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6. Archaeology II

From Wealth to Capital: The Changing Politics of Accumulation

Thucydides does more in the Archaeology than demystify the heroic age and argue that early Greece, far from being a glorious heroic age, was disorganized and materially weak. He extracts for historical analysis definite principles that he then treats as generally applicable.[1] At one point, for example, Thucydides argues that land power had proven unable to develop large political structures:

Wars by land there were none, none at least by which power (dunamis) was acquired; we have the usual border contests, but of distant expeditions with conquest (katastrophê) of others as object, we hear nothing among the Hellenes. There was no union of subject cities round a great state, no spontaneous combination of equals for confederate expeditions; what fighting there was consisted merely of local warfare between rival neighbors.

The logic of this analysis is clear enough: power, dunamis, comes from the conquest of others (allôn katasrophê). Thucydides, in part, anticipates the Marxian analysis of feudal expansion. The only way for feudal lords to expand their power was “by forcefully redistributing wealth away from the peasants or from other lords. This meant that they had to deploy their resources (surpluses) towards building up their means of coercion by means of investment in military men and equipment, in particular to improve their ability to fight wars. A drive to political accumulation, or state building, was the feudal analogue to the capitalist drive to accumulate capital.” [2]

But Thucydides diverges from the Marxian analysis in one crucial regard. In the Marxian paradigm, political accumulation was necessary because feudalism imposed economic stagnation. If nothing could be done to increase the productivity of land or labor per se, one could only acquire a greater share of the limited wealth available. “In view of both the lords’ and the peasants’ restricted ability effectively to allocate investment funds to improved means of production to increase agricultural efficiency, both lords and peasants found that the only really effective way to raise their income was by forcefully redistributing wealth away from the peasants or from other lords.” [3] Thucydides, by contrast, assumes that “political accumulation” increases security, contact between people, and wealth in general (Thuc. 1.7, 8.3, 13.1). Thucydides does not provide a “moral” framework insofar as he does not apply criteria of justice to this process, but he does imply that political accumulation serves the interest of society as a whole.

Once Thucydides establishes political accumulation as a primary value, his analysis of the Greek tyrants follows logically:

Again, wherever there were tyrants, their habit of providing simply for themselves, of looking solely to their personal comfort and family aggrandizement, made safety the great aim of their policy and prevented anything worthy of consideration (axiologos) proceeding from them, though they would each have their affairs with their immediate neighbors. Those in Sicily, as proof of this, attained to the greatest power (dunamis) of any. Thus for a long time everywhere Hellas was restrained so that it could not accomplish any public action as a group, while it remained, when considered as separate poleis, rather lacking in daring (atolmotera).

This section of the Archaeology has not attracted as much attention as some others, but its dismissive treatment of the Greek tyrants has sparked interest among readers.[4]

Thucydides’ dismissive analysis of the tyrants is polemical and provocative. With his offhand remark on tyranny, the historian willfully dismisses the obvious physical achievements of the tyrants and brings to the fore his revisionist perspective of history. The tyrants were more successful than any other individuals or groups of their time at exploiting the nature of archaic Greek society. But the Thucydidean judgment, however shocking it may have been at the time, so perfectly anticipates many modern attitudes that it raises little comment. Even those who have studied the most successful tyrants have echoed Thucydides’ contempt.[5]

Consider two other well-known and equally polemical passages. At 1.9.3, Thucydides concludes that Agamemnon employed not merely charis, which we might here term a “debt of honor,” but deos, “fear,” to assemble the Greek host. A bit later, he considers the impression that a desolate and ruined Sparta and Athens might make on visitors in the distant future. No one would deduce the true power of Sparta from its material remains, since “the city had not been combined into a single political unit, nor did it make use of sanctuaries and buildings but was settled in scattered villages according to the old Greek fashion” (Thuc. 1.10.2). Athens, on the other hand, was a single, massive city, heavily built up with impressive structures, and a later observer would “estimate from its obvious appearance the city’s power to be twice that which it really is.” Neither of these comments has provoked much surprise.[6] Thucydides’ analysis here strikes a blind spot in modern scholarship, which, influenced by Hobbes, has often taken such cold-blooded calculation for granted.[7] Nevertheless, these two judgments in effect reject fundamental assumptions on which much activity in the archaic Greek world was based. Thucydides’ method is self-consciously reductive, in that he assigns minimal impact to phenomena that were, in fact, important. His model of human behavior, with its calculus of fear and interest, deliberately simplifies reality, and the original readers of Thucydides—even those who shared this perspective—would have understood the degree to which the historian was outraging an earlier set of values.

At 1.10.2, Thucydides rejects two kinds of influence. First, he obviously denies that buildings, statues, and other material artifacts can serve as a reliable index of power, and his comparison of Sparta and Athens strongly supports this assertion. The second point is perhaps less obvious, but equally important. Thucydides dismisses Athenian architectural splendor to make a more general point, that symbolic values are, in his view, unimportant and irrelevant in the calculus of power. Thucydides does not acknowledge the fact that material goods do not simply mirror, but can themselves produce, power. The building of temples, the dedication of costly statues or of large quantities of bullion—all of these can serve as manifest symbols, which instantiate power and generate prestige in the public eye. The tyrants in particular consumed their wealth extravagantly to publicize their power in a kind of Greek potlatch.[8]

Thus the Deinomenids not only competed in horse racing on a Panhellenic level—the most expensive avenue of competition—but they subsequently used their wealth to memorialize their victories and to make them a fixed and tangible part of Greek tradition. Pausanias saw a chariot and portrait statue of Gelon executed by Glaukias of Aigina (Paus. 6.9.4–5).[9] Deinomenes, Gelon’s grandson, dedicated at Olympia a chariot by the Aiginetan artist Onatotos, with racehorses by Kalamis on either side. Polyzalos, brother of Gelon, who became tyrant of Gela when Hieron assumed control of Syracuse, dedicated a chariot group at Delphi of which the charioteer, buried in the earthquake of 373, survives to the present day.[10] The tyrants used every tool at their disposal to publicize their victories. From the sixth century the coins of Syracuse had portrayed a four-horse chariot, but with Gelon’s triumph they begin to include a flying Nike that crowns the horses.[11] The poet Simonides invented the genre of epinician poetry, to celebrate such victories and designed to become part of the public and international canon of Panhellenic poetry. Hieron commissioned not only Simonides, but the younger poets Pindar and Bacchylides, to make sure that their literary texts would provide a framework within which his victories would survive—a wise choice, since four poems by Pindar (Ol. 1, Pyth. 1–3) and three by Bacchylides (poems 3–5) survive to praise Hieron for modern audiences.

If we now lay emphasis upon material display and its symbolic value, we are only describing as best we can in modern idiom forces that shaped the actions and perceptions of Greeks in the archaic and classical periods. Nor does Thucydides deny this—the Corcyraeans and Corinthians still frame their arguments within the traditional scheme of symbolic capital and charis. Before we can appreciate Thucydides’ reductive analysis, we need to consider more closely those factors that were pushed aside.

