The Greek Slogan of Freedom and Early Roman Politics in Greece

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9780195375183: The Greek Slogan of Freedom and Early Roman Politics in Greece
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The Greek Slogan of Freedom and Early Roman Politics in Greece elucidates the main steps and ways in which the slogan of freedom emerged and developed into the fundamental principle of Greek diplomacy and politics, long before the Romans appropriated and used this slogan to establish their domination over the Mediterranean.

Originally employed by the Spartans and Athenians, who used it to subvert each other's military alliances before and during the Peloponnesian war, the slogan of freedom helped to maintain political and military balance among the major Greek powers during the classical period, putting a check on their aspirations. After Philip II and Alexander III (the Great) established Macedonian rule over Greece, and in the subsequent Hellenistic period, the slogan of freedom not only continued to be an important tool for undermining rival military alliances and vindicating aggressions on behalf of those whose freedom was allegedly violated or endangered, but also served to determine the status of individual Greek communities.

Once Rome became involved in Greek affairs, she made the slogan of freedom part of her policy in Greece. The Romans' claim of protecting Greek freedom was their only justification for interfering in Greek affairs. Individual Greek cities preserved their status, including freedom, by pledging loyalty and good faith to Rome. This network of mutual obligations and responsibilities evolved into a system of political control over the Greeks, which came to be known as the Roman Peace (pax Romana). This book argues, therefore, that the Roman Mediterranean empire was built not only on military might, but also on diplomacy, including a skillful Roman adaptation to local political practices and vocabulary.

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About the Author:


Sviatoslav Dmitriev is Associate Professor of History, Ball State University

Review:


"Dmitriev's study is a well-produced and often persuasive addition to the scholarship on the Roman conquest of Greece."--Dylan Bloy, Bryn Mawr Classical Review


"The book's scholarship is impressive, and its conclusions often novel and usually persuasive. Scholar's of ancient diplomacy and alliances and Roman imperialism will benefit him Dmitriev's careful analyses of many questions. Highly recommended." --CHOICE


"The Roman proclamation of freedom at the Isthmian Games in 196 BC was an iconic moment in Rome's involvement in the Greek East. Sviatoslav Dmitriev has produced a thorough and stimulating examination of the development of this slogan and its adoption by Rome. It will be essential reading for anyone interested in the growth of Roman imperialism." -- Andrew Erskine, University of Edinburgh


"Studying a wide sweep of ancient history, from the fifth to the second century BCE, and overstepping conventional period-divisions, Dmitriev shows how great powers, whether city-based, monarchic or republican, used the 'slogan of freedom' in their own self-interest -- to maintain a precarious balance of power or to interfere in one another's sphere of influence. This excellently documented and starkly realistic study gives us an analysis of ancient power politics for the twenty-first century."--Christopher Jones, Harvard University


"The book is a rich and illuminating study of the goal of 'Greek freedom' that was asserted in ancient diplomacy, treaties, and propaganda. Covering the period from the fifth century B.C. to the Roman conquest, Dmitriev studies 'freedom' and 'autonomy' as historically contingent ideas, which evolved over time and in particular conflicts amid the competition of the great powers (Athens, Sparta, the Persians, the Hellenistic kings, the Romans). His careful analyses of those conflicts illustrate the step-by-step development of the call for the freedom of the Greeks and of their individual cities, as this call grows to become a decisive element of Roman dealings with the Greeks. The result is a major contribution to ancient history."--Kent Rigsby, Duke University


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