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Historians generally study elite public gift-giving in ancient Greek cities as a phenomenon that gained prominence only in the Hellenistic and Roman imperial periods. The contributors to this volume challenge this perspective by offering analyses of various manifestations of elite public giving in the Greek cities from Homeric times until Late Antiquity, highlighting this as a structural feature of polis society from its origins in the early Archaic age to the world of the Christian Greek city in the early Byzantine period. They discuss existing interpretations, offer novel ideas and arguments, and stress continuities and changes over time. Bracketed by a substantial introduction and conclusion, the volume is accessible both to ancient historians and to scholars studying gift-giving in other times and places.
By their social and material context as markers of graves, dedications and public signs of honour, inscriptions offer a distinct perspective on the social lives, occupations, family belonging, mobility, ethnicity, religious affiliations, public honour and legal status of Roman women ranging from slaves and freedwomen to women of the elite and the imperial family, both in Rome and in Italian and provincial towns. They thus shed light on women who are largely overlooked by the literary sources. The wide range of inscriptions and graffiti included in this book show women participating not only in their families and households but also in the social and professional life of their cities. Moreover, they offer us a glimpse of women's own voices. Marital ideals and problems, love and hate, friendship, birth and bereavement, joy and hardship all figure in inscriptions, revealing some of the richness and variety of life in the ancient world.
Offering a broad and vivid survey of the culture of collecting from the French Revolution to the Belle Époque, The Purchase of the Past explores how material things became a central means of accessing and imagining the past in nineteenth-century France. By subverting the monarchical establishment, the French Revolution not only heralded the dawn of the museum age, it also threw an unprecedented quantity of artworks into commercial circulation, allowing private individuals to pose as custodians and saviours of the endangered cultural inheritance. Through their common itineraries, erudition and sociability, an early generation of scavengers established their own form of 'private patrimony', independent from state control. Over a century of Parisian history, Tom Stammers explores collectors' investments – not just financial but also emotional and imaginative – in historical artefacts, as well as their uncomfortable relationship with public institutions. In so doing, he argues that private collections were a critical site for salvaging and interpreting the past in a post-revolutionary society, accelerating but also complicating the development of a shared national heritage.
The story of Israel's foundation has often been told from the perspective of Jewish immigration to the Land of Israel. Leaving Zion turns this historical narrative on its head, focusing on Jewish out-migration from Palestine and Israel between 1945 and the late 1950s. Based on previously unexamined primary sources collected from twenty-two archives in six countries, Ori Yehudai demonstrates that despite the dominant view that displaced Jews should settle in the Jewish homeland, many Jews instead saw the country as a site of displacement or a way-station to more desirable lands. Weaving together the perspectives of governments, aid organizations, Jewish communities and the personal stories of individual migrants, Yehudai brings to light the ideological, political and social tensions surrounding emigration. Covering events in the Middle East, Europe and the Americas, this study provides a fresh transnational perspective on the critical period surrounding the birth of Israel and the post-Holocaust reconstruction of the Jewish world.
Cities of Strangers illuminates life in European towns and cities as it was for the settled, and for the 'strangers' or newcomers who joined them between 1000 and 1500. Some city-states enjoyed considerable autonomy which allowed them to legislate on how newcomers might settle and become citizens in support of a common good. Such communities invited bankers, merchants, physicians, notaries and judges to settle and help produce good urban living. Dynastic rulers also shaped immigration, often inviting groups from afar to settle and help their cities flourish. All cities accommodated a great deal of difference - of language, religion, occupation - in shared spaces, regulated by law. But when, from around 1350, plague began regularly to occur within European cities, this benign cycle began to break down. High mortality rates led eventually to demographic crises and, as a result, less tolerant and more authoritarian attitudes emerged, resulting in violent expulsions of even long-settled groups. Tracing the development of urban institutions and using a wide range of sources from across Europe, Miri Rubin recreates a complex picture of urban life for settled and migrant communities over the course of five centuries and offers an innovative vantage point on Europe's past with insights for its present.
Herbert S. Klein and Francisco Vidal Luna present a sweeping narrative of social change in Brazil that documents its transition from a predominantly rural and illiterate society in 1950, to an overwhelmingly urban, modern, and literate society in the twenty-first century. Tracing this radical evolution reveals how industrialization created a new labor force, how demographic shifts reorganized the family and social attitudes, and how urban life emerged in what is now one of the most important industrial economies in the world. A paradigm for modern social histories, the book also examines changes in social stratification and mobility, the decline of regional disparities, education, social welfare, race, and gender. By analyzing Brazil's unprecedented political, economic, and social changes in the late twentieth and twenty-first century, the authors address an under-explored area in current scholarship and offer an invaluable resource for scholars of Latin American and Brazil.
Bringing together the most current research on the relationship between crime and gender in the West between 1600 and 1914, this authoritative volume places female criminality within its everyday context. It reveals how their socio-economic and cultural contexts provided women with 'agency' against a range of European backdrops, despite a fundamentally patriarchal criminal justice system, and includes in-depth analysis of original sources to show how changing living standards, employment, schooling and welfare arrangements had a direct impact on the quality of life of working class women, their risk of becoming involved in crime, and the likelihood of being prosecuted for it. Rather than treating women's criminality as always exceptional, this study draws out the similarities between female and male criminality, demonstrating how an understanding of specific cultural and socio-economic contexts is essential to explain female criminality, both why their criminal patterns changed, and how their crimes were represented by contemporaries.