Wealth in the Archaic Period: Symbolic Rather Than Financial Capital

Why, one may ask, did men such as Hieron lavish such wealth and attention on matters that, to Thucydides at least, seemed of secondary importance? The answer to this question is simple enough and consistent with Thucydides’ analysis of the past. The tyrants of Sicily, and of Greece in general, had, we might say, great “wealth,” but not “capital.” Precious metals could store surplus wealth, whether as bullion or as coinage, but it is easy to forget that such resources are effectively inert. Almost all of us—whether we live in North America or mainland China—live in a world where accumulated wealth automatically and as if by its inner nature produces additional wealth. Capital generates interest or dividends or rent or some other form of wealth. If we accumulate money, we put it in banks, stocks, or bonds, and our money reproduces some fraction of itself as a return on our investment. For many of us, it is hard to imagine the instincts that a different system, which lacked these now pervasive financial mechanisms, would have stirred. Even those of us who grew up in formerly Communist nations understood interest payments existed, since Communist society was, in part, a reaction against such a financial system. Marx denounced “the wealth of the few that increases constantly, although they have long ceased to work.” [12] This condition, in which capital not only reproduces but also augments itself, is the hallmark of capitalist production: “As soon as capitalist production stands on its own two feet, it not only maintains this relation but reproduces it on a constantly expanding scale.” [13]

Until financial mechanisms became more pervasive and reliable, the precapitalist lord could, as we have seen, expand his power only by recourse to “political accumulation.” Capital did not automatically grow and increase its value in archaic Greece. We know, of course, that money was loaned for interest,[14] and in this sense money could generate money, but loans were a special case, not the natural form in which to store accumulated wealth. Herodotus, for example, records a story about a certain Milesian in the early part of the sixth century (Hdt. 6.86a). Although oppressed by the instability of Ionia and the rapidity with which money changed hands, the Milesian knew that the Peloponnese was securely settled. He converted one-half of his wealth into silver (6.86a.4) and decided to deposit it with Glaukos, a Spartan renowned for justice at the time. The Spartan was supposed to safeguard the silver in its original form until the Milesian or one of his heirs returned for it, and the silver cache would, in an ideal world, simply be returned to its owner. There was no question of interest. The Milesian was grateful if he could guarantee the security and integrity of his wealth.

Another story from Herodotus illustrates the function of surplus wealth stored as precious metal. In book 7, Pythios is portrayed as the richest man in the entire Persian empire after Xerxes (Hdt. 7.27.2). He offers to Xerxes all of the money he has accumulated—two thousand talents of silver and almost four million Daric staters of gold (7.28.3). After announcing this gift, he makes a revealing comment: “All this I freely give to you: for myself, I have a sufficient livelihood from my slaves and my lands.” He keeps surplus wealth in the form of metal, but this surplus wealth is not productive. Land and labor produce wealth, and so long as Pythios controls these productive forces, he can live perfectly well without recourse to monetary wealth at all. The story, as it unfolds, reveals three tiers of wealth, each separate from the other. At one extreme stand the land and labor of Pythios, which he retains and does not offer to Xerxes (nor does Xerxes anticipate such a gift). These forces of production stand outside the normal exchange between king and subject. Next comes Pythios’s monetary wealth, and it is this wealth that he offers. His gift is wildly generous in quantity but only exceeds the amount that he might have owed in tribute.

Later in the book, however, Herodotus delimits the sphere of exchange in which monetary gifts pass from one person to another. Pythios asks to have one of his sons excused from military service. Yet the fortune of precious metals that he had offered does not justify this request. Not only does Pythios fail to get what he requests, but the request itself outrages Xerxes and provokes him to execute Pythios’s son in brutal and spectacular fashion. In a classic example of “spheres of exchange,” no amount of middle-rank gifts (e.g., money) can equal the smallest top-rank gift (in this case, military service by a single member of Pythios’s family).[15] Xerxes’ behavior is extreme, and his cruelty here characteristic of the “oriental despot,” but the underlying framework is Greek. Money thus occupies an ambiguous position, for while it provides the material for a spectacularly generous gesture, the value of monetary exchange faces qualitative limits that no quantitative amount can transcend.

For a tyrant such as Hieron, money in the storeroom was an important thing to have, and he accumulated as much as he could, but as long as it sat in his treasury it did nothing. It was of potential use and could be expended on any number of things, but the entire time he kept it hidden away, it remained unchanged. Where capital is a living entity that grows of itself, wealth is inanimate and inert. The effective price of gold may well rise or fall, but ten talents of silver in the back room will not transmogrify itself into eleven talents no matter how long one waits.

Pythios’s generosity was, in fact, not an idle or extravagant act, but, despite his subsequent miscalculation, in fact the best possible avenue of investment. When money does not earn financial interest, it is best invested in personal relationships. The only way in which wealth could produce more wealth was through investment in some action that strengthened the relationship between the giver and some individual or group. In archaic societies, gifts must be repaid with interest, and gifts are, in fact, the normal productive avenue of investment. In Greek, charis is the term used to describe various facets of this reciprocal relationship of gratitude.[16] Pythios’s story commands attention because it is a special case, given the generosity of the initial gift, the importance of the subsequent request to himself (his eldest son), and the unimportance, by some criteria, of the request to Xerxes (a single, utterly insignificant soldier). Its point comes from the fact that both Pythios and Xerxes can be seen as having transgressed separate norms: in Xerxes’ eyes, Pythios violates the implicit ranking of gifts, while Xerxes, of course, reacts to Pythios with the savagery that Herodotus repeatedly uses to characterize foreigners.

To sum up, if Pythios’s gold and silver had formed capital in a modern sense, his gift would have been grotesque, for he would have given away the source of additional wealth. But, to use Marx’s phrase, Pythios’s money was “petrified into a hoard, and it could remain in that position until the Last Judgement without a single farthing accruing to it.” [17] For the capitalist, money generates money, and things are commodities that serve only as a means to be converted into and out of money at a profit. The noncapitalist sells one commodity to acquire money with which to purchase another useful item, while the capitalist buys commodities only to sell them again at a profit.

In an archaic society, symbolic capital takes the place of modern capital, which does not, properly speaking, exist.[18] Money is not in itself a source of wealth, but a temporary repository that must be cashed in and invested in some social relation before it can generate any returns. In many cases, symbolic capital represents “a disguised form of purchase of labor power, or a covert exaction of corvées.” [19] In the Archaeology, Thucydides is not so much analyzing inner workings of the polis as an individual social unit as he is exploring the interaction of poleis. As we noted above, Thucydides has little interest in individual states, viewing them as the constituents out of which larger, more viable units can be assembled. Archaic Greek culture gave enormous value to balance and moderation in personal behavior, but balance was the keystone of all interstate relations as well. Sparta had considerable power in continental Greece, and the mainland provided a prestigious theater in which to showcase Sparta’s status, but the Greek in Olbia or Rhegion, or even on Naxos, had little to fear from direct Spartan force. No Greek state could exert its authority over a critical mass of the Hellenic world. Thus no polis or league was large enough to set off a chain reaction of growth. Each was, in Thucydides’ view, mired in skirmishes with its neighbors (Thuc. 1.15.2). Sparta, by contrast, did win complete and decisive victories over Messenia but then found itself almost as debilitated as strengthened by the constant effort of exerting this mastery over a brutalized and recalcitrant population.

