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Ancient Greek History and Contemporary Social Science$
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Mirko Canevaro, Andrew Erskine, Benjamin Gray, and Josiah Ober

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474421775

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474421775.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

The City in Chorus: For a Choral History of Athenian Society

The City in Chorus: For a Choral History of Athenian Society

(p.47) 2 The City in Chorus: For a Choral History of Athenian Society
Ancient Greek History and Contemporary Social Science

Vincent Azoulay

Paulin Ismard

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter specifically aims to find a path that traverses — or a midway point between — both approaches to the study of the Greek world influenced by Actor-Network Theory and more traditional Durkheimian approaches centered on the city. It considers the model of the choros (as it was conceptualized by classical authors) as capable of offering a productive paradigm for understanding the mechanisms of belonging at work within Athenian civic society during the classical period. The choral reference also refers to a certain way of writing history—one inspired by the models of the novel and the choral film— that seems particularly fitting for describing the complex way in which the Athenian social sphere functioned. The article formulates the following hypothesis: a choral approach, at the crossroads between the specifically Greek conception of the chorus and the contemporary conceptualization of the chorus in the field of fiction, makes it possible to stay as close as possible to the ways in which the social sphere was composed, the formation of groups, and the identities at the various levels of community life. This hypothesis to put to the test by examining a unique moment in Athenian history: the years between 404 and 400.

Keywords:   Chorus, Actor-Network theory, Athenian society

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