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How to Do Things with HistoryNew Approaches to Ancient Greece$
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Danielle Allen, Paul Christesen, and Paul Millett

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190649890

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190649890.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 December 2021

The “Great Leap” in Early Greek Politics and Political Thought

The “Great Leap” in Early Greek Politics and Political Thought

A Comparative Perspective

(p.21) 1 The “Great Leap” in Early Greek Politics and Political Thought
How to Do Things with History

Kurt A. Raaflaub

Oxford University Press

In this chapter Raaflaub argues that political patterns affecting communal thought, life, and institutions, and widely shared by Greeks and Near Eastern societies, are still visible in the Homeric and Hesiodic epics, and thus into the early seventh century BCE. Soon thereafter, though, the Greeks diverged from that common tradition; they embarked on a path of radical innovation that took their fledgling political life and thinking in a decidedly new direction. That shift enabled them to discover ideas, values, institutions, and procedures that had a profound and long-lasting impact on the development of Western political traditions. The chapter describes this breakaway moment and tries to explain this great leap.

Keywords:   Greeks, Near East, innovation, Western political institutions, epics

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