The “rhetoric of wealth” matches its function. Pindar, writing for the elite of the early fifth century, reflects an ideology according to which wealth, ploutos, must be displayed and expended socially: “If someone hoards hidden wealth at home and attacks others with mockery, he fails to consider that he is giving up his soul to Hades without glory” (Isthm. 1.66–68). “I take no pleasure in keeping great wealth hidden away in my hall, but in using what I have to be successful and to win a good name by helping my friends. For the hopes of men who toil much come to all alike” (Nem. 1.31–32). “Wealth is widely powerful, whenever a mortal man receives it, blended with pure excellence, from the hands of fortune, and takes it as a companion that makes many friends” (Pyth. 5.1–4). The expenditure of wealth (dapanê) is good. At Isthm. 1.42, financial expenditure (dapanê) commands as much admiration as the physical stress of training (ponoi). The genos of the Theban Melissos delights in the expenses (dapanê) of horse racing on an international level (Isthm. 4.28–31), and they have not let these expenses (dapanai, pl.) wear out their reverence for their hopes (Isthm. 5.57–58).

Financial profit, kerdos, clearly exists by the fifth century—the coinages that began to emerge in the sixth century were popular in large measure because they could efficiently store such financial surpluses. We can see, however, that at least some of those who accumulated wealth took great pains to present themselves as the exponents of the earlier premonetary world. The relatively small island of Aigina could support roughly 4,000 people at bare subsistence, but in the first half of the fifth century it regularly fielded fleets of fifty ships or more, requiring a complement of 10,000 adult men, suggesting a population of c. 40,000.[20] Aigina clearly generated the vast majority of its wealth through nonagricultural means, primarily seaborne trade. Starting in the sixth century, Aigina was a leading producer of coined silver and thus could afford to tie up large quantities of its wealth in precious metals. Kerdos is always a dangerous thing in Pindar[21]—unless it is used metaphorically and converted into a special case that reverses its original nature.[22] Raw monetary exchanges are degrading and threaten to turn even the Muse into a whore.[23] The elite of Aigina did not, however, shun Panhellenic athletic contests or the elite medium of epinician poetry. Eleven of the forty-five complete surviving epinician poems by Pindar celebrate Aiginetan victors, and Aiginetans were far and away Pindar’s most common patrons. These men generated wealth by nontraditional means (i.e., not by agriculture), but with this monetary wealth they paid the poet Pindar to create an image that set them in a traditional position to which they held a dubious claim. The Aiginetans invested some of their surplus wealth first in supporting the training needed for international competition and then in commissioning epinician poems. But the epinician poems, it should be noted, are still read. The Aiginetans converted their silver into symbolic capital that is still paying them dividends long after they and their world have vanished.

Archaic Greece was constantly, as Marshall Sahlins, quoting Hobbes, observed of archaic societies in general, at “war with warre,” but a war in which status and prestige, rather than absolute dominance and possession of territory, were the primary goals. The weapons were less spear and sword than the public display and consumption of property, especially at the great Panhellenic gathering places. Participation in and victory at the games, the dedication of costly monuments, the building of lavish sanctuaries with temples and impressive offerings, the glorification of a city’s role (or, for colonies, the role of their founding city) in the poetic record, and the production of new poems translate a particular occasion—a victory in the games, the founding of a city, or simply a particular celebration of a local festival—into the permanent and international poetic record.[24]

The prestige of a Greek state differed absolutely in one fundamental respect from that enjoyed, for example, by the leaders of the various empires that had flourished in Near East. If Xerxes did not receive the public respect and subordination he desired, he might be expected to appear at the head of a devastating force to annihilate those at fault. He could extract respect by command. Greek poleis could not bring such force to bear. They needed to win respect from their fellows, to move their fellow Greeks to yield this respect freely. Herodotus dramatizes how suspicious and prickly states could be: those Greek states willing to oppose Xerxes did so conditionally. In book 7 of Herodotus, the Argives and Gelon of Syracuse preferred surrender to Persia to acceptance of the hegemony of Sparta and Athens. Status was, with the occasional exception of basic survival (cf. the Melians), the single most important factor in international relations. In the end, even the Persian Wars became a contest over status. After Salamis and before Plataia, Persia no longer threatened Athens with annihilation but offered favorable terms (Hdt. 8.140). But even though it no longer needed to fear the disasters that had overtaken Miletos in 494 (Hdt. 6.18–22) or Eretria in 490 (Hdt. 6.100–102), Athens chose to continue the struggle. The desire for autonomy and respect among Greek poleis now emerged as a passion for freedom: “We will defend ourselves,” the Athenians boast, “because we long for freedom (eleutheria)” (Hdt. 8.143.1). Prestige won from Greek states was always conditional and could be denied if the claimant pushed too hard or demanded too much. The Athenians in Herodotus’s narrative constructed their opposition to Xerxes, with all of its harsh risks, as a dramatic claim for respect and prestige among their fellow Hellenes. But if Athenian resistance was perhaps the grandest such gesture, the game to which it contributed was well established.

The contest for prestige affected the rhetoric by which the elite of the archaic period presented themselves. The epinician poets portrayed tyrants in different ways than they did private victors, adopting for the tyrants “a rhetoric of extremes which suits the preeminent position and gestures of [their] patrons.” [25] Yet each of Pindar’s odes to Hieron also incorporates sections that stress the limits of power and thus modulate the claims of his patron.[26] Hieron deserves praise from others, according to Pindar, because of his selfless generosity:

You are the guardian (tamias) of an ample store. You have many faithful witnesses of both good and bad. But abide in a blossoming temper, and if you are fond of always hearing sweet things spoken of you, do not be too distressed by expenses (dapanai), but, like a steersman, let your sail out to the wind. Do not be deceived, my friend, by glib profit-seeking (kerdos). The loud acclaim of renown that survives a man is all that reveals the way of life of departed men to storytellers and singers alike. The kindly excellence of Kroisos does not perish, but Phalaris, with his pitiless mind, who burned his victims in a bronze bull, is surrounded on all sides by a hateful reputation.

The underlying logic here is that of the potlatch, in which the wealthy publicly consume vast quantities of wealth. Hieron is a great man and wealthy, but he deliberately expends that wealth without regard to selfish concerns, and he thus lays a claim to praise and social approbation. Pindar equates Hieron with the kindly Kroisos and contrasts him with the murderous Phalaris. The tyrant wins praise beyond the borders of his immediate domain because he exploits his enormous powers in benevolent and socially acceptable ways. Listeners in Olbia or Olynthos, outside of Hieron’s direct control, can yield to him their jealously guarded admiration. Or, to use Bourdieu’s terminology, Hieron applies portions of his material wealth first to horse racing and then to the victory ode, but only because he thereby converts this material wealth into symbolic capital.

