheirnestedsocialunitsdefined,in terms of theirlocality'.'60It is interesting to note thatalso in the case of the Greekpolis, its non-territorial definition meant,as Raaflaub putsit, that 'thepoliswasmovable'.16'It in the sensethatit couldhavebeenmovedfromone locationto another. was movable Thus Herodotus(1.163-8) tells us that the Ionian Greeksof Phokaiaand Teos had movedtheirpoleis (to ItalianElea and Thracian Abdera).The Atheniansthemselves providea famouscasewhen,duringthe warwiththe Persians (480),theygavean ultimatumto the Spartancommander of the Greekarmy,that unlesstheirpolicyof war was accepted,they weregoing to removetheirpolls,or put theirfamiliesaboardtheir ships and sail for Sirisin Italy wherethe oraclestell they must establisha colony.162 Thepolis was movablealso in the sensethat in the case of colonization thepolis was formed before the actual sedentarization took place and also, as the exampleof
(n. 126),114. 7 Snodgrass of Ibid., 113;Cartledge (n. 127),23. YetSnodgrass (n. 135),98 seemsto rejecttheexistence in whichthewarrior fromhorseback'. Seealso P. warfare, 'a phaseof truecavalry actuallyfought

thatthehippeis of theGeometric 1973),75-8, 146,whomaintains (Cambridge, Agecommunities to whomAristotle referred as having a military andpolitical dominance werenot cavalrymen, but foot-soldiers who usedtheirhorsesfor transport. heavy-armed Greenhalgh suggeststhatbefore the so-called'hoplitereform', battleswereless organized affairsand successdepended far more on individual skillandthatthecreation of thephalanx wasprompted inventions by technological used (such as the double-grip shield).The (mounted) (stilla mountedinfantryman) pre-hoplite his horsefor transportation to the battlefield and also to movearoundin the battle,whileafter the invention of the phalanxthe hoplitecouldrideto battlebutnot use his horseto moveabout between the phalanxes duringthe engagements (pp.70-4, 146).VanWeessuggeststhatthe warchariotsin Homerwereused to transfer the warrior to the battlefield and to movewithinthe 'he at some point "jumps off"and "mingles with thepromakhoi", battle,yet normally, on foot' andRome41 [1994], ('The Homericway of war:the Iliadand the hoplitephalanx(I)', Greece 9-10). definition of theGreek Gellner(n. 13, 1981),34. Forthenon-territorial polis,see notes 128 and 129above. and empirein classicalantiquity',in A. Molho, 161 Kurt Raaflaub,'City-state, territory,

A. L. Greenhalgh, Early Greek Warfare:Horsemenand Chariotsin the Homeric and ArchaicAge

'9 Detienne (n. 123), 134-8.

K. Raaflaub, and J. Emlen (edd.), City-States in Classical Antiquityand MedievalItaly (Stuttgart,

1991),566. 162 Hdt. 8.61-3. Seediscussion in Manville (n. 100),38-40.

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Anabasis could haveformed shows,in the sensethata groupof warriors Xenophon's as a 'travelling itself and behave, usingthe wordsof Vidal-Naquet, republic'.163 as Cartledge Whileit couldbe illegitimate, fromHomerto the insists,to extrapolate existenceof developed the debateseemsto point further at hoplitephalanxwarfare,"64
a continuity between the late Dark Age communities and the archaic poleis. It seems that before mass tactics had reached the mature form it had from the middle of the seventh century onwards, it had to be shaped also by all the factors that have been traditionally assumed to enhance the appearance of the phalanx: agrarianism, factors were operating within and upon a community of warriors, the polis, which from its very beginning employed mass tactics. If mass tactics were employed by the earlypolis as well, then the distinction between 'aristocrats' and 'commoners' becomes problematic. Thus Van Wees rejects the traditional distinction between the promachoi (the Homeric heroes who fought in the front) and the commoners, at least as far as participation in the battle was concerned. Van Wees maintains that anyone in the mass was eligible to fight in the front, and constantly the distinction between the promachoi and the 'multitude' was a topographical one. Among the promachoi would be reckoned anyone currently fighting at the front, from famous hero to anonymous commoner; among the 'multitude' at any particular time are all those who are currently out of action, including leading heroes temporarily retired from the fray.166 The political implications of the dominance of phalanx fighting in Homer and in

