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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: 06 December 2021

Marxism and Ancient History

Marxism and Ancient History

(p.209) 8 Marxism and Ancient History
How to Do Things with History

Kostas Vlassopoulos

Oxford University Press

In this chapter, Vlassopoulos explores how Marxist historiographies can be turned to productive use by contemporary historians. He argues that Marxist approaches bring four major elements that are particularly relevant for ancient history: history from below, a focus on large-scale historical change, a holistic approach to history, and metanarratives. Marxism was one of the major currents that brought history from below into ancient history, through a focus on slaves, women, and other subaltern groups. Much of this work, though, has focused on subaltern groups as passive objects of exploitation and domination and has taken the form of synchronic structural analysis, divorced from histoire événementielle. The big challenge ahead for both Marxism and ancient history is how to study subaltern groups as active agents of history and how to incorporate them into historical narrative.

Keywords:   Marx, Marxism, history from below, holistic approach, metanarratives

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