The pose that Pindar sketches for Hieron is not, however, confined to poetry, nor should we divide the archaic Greek world into serious/political and frivolous/literary spheres. The same rhetoric of self-presentation appears in the historical record. Diodoros, following the historian Timaios of the third century B.C., describes the aftermath of Gelon’s spectacular victory over Karthaginian forces at Himera in Sicily. Although anachronisms from the Hellenistic period may embellish this account, its overall tenor corresponds very closely to the picture from the archaic period.[27] When Diodoros emphasizes the general consequence of this victory, he focuses upon the “respect” (Diod. 11.23.3: apodochê) and “goodwill” (eunoia) that Gelon earned. Diodoros goes on to describe an elaborate theater of power and self-effacement. Gelon’s victory earned him respect and goodwill not only in Syracuse but throughout Sicily (11.25.5). His former adversaries on the island approached him now “asking for forgiveness for their previous errors, announcing that they would in the future do everything that he ordered.” [28] Not to be outdone, Gelon responded by concluding an alliance but exercising great restraint (11.26.1: epieikôs chrêsamenos). He “bore his good fortune as a mortal should” (tên eutuxian anthrôpinôs epheren). Perhaps Gelon could consolidate his power and bring down his enemies by force, and so they approached him for reconciliation. On the other hand, military action is expensive, time-consuming, and risky, so Gelon played an appropriately gracious role in response. Both sides disguise their new calculations of material power in an elegant and dignified social minuet.

Gelon reserved his greatest gesture for his own polis. Tyrants who cared to live long carefully disarmed their subjects and surrounded themselves with bodyguards. More than one tyrant had been murdered by a vengeful populace once he lost control of armed force. Gelon thus staged a scene that transgressed the behavior normally attributed to a tyrant, and legitimated his rule. He commanded all citizens to assemble under arms, and then appeared among them, not only unarmed, but wearing only the simplest of clothing, and in this vulnerable condition he delivered a verbal defence of his entire life and of his dealings with the Syracusans.[29] The crowd was amazed that he had put himself at the mercy of so many men who wished to kill him. Far from taking vengeance, they showered him with praises, and his control over Syracuse was never afterward challenged. Gelon then turned to the standard material rhetoric of the period (Diod. 11.26.7), instantiating his prestige by building temples to Demeter and Kore, dedicating a golden tripod of sixteen talents’ weight at Delphi, and beginning work on a temple to Demeter near Delphi.

Diodoros also tells us about Gelon’s death (Die wealth that could be expended on funerals—a measure that was od. 11.38). Gelon had instituted strict sumptuary laws limiting thcommon in the archaic period and that was an attempt to weaken the solidarity of powerful aristocratic clans. He left strict instructions that his own funeral should conform to these regulations and specified that he be buried in a particularly fertile field a number of miles outside of the city. The common people (11.38.5: ho dêmos) spontaneously erected an impressive grave (taphos axiologos) for Gelon and subsequently offered to him the cult due to a heros.[30] No act could confer greater legitimacy on a Greek ruler. Whether or not we believe Diodoros’s account, its shape aptly describes the goal for which a Greek tyrant might strive and to which wealth would properly be subordinated. If the Aiginetans and Hieron enjoy the continuing audience that Pindar’s odes command, Gelon acquired sufficient symbolic or cultural capital that his subjects—and the literary tradition embodied by Timaios and Diodoros—paid dividends to his grave long after his death.

Thucydides and “Symbolic Capital”

Both the temples of Demeter and Kore erected by Gelon (Diod. 11.26.7) and his grave are termed axiologos, “worthy of note” (11.38.5). Events in Sicily are, in fact, characterized as among the most axiologos (11.26.8) of a particular year, and this term, a common one that appears almost 300 times in Diodoros, generally designates what we might call in a slightly different context “all the news fit to print.” Thucydides uses this same term in much the same way as Diodoros, but he employs it to dismiss the collective achievements of Greek tyrants: with few exceptions, he notes, “no achievement was brought to fruition by them that was axiologos.” [31] In the this one term, Thucydides distills his rejection of an entire habit of thought, and even of the archaic world.

Before analyzing the new, however, let us consider the way Thucydides portrays the old. At 1.17, Thucydides uses the expression tas poleis ôikoun to describe the rule of the tyrants. This phrase is often treated as if it meant “they dwelled in their poleis,” with the verb oikeô given a colorless meaning. In fact, the verb, as Thucydides uses it, is a loaded word: oikeô literally means “to treat as one’s oikos.” When it describes someone living in a larger unit, it is used with a preposition to indicate that someone has their oikos in a larger space.[32] When oikeô is used with a simple accusative, it often implies that the subject has appropriated this space entirely and converted it into an oikos.[33] The verb oikeô does not just imply habitation but the control, even if conditional, of the space occupied.[34] In several important passages, the verb clearly means “govern”: thus Kleon boasts that the “worser sort of men for the most part govern (oikousi) their cities better than their more clever fellows”;[35] and the revolution of 411 draws up laws “so that the city will be governed (oikêsetai) in the best possible manner.” [36] If Thucydides had wanted to say that the tyrants merely lived in their home cities, he would have said en tais polesin ôikoun. In writing tas poleis ôikoun, he implies that the tyrants appropriated their poleis and controlled them as an extension of their own household. Thus the Athenian Euphemos, in a speech remarkable for its cold-blooded acknowledgment of Athenian ruthlessness, states that “having become leaders of those previously under the Great King, we control them (oikoumen)” (Thuc. 6.82.3).

It is important to stress that in many cultures (and in most of those cultures with which Greeks had contact), rulers were expected to treat their territory as a part of their own oikos. Such a posture can be portrayed as intrusive and can outrage sensibilities, but it can also be subsumed as part of a larger strategy in which power relationships are expressed in terms of an extended family. “When domination can only be exercised in its elementary form, i.e. directly, between one person and another, it cannot take place overtly and must be disguised under the veil of enchanted relationships, the official model of which is presented by relations between kinsmen; in order to be socially recognized it must get itself misrecognized.” [37] The ruler becomes the paterfamilias of a vast extended family. All members of the Persian empire are the servants of its emperor, just as the oiketai of an oikos must subordinate themselves to the head of the household. The palace is the center of such a social formation.