Yetthose inventions.65 demographic growth,economicexpansion,and technological

the earlypolis are obvious: an agrariansociety which is characterized by a high

military participation ratio and in which everybody is engaged in the same type of fighting would be stateless and relativelyegalitarian. In such a community there will be no place for a differentiatedelite. Indeed Osborne points out that aboutthe rulersof Iliadand Odyssey is theirlackof supreme indeed power, ... whatis striking their comparativepowerlessness. ... Agamemnonnot only cannot enforce his will over exertpoliticalinfluence Akhilleus,he cannotenforceit overthe armyat large.... Individuals to theirsocialstanding, theirrhetorical and theirpersonal butnot abilities, according charisma, to the holdingof the officeof ruler.167 according All this becomes obvious once we understand that the Homeric community is stateless. In a similar way Raaflaub disagrees with Finley and others who interpret Homeric society as a pre-polis society that gives priority almost exclusively to the individual's claims and the private sphere. Raaflaub suggests that the 'epics presuppose an early form of the polis', and that 'in the community, institutions are informal and dominated by the elite. Yet a closer look reveals that the demos' role is
163 P.Vidal-Naquet of theAthenian Tainein 'Thetradition quotingHippolyte (n. 58), Hoplite' 86 (an earlierversion,'La traditionde l'hopliteAthenien' was published in Vernant [n. 123], is Thuc.7.77.7where in Sicily, 161-81).Anotherexample Nicias,at themomentof retreat saysto the Athenian thatyouyourselves, wherever See army'Reflect you settledown,area cityalready'. C. Moss6,'Le r61e des armiesdansle mondeGrecl'apoque classique', in Vernant politique (n. 123),222. P Cartledge, 'La nascitadegli oplitie l'organizzazione in S. Settis(ed.),I Greci, militare', '64

vol. 2. And see also W K. Pritchett, Studies in Ancient Greek Topography, vol. 4 (Amsterdam,


Greek State(Cambridge, modifiedby I. Morris(n. 64), 156-9. lecture, inaugural 1977);


Agrarianism: Hanson (n. 152). Demography: Snodgrass, Archaeology and the Rise of the Hans Van Wees, Homeric Warfare,in Morris and Powell (n. 166), 687-9. R. Osborne, Greecein the Making, 1200-479 B.c (London, 1996), 150.


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It should be emphasizedthat the dominant role of the 'elite' in significant.'"68 politicallife, both in the Homericand the earlypolis, does not contradictthe notion of the statelesspolis; it does not make its membersrulersany more than the domrulersof thepolis. Further, inant roleof the elite in classicaltimesmadeits members as Bowdensuggests,if we assumethat the Iliad is a poem about the societyof the society,or earlyGreekpolis, then we cannotuse it as evidencefor earlier'pre-polis' for 'pre-hoplite'fighting, and we ought to question whetherthe Dark Age was at all.169 'aristocratic' of the (early)polis with the It is importantto emphasizethat the isomorphism the earlypolis was both a militaryand a political phalanxexistedin both directions: whichusedmasstacticsas well as beinga military unit. It was a politicalcommunity Thus it could be misleadingto suggestthat the unit with a political organization. polis adoptedmass tactics, but rather that it was a form of mass tactics. Thus into a community the Greekcamp at Troyis itself transformed structured politically is an examplesuggesting like any other,170 Anabasis thateven and, again,Xenophon's in classical times militarygroups devoid of strongleadership(that is, in stateless as poleis.'7'In otherwords,if we returnto conditions)tendedto organizethemselves the questionraisedby Cartledge, askingwhythepolis 'goeshoplite'is likeaskingwhy the tribe'goes kinship'. to the conclusionthat this The natureof the pitchedbattleseemsto point further form of fighting was developedfrom the beginningby and for political communities.172 'Going hoplite',or the adoptionof hopliteprotocolby all poleis, could be as Hanson suggests,to agrarianism-thatis, to the fact that the phalanx attributed, The battlewas short,an houror two of 'a briefnightmare was composedof farmers. that a hoplite could face only once a summer',173 and generallyspeakingphalanx This, of course, suits a nonfighting demanded little specializedtraining.174 who had to attendto theirfields.175 armyof farmers professional Ideally, fightingwas limitedto the battlefieldand it ruledout annihilation, or expulsionof enslavement, the defeated.176Booty in these battleswas limitedto the battlefield and the countryside. Invadingarmiesusuallypillagedthe countryside for a whilebeforethe pitched battle.After the battlethe main sourceof booty werethe hoplitearms and armour which were strippedfrom the dead by the victoriousparty and the ransomwhich couldbe obtainedfromthe relatives of the prisoners. Aftera dedication of a tenthto the gods,the booty wentto the city.Thehoplitebattle,then,meanta redistribution of wealthwithinthe Greekworld.As Connorobserves, this was not solelyan exchange of wealthbetween before poleis. If an invadingarmywhichpillagedthe countryside the battlewas then defeated,muchof this wealthcould then be recycled by the vic'Homeric Powell(edd.),A New Companion society',in Ian Morrisand Barry '68K. Raaflaub, to Homer(Leiden,1997),645-8.

