Xenophon’s Hipparchikos and the Athenian Embrace of Citizen Philotimia

Xenophon’s Hipparchikos and the Athenian Embrace of Citizen Philotimia Although negotiations over the competing claims of honour (timê) and awards of instantiated honours (timai) were central features of Athenian democracy, the dangerous ambiguities of philotimia meant that only from the 340s BC were the Athenians explicitly embracing this love of honour and celebrating its display by citizens and non-citizens alike. Here I argue that a close reading of Xenophon’s treatise on cavalry command, Hipparchikos, advances our understanding of this embrace of public-spirited honour in three ways. First, Xenophon founds the success of the cavalry on the training of knowledgeable officers who are able to harness the Athenians’ extraordinary love of honour, on display and on campaign. Second, he reveals the diverse roles played by timê and philotimia throughout the entire institution of the Athenian cavalry, fostering competitive excellence as well as community amongst cavalry, polis, and gods. Third, Xenophon’s arguments about the nature and negotiation of Athenian honour anticipate the ideological and institutional embrace of citizen honour that, amply attested by epigraphic and literary records, was central to Athenian flourishing during the Lycurgan and Hellenistic eras. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Polis: The Journal for Ancient Greek Political Thought Brill

Xenophon’s Hipparchikos and the Athenian Embrace of Citizen Philotimia

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0142-257x
eISSN
2051-2996
DOI
10.1163/20512996-12340177
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Although negotiations over the competing claims of honour (timê) and awards of instantiated honours (timai) were central features of Athenian democracy, the dangerous ambiguities of philotimia meant that only from the 340s BC were the Athenians explicitly embracing this love of honour and celebrating its display by citizens and non-citizens alike. Here I argue that a close reading of Xenophon’s treatise on cavalry command, Hipparchikos, advances our understanding of this embrace of public-spirited honour in three ways. First, Xenophon founds the success of the cavalry on the training of knowledgeable officers who are able to harness the Athenians’ extraordinary love of honour, on display and on campaign. Second, he reveals the diverse roles played by timê and philotimia throughout the entire institution of the Athenian cavalry, fostering competitive excellence as well as community amongst cavalry, polis, and gods. Third, Xenophon’s arguments about the nature and negotiation of Athenian honour anticipate the ideological and institutional embrace of citizen honour that, amply attested by epigraphic and literary records, was central to Athenian flourishing during the Lycurgan and Hellenistic eras.

Journal

Polis: The Journal for Ancient Greek Political ThoughtBrill

Published: Sep 17, 2018

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