Instead of a palace, Greek poleis each had their agora, a neutral space corporately owned and controlled by the polis, for assembly and (as the economy evolved) for market exchanges. Just as individual poleis fiercely defended their autonomy, individual oikoi retained as much control as possible. Greeks would, in the best case, subordinate themselves to, freely lay down their lives for, nomos, but never for another mortal.[38] But this attitude was not self-evident, or a matter of natural law—the great empires to the east loomed dangerously on the horizon and threatened to subsume Greece. Thus successful tyrants (such as the Peisistratids) carefully declined to change the form of law or openly to appropriate power. Some were extremely successful in this regard: both Periander of Corinth and Pittakos of Mytilene found themselves at one time or another among the Seven Wise Men of archaic Greece.[39] Thus though many systems of domination may express themselves in terms of kinship and use family roles to misrecognize the raw power of a ruler, Greek tyrants did well to avoid this model. When Thucydides claims that they ran their poleis like an oikos, he is demystifying the understated position that clever tyrants might adopt. Thucydides does not, however, object to appropriation or domination on principle—as we have seen, Thucydides does not object to empires per se. Thucydides objects to the tyrants because they did not actually treat the polis as they should treat an oikos. They used the polis and governed it, but “they looked out to augment (auxein) their own interests insofar as they affected their own persons (es te to sôma) and their own private household (es to ton idion oikon)” (1.17). Thus though the tyrants might seem to control their poleis as large-scale oikoi, they in fact exploited the poleis for the small-scale interests of themselves and their personal oikoi. This is a very harsh judgment by Thucydides, for he treats nothing with more scorn than the emphasis of private concerns (idios) over those shared by a wider audience.

Thucydides dismisses the entire system of honors and polite restraint that tyrants such as Gelon manipulated so skillfully. He has little interest in polite surfaces and relentlessly pushed beyond to hard calculations of force and interest. When Thucydides claims that Agamemnon used fear (deos) just as much as charis to assemble the Greeks, he is passing judgment not only on the epic tradition, but on the self-effacing strategems and polite theatrics that concealed the harsh edges of authority. The acquisition of power (dunamis) and its application to the world in concrete deeds (erga) fascinate Thucydides.[40] Thucydides simply ignores much (though not all) of what we have called symbolic capital.

Thucydides and Capital

It is easy to see what Thucydides rejects—the old world had not developed the large-scale political bodies that he admired. And it should be clear by now that Thucydides has little patience for the self-serving fictions of the Greek elites. But what was it that had changed? Was the Athenian empire only an accident? Or did it reflect a fundamental change and the emergence of possibilities that had not previously existed?

Thucydides was able to dismiss symbolic factors almost entirely from his analysis, because he perceived the emergence of a new force. Where material wealth had previously been inert and could return “interest” only when handed over as a gift, Thucydides saw imperialism as a mechanism that could, as it were, make money out of money. The Athenian empire was analogous to modern financial capital in that it earned a regular rate of return (tribute taking the place of interest). Thus Thucydides traced in the Peloponnesian War a major theme familiar from recent studies of the impact of modern capitalism on traditional societies. Once financial and technological systems give dominant figures unprecedented levels of control, they can begin to dispense with the expensive and tiresome obligations they had previously needed to win the loyalty of those on whose services the great depended. Thus, in the modern ethnographic record, we might turn to James Scott’s work[41] to see how a technological tool such as a combine harvester could reduce the need for human labor in Indonesia and allowed the landlords to forgo many of the obligations they had formerly had toward the peasants who worked their land. The mechanized harvester was not simply a technological innovation, but a catalyst that allowed the powerful to increase their power and redefine the balance between themselves and those less powerful than they. The landlord-dependent relationship became tangibly less personal. Power increased in significance as social bonds became correspondingly less important. Scott describes a shift in what Bourdieu calls “modes of domination.” [42] The same kind of shift took place when Athens established its empire in the fifth century. Thucydides directs our gaze relentlessly at the impersonal calculations of his Athenians, who repeatedly turn to an objectified logic of power, rather than to traditional values or obligations.

Thucydides could not have differed more completely from Marx and Adam Smith alike in one fundamental respect: he had, as we noted earlier, remarkably little interest in material production. Agriculture is one of the factors with which Thucydides begins the Archaeology, and seaborne trade elicits additional wealth by means of some mechanism that Thucydides does not choose to describe. But Thucydides comes very close to seeing one kind of wealth, that associated with naval empires, as a kind of capital. The revenues of empire motivate Minos to clear the seas of pirates (Thuc. 1.4), but the accumulation of imperial wealth seems, in Thucydides’ view, to take on a life of its own. The land-based struggles of Greece were deficient precisely in this regard, for no one power could generate any momentum for its expansion but remained bogged down in disputes with its neighbors (1.15.2). Naval empires had emerged from time to time and had acquired the greatest strength by “revenues of money (1.5.1: chrêmatôn prosodôi) and by the domination of others (allôn archê).” Moving freely about the sea they would conquer (katesrephonto) the islands.

At 1.19, the Archaeology climaxes with the appearance of the Athenian empire, in many ways the logical culmination of the processes examined in the previous sections: “The Athenians in time received tribute from their subject cities with the exception of the Chians and Lesbians, and they imposed on them all monetary tribute. And so they possessed for this war far more stored wealth in their own control (hê idia paraskeuê meizôn) than would ever have been possible if they had expanded (ênthêsan) to the fullest extent of power (hôs ta kratista) with an ad hoc alliance.” [43] This passage, like many in Thucydides, is difficult to capture in translation: Thucydides examines potential energy in Athens’s paraskeuê, “stored wealth,” a word to which Thucydides gives a new importance.[44]

But the wealth that Athens accumulates is more than just “a petrified hoard,” like Pythios’s millions of Darics or the precious metal that the unnamed Milesian deposits with Glaukos at Sparta. The chrêmata that the Athenians collect from their subjects supports the navy. The navy, in turn, can bring crushing force to bear on any who do not fulfill their obligations, and it can expand its own power base (as, on a small scale, with Melos). The Athenian empire is a machine that runs on money and that can use money to expand. The capacity—and need—to expand leads to a number of tensions within the History.

First, what is the source of power? Both the Spartan Sthenelaidas and the Athenian Perikles agree that human beings, in the final analysis, are the only true source of power and force. Sthenelaidas, as we will see, argues that Sparta must defend its allies, as they are its greatest strength, while Perikles repeatedly argues that the Athenians should dismiss their personal possessions and preserve the strength of the polis as a whole (e.g., Thuc. 1.143, 2.60, 62.3; cf. 2.21.2, 55.2). But Perikles urges the Athenians to give up their farms and agricultural assets, and for him such sacrifices are tactics to preserve the empire and its revenues. He can thus give up his own estates as a gesture of solidarity with the Athenian people (2.13.1) so that he may not appear to demand more than he is willing himself to do. Money, chrêmata, has begun in Thucydides to evolve into an autonomous source of power, to which human labor is subordinate. On the Peloponnesian side, both the Spartan king Archidamos and the Corinthian delegation emphasize that chrêmata is essential in naval affairs, since money commands the labor and purchases the supplies necessary to run triremes and thus to project force.[45] For Perikles, Athenian financial reserves are a strategic asset. In the end, both the Peloponnesians and Perikles argue that human qualities will be decisive—the Peloponnesians claim greater courage, Perikles points to the fact that the Athenians have a greater store of naval skill and expertise.[46]

On the other hand, the dominance of material interests is a constant aspect of Thucydidean analysis: powerful men leading pirate expeditions for their own kerdos and for the material support of the weak (Thuc. 1.5.1), the weaker becoming slaves to the strong for the sake of kerdos (1.8.3), and Agamemnon using deos as well as charis (1.9.3). In the Archaeology alone, chrêmata appears nine times, and achrêmatia (“a lack of chrêmata ”) twice.[47] From the very beginning (2.2) a surplus (perisousia) of chrêmata is the necessary, if not sufficient, condition for significant achievements. When Pindar describes wealth, he uses terms such as ploutos or olbos. He uses the term chrêmata only once and in a bitterly negative passage. “ Chrêmata, chrêmata is the man,” said the Argive man, “when he had lost his possessions (kteana) and those dear to him (philoi) alike” (Isthm. 2.11–12). Pindar deplores a condition that Thucydides uses as a central determinant in his analysis of human affairs: material possessions define one’s status and one’s relationship with other people. We are very close to the phenomenon that Marx deplored as “the fetishism of the commodity,” [48] where things become more important than the human beings who create them, and society is turned upside down. Thucydides does not conceptualize this phenomenon as clearly as does Marx, but Marx’s analysis provides a general framework that gives greater coherence to the isolated elements in Thucydides.