As Vidal-Naquet (n. 163),86 pointsout, also in the classicalperiod'thearmyand thecity weremodeledon thepolis.Thiswas obviousat Salamis, whereit was not the fleetthatsavedthe on the ships.' city but the city thattook up residence see Hanson(n. 111),9-18. 172 Fordetailsof the hopliteprotocol, The evidencein these mattersseemsat first glanceto conflict.Connor(n. 2), 15, n. 59 suggeststhat much of the evidenceused to suggestthat Greeksenslavedother Greeksafter battlesin fact appliesto siegesand thatsiegewarfare was governed different code by a radically fromthatwhichappliedto hoplitebattles. A victorious of a citywasallowedto treatthe besieger menandthe enslavement of captivesas he sawfit. Thiscouldresultin the deathof military-age womenandchildren. And seealso Rihll(n. 66), 85.

Bowden (n. 89), 61.

170 Osborne (n. 167), 150.

'73 Ibid., 25.


Ibid., 31.

Adcock (n. 113), 4. 1'75

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toriousarmyinto othersectionsof the society.Connorconcludesthat an important result of the hoplite battle was that wealth moved from the privateto the public
realm. 77

of the rulesof the pitchedbattlereveals The observance the understanding thatthe Greekor the Hellenicpoleis constitutea 'system'of politicalcommunities, and that socialcohesion,and redistribution of wealthby observing the they maintainstability, rulesof the pitchedbattle.'78 VIII.CONCLUSION: 'DOOMEDTO EXTINCTION'? The idea of Greeceas a 'states-system' and the importance of the hoplite pitched battlein maintaining that systemare moretruefor archaicthan for classicalGreece. The classicalpolis could no longer be identifiedwith its hoplites and the rules of battles had changedafter the two long Persianinvasionsalso becausethe Greeks confronted Hansonobservesthat huge armieswhichhad not 'gonehoplite'.'79

ThePersian Wars thetraining forthemurderous became of thePeloponnesian ground years thecontexts-theSpanish CivilWar wasfortheSecond World War. The War, as-reversing
Greekswereto learnthatbattlecouldbe morethana simplepushing contestbetween armoured men, and thatwarwasmorethana onetimecollisionof phalanxes.'80

living in warlike communities, proved to be a good source of supply for the agrarian demand for specialists in violence. Whether as raiding poleis, raiding bands, or mercenaries, it was the cohesive Greek group rather than the individual that was engaged in the fighting.'83

