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Synoikismos: The Formation and Form of Ancient Greek Cities
March 21, 2022 @ 11:45 am EDT
3150, rue Jean Brillant
Montreal, QC H3T 1N8 Canada
Sponsored by: AIA Montreal Society
AIA Society: Montréal
In-person lecture by Bradley Ault
Following the Late Bronze Age “collapse” of Mycenaean civilization (ca. 1200 BCE), the formative Greek states and the palace centers that spawned them had vanished. What emerged in their wake over the course of the following centuries was the city-state or polis, a system with a remarkably different pedigree. Bottom-up formations rather than top-down creations, established by people and populations, rather than implemented by aristocratic monarchies. More than 1000 such city-states existed in the ancient Greek world, some 600 in the Aegean homeland and another 400 in colonial settings abroad. That is how successful this system proved to be. This lecture will explore not only the mechanisms of Greek city-state formation, but the character of its urban core, and especially how this organization reflected its socio-cultural profile.