Or, to follow Karl Polanyi, we might say that in the archaic Greek world, economic activities were “embedded” in larger social relationships: one exchanged things with relations or personal connections, and these material exchanges constituted a major portion of one’s personal interaction with others. Monetary exchange is an end in itself and establishes no emotional bond between buyer and seller. To understand the impact that “market exchange” and the rise of money might have on Greek society, consider the blunt analysis offered by Adam Smith in the chapter “Accumulation of Capital” in his Wealth of Nations: “Capitals are increased by parsimony, and diminished by prodigality and misconduct.…Parsimony, and not industry, is the immediate cause of the increase of capital.” [49] And yet parsimony is, as we have seen, exactly what a poet such as Pindar deplores. For Smith, symbolic capital would be an oxymoron. Thus, Smith explains, “the labor of some of the most respectable orders in the society is, like that of menial servants, unproductive of any value, and does not fix or realize itself in any permanent subject, or vendible commodity, which endures after that labor is past, and for which an equal quantity of labor could afterwards be procured.” In Smith’s view, material wealth is a beginning and an end, with which all other concerns must be concerned. Unless material capital is preserved and augmented, society cannot function. Human beings must subordinate themselves to things, and there is little room for the ideology of megaloprepeia that we briefly traced earlier.

Second, military imperialism has an ambiguous relationship to economic exploitation. Thus Adam Smith argues that “the sovereign, for example, with all the officers both of justice and war who serve under him, the whole army and navy, are unproductive laborers. They are the servants of the public, and are maintained by a part of the annual produce of the industry of other people. Their service, how honourable, how useful, or how necessary soever, produces nothing for which an equal quantity of service can afterwards be procured. The protection, security, and defence of the commonwealth, the effect of their labour this year, will not purchase its protection, security, and defence for the year to come.” [50] The Athenian empire, like many others, did, however, pay for itself and turn a substantial profit for the state. While their perspectives are completely different, Adam Smith and Marx both focus with equal intensity upon the production of wealth rather than on the extraction of plunder from a limited store. In this regard, Thucydides’ analysis differs from both.

Third, Thucydides does, however, portray in the Athenian empire a phenomenon that qualitatively approaches the capitalist mode of production outlined by Marx more closely than does the Persian empire. On military campaigns the subjects of the Great King, like the vassals of a feudal lord, must provide him with their labor and even their lives, but they retain control of “the means of production.” The disparate nations that participated in Xerxes’ invasion each participated with their own weapons, with their own officers, and with their own tactics. In the Peloponnesian League, the individual poleis provided hoplites who themselves provided their own arms and thus controlled the basic tools of their trade. Although the individual hoplite submitted to the control of superiors, hoplite armor was an expensive commodity, and the hoplite, even as he risked his life and surrendered a part of this freedom, simultaneously reaffirmed his individual status within society.

The Athenian empire begins with a phase that may be likened to the primitive accumulation described by Marx: according to Marx, capitalism could take hold only when the majority of workers lost control of the means of production, and he saw this initial or “primitive” accumulation in the expropriation of land from the many by the few. The rich “accumulated wealth, and the latter sort had nothing to sell except their own skins.” [51] In Marx’s analysis of capitalism, this stage initiates the alienation of workers from the forces of production and allows the capitalist to convert workers into objects with no control over their actions as workers. The psychological consequences of this alienation are substantial, for the workers, losing control over their most basic actions, lose at the same time much of their dignity. Marx had placed his finger on a source of outrage that workers felt acutely in early European capitalism.

Marx’s analysis of alienation lends greater clarity to a feature that distinguished the Athenian empire from Persia or the Peloponnesian League. With the exception only of the Chians and the Lesbians, the Athenian empire alienated its subjects from the “means of production” for their defence. At an early stage, individuals poleis chose to contribute money rather than ships (Thuc. 1.99.3), but a large portion of the Athenian fleet continued to be manned by non-Athenians. The Phokaian or Andrian who once served on ships from his own island under officers of his own polis now served as a mercenary on ships owned and officered by Athenians but paid for by the tribute of his and other states. Thus Athens not only controlled the physical triremes of its fleet but had accumulated a surplus of managerial and technical expertise that is far harder to replace, while the subjects for the most part occupied the most menial and easily replaced functions. The Athenian empire thus exerted a control over its subjects that qualitatively exceeded that of Persia or the Peloponnesian League and that approached the control of early capitalism, which reduced its workers from skilled individuals to replaceable parts in an industrial system.

Fourth, Athenian imperialism by its nature gravitates toward expansion. This is a central theme in Thucydides: Alkibiades justifies the Sicilian expedition by appealing to this logic as a commonly understood phenomenon,[52] and, as we will see in the next chapter, the Corinthians help precipitate the war with their analysis of Athens as an inherently expansionist power. The Archaeology, however, expresses more clearly than any other part of the History an acceptance, even an approval, for this phenomenon. From the opening chapter of the Archaeology, with its contemptuous dismissal of the weak and quarrelsome past, empire appears as the only hedge against chaos and random violence. The verb auxanô, “grow, augment,” appears four times in the Archaeology. The growth of cities (Thuc. 1.2.6), of Hellas as a whole (1.12.1), of different regions (1.16), and, by contrast, the parasitic growth of individual oikoi (1.17) are symptoms of the health of society. The Peloponnesian War is worthy of study because it exceeded in magnitude any previous conflict. In the opening chapter, Thucydides tells us that he expected the war would be “great” (1.1.1: megas). It proved to be the “greatest shock” (1.1.2: kinêsis megistê) ever to befall the Greek world and a good portion of the barbarians. Later, Thucydides concludes his survey of early Greek history with the claim that the accumulated resources available at its start were “greater” (meizôn) than any sudden alliance could muster. In between, Thucydides argues his thesis that previous events were “not great” (1.1.3: ou megala). The term megas recurs fifteen times as Thucydides calculates the magnitude of one entity or another. Sparta can summon considerable military force, but Athens is clearly portrayed as the expanding power, and this expansion is linked, as we will see in the next chapter, to the accumulation of money.