and destruction in archaictimes, However, thoughhopliteprotocollimitedplunder it should be emphasized that war was also 'a mode of production' in the earlyand archaicpolis. Raids for booty in Homerappearto be entirelyaccepted.'81Archaic Greecewas also the age of colonization, and it is in this processwherethe natureof Greekwarfare as a 'modeof production' wasmorevisibleas the Greeks werefreefrom the restraints imposed by hoplite protocol which did not apply to wars with In manycasescolonization non-Greeks. startedwitha conquestfollowed by annihilation, expulsion,or sale (as slaves)of the local population.Further, hopliteprotocol was not alwaysmaintained, evenin warsamongthe Greeksthemselves.'82 The break-up of the hopliteprotocolafterthe Persian warsmeantthat waramong the Greeksbecome less controllable and more frequentand vicious than it was in archaictimes,and that plunder and thefthad becomemoredominantaimsof war.In the Greek world the Athenianempiredemonstrated the agrarianrule that wealth could much more easily be acquiredby predation ratherthan by farming.Further, the break-upof the Persianhold overthe Aegeanand the easternMediterranean in the fifth century, and the disintegration of imperial controlin Asia itself duringthe fourth,gavethe Greeksaccessto the east.Thisdidnot meanan increase onlyof trade, but also of plunder.Here,Greekmilitaryskills,acquiredduringhundreds years of

This was accompanied also by a significant of the army, changein the composition
'77Connor(n. 2), 16. Ibid., 21. IndeedM. Wightconsiders ancientGreeceto constitute the first'states-system' whichhe roughly definedas 'a federation of a number of stateswiththe objectof preserving the actualbalanceof power' (Systems of States[Leicester, 1977], 21-2). Adcock(n. 113),11-12;Hanson(n. 111),37. Hanson(n. 111),37. 179 180 'Warand raidsin the worldof Odysseus', in Rich and Shipley(n. 66), 18' AlastairJackson, 64-76. Rihll(n. 66), 79-80.
178 182

See notes 91 and 176 above.

183 Hanson (n. 152), 357-65.

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most of all, in maritime poleis. The navy had a dominant role in the victory over the Persians, it was dominant in maintaining the Athenian empire, and it was needed to secure the trading routes and to carry military expeditions and raiding bands. This meant, of course, that the polis, initially a community of hoplites, had to employ relatively large numbers of rowers upon whom its economy was dependent and who risked their lives for its sake. As I have pointed out earlier,in stateless societies military participation has a levelling effect. As a stateless community the polis could not enforce conscription, and consequently conscription had to be accompanied by an increase in the degree of political participation and enfranchisement. The classical polis was still a community of soldiers (though not of hoplites) and war against the outside world was still a dominant factor in enhancing the cohesion of the classical polis. Thus, for instance, the use of Athenian hoplites as amphibious troops meant that landowners fought alongside their social inferiors, which, no doubt, helped to bring about the political integration of those classes. Nevertheless, the simple mechanism of the phalanx in maintaining the cohesion of the polis had lost its dominance.'84 The new army was in a way a reflection of the new polis; it was more complex and less homogeneous because thepolis was no longer a simple community of small landed farmers. The influx of wealth brought by empire, plunder, and trade increased urbanization. The numbers of slaves and metics had increased, new professions had been introduced, and the division of labour within the Greek polis had become much more complex than in archaic times. Here the Greekpolis poses a problem for modern social anthropology. Social anthropologists usually consider the state as a necessary condition for civilization and the stateless community as 'primitive'. Thus Marshall Sahlins observes that A civilization is a society both massive and divided within itself. The populationis large, dividedby its laborsinto specialized diversified, and,by unequal perhaps ethnically occupations interests in the means of power,divided into unequallyprivilegedclasses. All the cultural of civilization achievements and complexityof organization. Yet a dependon this magnitude and internally dividedcannotstandwithoutspecialmeansof society so large,heterogeneous, ... The cultural controland integration. richness thatwe call civilization hasto be instituted in stateform.185 Stateless tribal community is 'primitive'in the sense that it is egalitarian and simple. It is composed of identical and interchangeable units: everybody is engaged in the same type of food production, and all enjoy much the same level of material income and political influence.186 While the traditional definition of civilization proposed by Childe-the existence of written language and cities-may be too narrow in the sense that it excludes the sophisticated yet illiterate native civilizations of Peru or West Africa, it is obvious that a society which possesses written language and cities is indeed civilized. Thus the ancient Greek world defies social anthropology by being both stateless and civilized even in archaic times; Greek civilization evolved in stateless conditions and was sustained by non-state mechanisms. Nevertheless, if Sahlins'spoint is not to be entirely rejected, then one must assume that the abilities of stateless communities to sustain a heterogeneous society are very limited. Thus, it could be claimed that the archaic polis, though civilized, could still have been sustained by non-state mechanisms because it was relatively 'simple' or homogeneous in the sense
'84 Ibid., 369-375.
185 Sahlins (n. 95), 6-7; Khazanov (n. 68), 89-90; Patricia Crone, 'The tribe and the state', in John A. Hall (ed.), States in History (Oxford, 1986), 49-50. '86 Crone (n. 185).

