Kinship in Thucydides. Intercommunal Ties and Historical Narrative . Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013. 464 pp. Pr. £90.00. isbn 9780199697779. The title of this work might provoke a raised eyebrow (or even two) among traditional readers of Thucydides: surely the clear-eyed, cold-hearted rationalist has nothing to tell us about kinship between cities or communities—except, perhaps, to occasionally remind us that claims to kinship are nothing but a façade for brutal self-interest? The significant achievement of this excellent study is to show how profoundly wrong such a reaction would be: Fragoulaki carefully and persuasively reveals both how far the theme of kinship pervades Thucydides’ account of the Peloponnesian War and its context, and—just as importantly—how close analysis of this theme can illuminate our historical and historiographical understanding of this period and its most influential historian. Kinship, Fragoulaki suggests (following Mauss) was a “total social fact” in classical Greece: “it touched upon more than one sphere of life—juridical, economic, religious, ethical, emotional—and [ . . . ] could have various forms, expressions, and uses” (10); her study encompasses all of these forms: kinship based on shared descent (between ethnic groups, communities or individuals), and ties of relatedness based on xenia
Mnemosyne – Brill
Published: Apr 24, 2015
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