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Lee, Richard B. >

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/18022

Title: Greeks and Victorians: A Re-Examination of Engels' Theory of the Athenian Polis
Authors: Lee, Richard B.
Keywords: Athenian state - Model of democracy
Early states - Role of kinship
Engels - View of statehood
Issue Date: 1985
Publisher: Canadian Anthropology Society
Citation: Lee, R.B. (1985). Greeks and Victorians: A re-examination of Engels' theory of the Athenian Polis. Culture 5(1), 63-73.
Abstract: There is a paradox in Engels' well-known theory of state formation contained in The Origin of the Family Private Property and State. The state in Engels' view represented a triumph of a small elite of non-producers over the vast majority, and a world-historical defeat for the common people. Yet the Athenian state, Engels' prime example, does not conform to that pattern: it becomes more "democratic" as the state evolves rather than less. This paper explores the way out of this dilemma, through an examination of the rise of the Athenian polis in light of the recent theory of Early State put forward by Henri Claessen and Peter Skalnik. The analysis offers insight into the internal dynamic of early states and the role of kinship, and in the final section argues for the essential validity of Engels' view.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/18022
Appears in Collections:Lee, Richard B.
Lee, Richard B. - Publications

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