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that it was composed of (small) farmers and thus was relatively egalitarian from a social and economic point of view. Was the classical polis, then, to use Runciman's phrases, 'doomed to extinction', or an 'evolutionary dead-end','87because as a stateless community, it could not have sustained the strains of civilization of classical times? This would lead us to another question: was stasis more endemic in classical times? Hanson seems to suggest that it was; Cartledge, on the other hand, argues that archaic Solon's stasis-ridden Athens was probably more representativethan Hanson would allow.'88When stasis is viewed as open hostilities, the answer cannot easily be established. However, when it is viewed as the negation of civic spirit of which the most important characteristic is the ability of the community to produce warriors, a case could be made here for its weakening in the classical polis. Civilized life, or cities, Ibn Khaldun reminds us, corrupts the civic spirit of (stateless) communities: the 'good life' fails to produce good soldiers. A similar point is made by Hanson: stressing agrarianism, he suggests that only the countryside could have produced hoplites (and their civic spirit) and, while the hoplites who fought Philip at Chaironeia were just as brave as their ancestors who slaughtered the Persians at Plataea, they were now only a segment within the city.189 Further, city dwellers, though relatively reluctant to fight, could use their wealth to acquire more of it; in other words they could employ mercenariesin the pursuit of the 'good life'. As the numbers and size of mercenaryarmies increased in classical Greece, so the citizens with assured livelihoods from sources other than soldiering became progressively demilitarized. The result was that the poleis became less capable, not more, of defending themselves against an invader of a more formidable kind.190 It is important to note that stateless communities could prevail when they encounter states or formidable empires. Here nomads provide a good example. Nomads resist coercion and remain free also because of their mobility, that is, in certain circumstances they simply run away.Nomads are mobile also because they are 'primitive' or relatively uncivilized and consequently there is not much to be carried away. Yet, if mobility was ever an option for the Greek polis, it no longer existed in classical times. The polis was too civilized and too 'heavy', and fourth-century Athenians could have never contemplated the kind of threat which was made by their ancestors during the war with the Persians (480), when they gave an ultimatum to the Spartan commander of the Greek army that unless their policy of war was accepted they intended to remove their polis to Siris in Italy.'91 Yet there is another way by which stateless communities could prevail over formidable empires, namely by joint effort. Nomadic tribes can unite and take over existing empires or establish their own empires. And the Greeks themselves provide a good example when, by joint effort, they prevailedover the Persians.Thus Hanson sees a union of poleis as the only option for the survival of the polis: role in Greekunification aroundagrarian [Athens]might haveplayeda prominent principles, creating some federatedfortress Greece, a defensive alliance of autonomousagricultural a democratic and Ionianmirrorimageof the Peloponnesian city-states, LeagueunderSparta. after takingup an activistand internationalist Alternatively, stance,Athens,like Rome later, could havemovedbeyondall resemblance to heragrarian genesis...192
'87 See note 53.

'Classical Greekagriculture II:twomorealternative Journal views', of Peasant . Cartledge, Studies 23 (1995),137. 189 Hanson(n. 152),353. '90 Runciman (n. 53), 353-356. 192 19' See note 162. Hanson(n. 152),389.