Without pressing the analogy too far, the general formula for capital outlined by Marx helps frame the gap that separates the world of Pindar and his patrons from that which unfolds in Thucydides’ model. The precapitalist may use money, but only as an intermediate step to acquire some necessity. Thus when the farmer sells surplus grain and uses the money to purchase a metal tool, he may get an unusually good price for the tool or he may be cheated, but the main point is that the farmer has acquired a new “use value” that he did not previously possess. The capitalist starts with money and ends with money, purchasing cotton, for example, at one price, but selling it at another. Where the farmer can exchange $10 of grain for a $10 tool, the capitalist cannot start with $10 and end with $10. Money is purely a quantitative measure, and monetary exchange does not seek something different (tools for grain), but more of the same. Thus by its nature capitalist exchange is quantitative: money cannot change its nature or serve qualitatively different purposes; it can change only by increasing or decreasing. Capital must generate a surplus, and the accumulation of this surplus leads inevitably toward expansion. This model helps explain the underlying logic of the unnerving energy and expansionism that Athens exhibits.

Marx’s analysis allows us to proceed one additional step. Marx argued that capitalism placed things above human beings, subordinating all concerns to profit, or the quantitative increase in money.[53] Polanyi described the same general phenomenon when he argued that precapitalist exchange is embedded in a network of social ties: precapitalist exchanges serve to reinforce the personal relationships of the two parties as much as they serve the practical needs met by the exchange. At Odyssey 1.182–184 Athena disguised as Mentes claims to be heading to Temese to trade copper for iron. He stops at the home of Odysseus, an old xenos, guest-friend, secured when Mentes’ father gave Odysseus poison for his arrows (263–264). The exchange cemented a social bond, and we can be sure that Mentes would have a similar xenos at Temese with whom to trade.[54] These personal relationships are, in fact, the substance of symbolic capital discussed earlier. Thucydides pays little attention to symbolic capital because the Athenian empire has established a system in which financial capital has taken on a life of its own. Although he had not developed a theory of capitalism such as appears in either Marx’s Capital or Smith’s Wealth of Nations, he sensed acutely that material forces had begun to exert a greater force than prevailing values and perceptions admitted.


1. On the generalizing tendencies of Thucydides in the Archaeology and elsewhere, see Hunter 1982, esp. 17–49. [BACK]

2. Brenner 1987, 174 (italics mine). [BACK]

3. Brenner 1987, 173–174 (italics mine). [BACK]

4. This statement about the Sicilian tyrants has caused considerable concern, for Gelon and Hieron were, in their time, the most powerful individuals in the entire Greek world. Stahl, Classe, Steup, and Hude all bracketed this sentence “as a marginal note by a reader.” Gomme remarks ad loc. that “the sentence is unnecessarily obscure.…Thucydides is thinking of the period before 480, and possibly Phalaris rather than of the Deinomenidai.” But Thucydides, himself born c. 460, must have had Gelon and Hieron in mind when he referred to the power of Sicilian tyrants. Likewise, Hunter (1982, 29 n. 17), who does not accept Gomme’s analysis, suggests: “Thucydides, it seems to me, wants to keep Sicily in the background, a distant, rather unknown place with a history, or more precisely, an Archaeology of its own, saved for its proper place at the beginning of Book 6.” “One can get the impression,” Täubler (1927, 83) wrily observes, “that Thucydides does not do justice to the increase of all non-political interests, not just economic but even power politics, which were caused by the tyrants.” Täubler then runs through an impressive list of achievements associated with the tyrants in the archaic period. [BACK]

5. See, for example, Shapiro 1989, 6: “The building of temples was in fact an activity always closely associated with tyrants, who thereby gratify the ego which had driven them to seize power in the first place.” [BACK]

6. Hunter (1982, 34) argues that architectural development is in fact a proper index of the relative financial power of Athens and Sparta, but Thucydides—who was acutely sensitive to Athens’s financial resources—has general military power in mind in this passage; Hornblower (1991), in his comments on 1.10.2, primarily contrasts Herodotus’s interest in religious sanctuaries with Thucydides’ indifference to such phenomena. [BACK]

7. As Peter Euben has pointed out to me, Hobbes himself (like Thucydides) understood how radical and reductive his analysis was. Hobbes was prescriptive: he wanted us to be and tried to make us calculating beings as an antidote to the religious enthusiasms that led to civil war. [BACK]

8. On the allusion to such tyrannical largesse in the carpet scene of the Agamemnon, see Crane 1993; on the competitive generosity of the turannos, see Kurke 1991, 195–224. [BACK]

9. Note that Pausanias (6.9.4–5) tells us that he disagrees with previous authority, and deduces that the statue could not have been dedicated by Gelon. Gelon had moved to Syracuse in 491, and his victory at Olympia took place in 488—the tyrant Gelon would not therefore have signed himself as a citizen of Syracuse. The dedicant must, Pausanias concludes, be another Gelon, who also just happened to have a Deinomenes as his father (and who also just happened to win a major victory in the chariot race). [BACK]

10. See Stewart 1990, 1: 149. [BACK]

11. See, for example, the coins illustrated in Mildenberg and Hurter 1985, 1: 47, nos. 689–693. [BACK]

12. Marx 1977, 873; Halpern 1991, 64–65. [BACK]

13. Marx 1977, 874; Halpern 1991, 62–63. [BACK]

14. E.g., tokos as “interest” at Pindar Oly. 10.9. [BACK]

15. On spheres of exchange, see Bohannen 1955. [BACK]

16. On the workings of this as it appears in Pindar, see Kurke 1991, 66–70; for the general practice of such exchanges in the classical period, see Herman 1987. [BACK]

17. Marx 1977, 252; Marx attributes to the capitalist the fundamental relation money-commodity-money (M-C-M) and to the noncapitalist commodity-money-commodity (C-M-C). The steps are the same, but the capitalist sees acquisition as an end, while the noncapitalist sees it as a means. [BACK]

18. Bourdieu 1977, 171–183. [BACK]

19. Bourdieu 1977, 179. [BACK]

20. Figueira 1981, 22. [BACK]

21. Nem. 7.18: σοφοὶ δὲ μέλλοντα τριταῖον ἄνεμον ἔμαθον, οὐδ’ ὑπὸ κέρδει βλάβενNem. 9.33: αἰδὼς γὰρ ὑπὸ κρύφα κέρδει κλέπτεταιPyth. 1.92: μὴ δολωθῇς, ὦ φίλος, κέρδεσιν εὐτράπλοιςPyth. 3.54: κέρδει καὶ σοφία δέδεται; Pyth. 4.140: ἐντὶ μὲν θνατων φρένες ὠκύτεραι κέρδος αἰνῆσαι πρὸ δίκας δόλιον. [BACK]

22. Pyth. 8.13: κέρδος δὲ φίλτατον, ἑκόντος εἴ τις ἐκ δόμων φέροι; Nem. 11.47: κεδέων δὲ χρὴ μέτρον θηρευέμεν ; Isthm. 1.50–51: ὅς δ’ ἀμφ’ ἀέθλοις ἢ πολεμίζων ἄρηται κῦδος ἁβρόν, εὐαγορηθεὶς κέρδος ὕφιστον δέκεται, πολιατᾶν καὶ ξένων γλώσσας ἄωτον. [BACK]

