Studies in Ancient Society (Routledge Revivals)
By M.I. Finley
Routledge – 1978 – 326 pages
Series: Routledge Revivals
Originally published in 1978, this volume comprises articles previously published in the historical journal, Past and Present, ranging over nearly a thousand years of Graeco-Roman history. The essays focus primarily on the Roman Empire, reflecting the increase, in British scholarship of the post-war years, of explanatory, ‘structuralist’ studies of this period in Roman history. The topics treated include Athenian politics, the Roman conquest of the east, violence in the later Roman Republic, the second Sophistic, and persecutions of the early Christians. The authors have all produced original studies, a number of which have generated significant research by other ancient historians.
The papers vary from the interesting to the very good indeed and are all well argued. What they have in common is a concern with theoretical and practical systems, political, social and economic and with related attitudes of mind. The Times Educational Supplement
As Professor Finely points out in his introduction, the authors are concerned not only with the explanation of change and movement, but with a perspective which pays close attention to the complex and, to many, esoteric social structure of the classical world. It is the last point which will make this collection appeal to many more than ancient historians. Economist
1. East and West in antiquity 2. Freedom – ideal and reality 3. Prometheus 4. Dike and Eros 5. Some aspects of the transition from the Classical to the Hellenistic Age 6. The Hellenistic Age 7. Some Roman concepts of state and empire 8. Caesar’s final aims 9. Remarks on the meaning of history