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Greece'an option at all? Of course,'a defensiveallianceof Yet was a 'federated could havebeencreatedon an ad hoc basis,as it autonomousagricultural city-states' was createdin the Persianwars.But it wouldnot havebeen anythinglike 'federated fortressGreece'.As a polis, or a union of poleis,it wouldhavebeen stateless, that is, without any means to coerceits individualmembersinto action or to preserve the The alternative, as Hanson rightlyobserves,would be a unity among its members. to the original creation of an entity which would be 'beyond all resemblance' seem to face the a state. Nomads same alternatives. When nomadictribes polis-that is, retained their egalitariannature,their empires'were little more than short-lived historicalepisodes'.Nomadicsocietiesof thiskindarenot stableand tendto oscillate statelesscommunities betweenastonishing empireson the one hand and egalitarian, overa prolonged on the other.'Toexistand maintainstability perioda nomadicstate mustincorporate withinitself a partof the outsideworldin the formof its sedentary for this veryreasonall suchstatesarenot nomadicstatesin the population.However, strictsense.'193 In a similar forthepoliswouldbe the establishment waythe alternative of an (Athenian,or Greek)state,whichmeansthat Athenswould'movebeyondall
resemblance to her . .. genesis', or in other words, the ruin of the polis.

Further,the notion of 'fortressGreece'is prejudiced by that of modernnationthe basis for common alism, or by the idea that sharedculturecould haveprovided as Gellnerobserves, or the desirethatthe cultural nationalism, politicalwill.However, is a productof the industrial and politicalboundaries overlap, age and did not existin the agrarian world.In the latter, politicalsystemscouldbe roughlydividedinto local, on the one hand, and large empires,on the self-governing,statelesscommunities, other.Whilethe formerseldomexhaustthe cultureof whichthey are part,the latter Thus when a pan-Hellenicpolity was established are multiethnicor multicultural. it underMacedonian leadership, veryrapidly grewinto an empiretranscending by far the boundsof Hellenism.194 no one saw the problemmore clearlythan Plato.AnticiOf all Greeks,probably betweenwealthor civilizedlife, on the patingIbn Khaldun,he saw a contradiction one hand, and civic spirit,on the other.Nevertheless, whenhe reluctantly abandons his 'First City', or the 'City of Pigs', and chooses civilizedlife, the latterhas to be in a formof a state.Government instituted was no longeran option,nor by amateurs was a non-professional citizens'army.Plato abandonsGreektraditionalism and the notion of the polis as a communityof (non-professional) warriorsin favourof a differentiated class of professionalwarriorswho have the monopoly of violence. the Greekidea of the 'nationof Homer',in whichcultureand literacy Furthermore, are sharedby each and everyone in the community, is abandoned as well.The ruling classes monopolize culture, as they monopolize violence. Accordingto Gellner, the structure in the Republic makesit the first theoretical accountof the portrayed in agrarianstate. While Plato failed perhapsto anticipateMacedon,nevertheless, the rigidand stagnantruleof clericsand warriors overproducers, and in the demand that his Guardians be deprived of kin and privatewealth,Plato 'anticipated some of the most effectivebureaucracies of the agrarian world,notablythe Churchand the monasteries and the Mamelukes'.195 Yetwhateven Plato,who sawthe problemmore
Khazanov (n. 128), 296. cf. 228-9. Gellner, 'Foreword' ibid.,xiii-xv, xxv. Gellner (n. 18), 13-14; M. I. Finley, 'The ancient Greeks and their nation', in The Use and Abuse of History (Harmondsworth, 1990), 120-33. 195Gellner (n. 19, 1991), 87. cf. 84-90.
193 '94

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and clearlythan any otherGreek,failedto see was that once his statewas established into an empire.Like all Greeks,Plato saw the successfulit would turn immediately as the naturalsocio-political unit, and polis, at least as far as its size was concerned, mouldedhis stateafterthepolis and as a polis-state. consequently TheOpenUniversity of Israel MOSHE BERENT mosheb@oumail.openu.ac.il

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