23. Isthm. 2.1–11; see the analysis at Kurke 1991, 240–256; on one point, I would part company with Kurke. She argues that Pindar is integrating money into the ideology of the aristocracy, but her argument treats money and wealth interchangeably. The rest of the ode expatiates upon the fact that Xenokrates embeds his dealings with others in the emotional and social ties that pure monetary exchange excludes. [BACK]

24. See Sahlins 1972, 182, quoted by Kurke (1991, 93–94) as part of her discussion (at pp. 85–97) of the ideology of exchange; the classic discussion of this sublimation of conflict in the exchange of gifts is Mauss 1990. [BACK]

25. Kurke 1991, 224; on the self-presentation of tyrants in epinician poetry, see Kurke 1991, “Envy and Tyranny: The Rhetoric of Megaloprepeia,” 195–224; Race 1987; Race 1986, 36–66. [BACK]

26. Oly. 1.55–57: Tantalos unable to “digest his prosperity” (καταπέψαι μέγαν ὄλβον οὐκ ἐδυνάσθαι) Pyth. 1.1–20: Typhos subdued by Zeus; 47–55: combined weakness and strength of Philoktetes; Pyth. 2.25–41: Ixion who could not “withstand his great prosperity” (26: μακρὸν οὐχ ὑπέμεινεν ὄλβονPyth. 3.15–23: Koronis, who “conceived a passion for things that were distant, as happens to many” (20: ἤρατο των ἀπεότων · οἷα καὶ πολλοὶ πάθον; 54–60: Asklepios who let his knowledge be bound by profit (54: ἀλλὰ κέρδει καὶ σοφία δέδεται [BACK]

27. Diod. 11.26.6: μιᾷ φωνῇ πάντας ἀποκαλεῖν ἐυεργέτην καὶ σωτῆρα καὶ βασιλέα; Hornblower 1983, 48: “The interest of this triple acclamation is that it is emphatically and oddly Hellenistic (cp. OGIS 239, 301, etc., inscriptions of the Seleucid and Pergameme kingdoms).” The term euergetês, “benefactor,” is, however, central in archaic society. [BACK]

28. Diod. 11.26.1: εὐθὺς δὲ καὶ τῶν πρότερον ἐναντιουμένων πόλεών τε καὶ δυναστῶν παρεγένοντο πρὸς αὐτὸν πρέσβεις, ἐπὶ μὲν τοῖς ἡγνοημένοις αἰτούμενοι συγγνώμην, εἰς δὲ τὸ λοιπὸν ἐπαγγελλόμενοι πᾶν ποιήσειν τὸ προσταττόμενον [BACK]

29. Diod. 11.26.5: αὐτὸς δὲ οὐ μόνον τῶν ὅπλων γυμνὸς εἰς τὴν ἐκκλησίαν ἦλθεν, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἀχίτων ἐν ἱματίῳ προσελθὼν ἀπελογίσατο μὲν περὶ παντὸς τοῦ βίου καὶ τῶν πεπαγμένων αἀτῷ πρὸς τοὺς Συρακυσίους. [BACK]

30. Diod. 11.38.5: ὁ μὲν δῆμος τάφον ἀξιόλογον ἐπιστήσας ἠρωικαῖς τιμαῖς ἐτιμησε τὸν Γέλωνα [BACK]

31. Thuc. 1.17: ἐππάχθη δὲ οὐδὲν ἀπ’ αὐτων ἔργον ἀξιόλογον [BACK]

32. Thuc. 2.16.1: ἐν τοῖς αγροῖς…γενόμενοί τε καὶ οἰκήσαντες; Thuc. 4.120.1, 5.34.1, 5.42.1, 6.2.1. [BACK]

33. Thus the displaced Aiginetans occupy Thyrea (Thuc. 2.27.2: Thurean oikein); see also Thuc. 2.17.1, 2.102.5, and 5.18.6. [BACK]

34. See the collocation of oikeô with autonomos at 2.71.2 and 4, 3.39.2. [BACK]

35. Thuc. 3.37.3: οἵ τε φαυλότεροι τῶν ἀνθρώπων πρὸς τοὺς ξυνετωτέρους ὡς ἐπὶ τὸ πλέον ἄμεινον οἰκοῦσι τὰς πόλεις. [BACK]

36. Thuc. 8.67.1: τούτους δὲ ξυγγράψαντας γνώμην ἐσενεγκεῖν ἐς τὸν δῆμον ἐς ἡμέραν ῥητὴν καθ’ ὅτι ἄριστα ἡ πόλις οἰκήσεται see also 2.61.4 and 6.18.7, where the ideas of “control” and “inhabit” are also intermixed. [BACK]

37. Bourdieu 1977,191. [BACK]

38. See, for example, Demaratos’s advice to Xerxes at Hdt. 7.104. [BACK]

39. Diog. Laert. 1.13. [BACK]

40. On this, see especially Parry 1981. [BACK]

41. See especially Scott 1985, as well as Scott 1976 [BACK]

42. Bourdieu 1977, 183–197. [BACK]

43. I take αὐτοῖς here as referring to the Athenians, though it can be interpreted to describe both Athenians and Spartans: e.g., Gomme ad loc.; Allison 1989, 25–26. [BACK]

44. See Allison 1989, passim; she summarizes this term on p. 5: “ Paraskeuê, preparedness, the possession of it and the exertion of it, is precisely what it is to be powerful. Dunamis is purely an abstraction in the History and denotes the capability of carrying out an action. Paraskeuê, by contrast, is much more inclusive and so much more flexible; it includes dunamis.” On the importance of paraskeuê, see also chapter 8 above and the Spartan dilemma. [BACK]

45. The Corinthians urge using the money accumulated at Delphi and Olympia (Thuc. 1.121.3) as well as greater contributions by the Peloponnesian allies (1.121.5). [BACK]

46. Thuc. 1.143.1. [BACK]

47. For chrêmata, see Thuc. 1.2.2, 7.1, 8.3, 9.2, 13.1, 5 (twice), 15.1, 19.1; for achrêmatia, see 1.11.1, 2. [BACK]

48. Marx 1977, 163–177. [BACK]

49. Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, bk. 2, chap. 3 (Smith 1979, 437). [BACK]

50. Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, bk. 2, chap. 3 (Smith 1979, 430). [BACK]

51. Marx 1977, 873; Halpern 1991, 64–65. [BACK]

52. Thuc. 6.18; Herodotus already attributes this pathological need to expand to the Persians: see Evans 1982, 9–40. [BACK]

53. Marx 1977, 251: “To exchange £100 for cotton, and then exchange this same cotton again for £100, is merely a roundabout way of exchanging money for money, the same for the same, and appears to be an operation as purposeless as it is absurd. One sum of money is distinguishable from another only by its amount.” [BACK]

54. On Homeric guest friendship, see, still, Finley 1954, 99–104; more recently, Morris 1986. [BACK]

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