The Discourses of Identity in Hellenistic Erythrai: Institutions, Rhetoric, Honour and Reciprocity

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Abstract

Recent research in the field of New Institutionalist analysis has developed the view that institutions are grounded not only upon authoritative rules but also upon accepted practices and narratives. In this paper I am interested in the ways in which honorific practices and accounts of identity set out in ancient Greek inscriptions contribute towards the persistence of polis institutions in the Hellenistic period. A diachronic survey of Erythraian inscriptions of the classical and Hellenistic periods gives an impression of the adaptation and proliferation of forms of discourse established in the classical period. It demonstrates the ongoing prominence of the rhetoric of identity in conversations that went on not only between peer polities and within real or imagined kinship groups but also in negotiations between powerful and weak state entities and in inward-facing discourses on euergetism.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDiscourses of Identity in the Ancient World
Subtitle of host publicationPolis Special issue
Place of PublicationLeiden
PublisherBrill
Pages74-107
Number of pages34
Volume38
Edition1
ISBN (Electronic)2015-2996
ISBN (Print)0142-257X
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2021

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