Based on a close examination of more than 700 homicide trials, A Renaissance of Violence exposes the deep social instability at the core of the early modern states of North Italy. Following a series of crises in the early seventeenth century, interpersonal violence in the region grew to frightening levels, despite the efforts of courts and governments to reduce social conflict. In this detailed study of violence in early modern Europe, Colin Rose shows how major crises, such as the plague of 1630, reduced the strength of social bonds among both elite and ordinary Italians. As a result, incidents of homicidal violence exploded - in small rural communities, in the crowded urban center and within tightly-knit families. Combining statistical analysis and close reading of homicide patterns, Rose demonstrates how the social contexts of violence, as much as the growth of state power, can contribute to explaining how and why interpersonal violence grew so rapidly in North Italy in the seventeenth century.
Eighteenth-century Britain is often understood as a time of commercial success, economic growth, and improving living standards. Yet during this period, tens of thousands of men and women were imprisoned for failing to pay their debts. The Poverty of Disaster tells their stories, focusing on the experiences of the middle classes who enjoyed opportunities for success on one hand, but who also faced the prospect of downward social mobility. Tawny Paul examines the role that debt insecurity played within society and the fragility of the credit relations that underpinned commercial activity, livelihood, and social status. She demonstrates how, for the middle classes, insecurity took economic, social, and embodied forms. It shaped the work that people did, their social status, their sense of self, their bodily autonomy, and their relationships with others. In an era of growing debt and the squeeze of the middle class, The Poverty of Disaster offers a new history of capitalism and takes a long view of the financial insecurities that plague our own uncertain times.
From the Middle Ages onwards, deadly epidemics swept through portions of Spain repeatedly, but the Castilian Plague at the end of the sixteenth century was especially terrible. In late 1596, a ship carrying the plague docked in Santander, and over the next five years the disease killed some 500,000 people in Castile, around 10 percent of the population. Plague is traditionally understood to have triggered chaos and madness. By contrast, Ruth Mackay focuses on the sites of everyday life, exploring how beliefs, practices, laws, and relationships endured even under the onslaught of disease. She takes an original and holistic approach to understanding the impact of plague, and explores how the epidemic was understood and managed by everyday people. Offering a fresh perspective on the social, political, and economic history of Spain, this original and engaging book demonstrates how, even in the midst of chaos, life carried on.
This is the first comprehensive account of the population of classical Athens for almost a century. The methodology of earlier scholars has been criticised in general terms but their conclusions have not been seriously challenged. Ben Akrigg reviews and assesses those methodologies and conclusions for the first time and thereby sets the historical demography of Athens on a firm footing. The main focus is on the economic impact of that demography, but new conclusions are presented which have profound implications for our understanding of Athenian society and culture. The book establishes that the Athenian population grew very large in the fifth century BC, before falling dramatically in the final three decades of that century. These changes had important immediate consequences but the city of the fourth century was shaped in fundamental ways by the demographic upheavals of its past.
The histories of modern war and childhood were the result of competing urgencies. According to ideals of childhood widely accepted throughout the world by 1900, children should have been protected, even hidden, from conflict and danger. Yet at a time when modern ways of childhood became increasingly possible for economic, social, and political reasons, it became less possible to fully protect them in the face of massive industrialized warfare driven by geopolitical rivalries and expansionist policies. Taking a global perspective, the chapters in this book examine a wide range of experiences and places. In addition to showing how the engagement of children and youth with war differed according to geography, technology, class, age, race, gender, and the nature of the state, they reveal how children acquired agency during the twentieth century's greatest conflicts.
Using a variety of historical sources and methodological approaches, this book presents the first large-scale study of single men and women in the Roman world, from the Roman Republic to Late Antiquity and covering virtually all periods of the ancient Mediterranean. It asks how singleness was defined and for what reasons people might find themselves unmarried. While marriage was generally favoured by philosophers and legislators, with the arguments against largely confined to genres like satire and comedy, the advent of Christianity brought about a more complex range of thinking regarding its desirability. Demographic, archaeological and socio-economic perspectives are considered, and in particular the relationship of singleness to the Roman household and family structures. The volume concludes by introducing a number of comparative perspectives, drawn from the early Islamic world and from other parts of Europe down to and including the nineteenth century, in order to highlight possibilities for the Roman world.
Women of Fortune tells the compelling story of mercantile wealth, arranged marriages, and merchant heiresses who asserted their rights despite loss, imprisonment, and murder. Following three generations of the Bennet and Morewood families, who made their fortune in Crown finance, the East Indies, the Americas, and moneylending, Linda Levy Peck explores the changing society, economy, and culture of early modern England. The heiresses - curious, intrepid, entrepreneurial, scholarly - married into the aristocracy, fought for their property, and wrote philosophy. One spent years on the Grand Tour. Her life in Europe, despite the outbreak of war, is vividly documented. Another's husband went to debtors' prison. She recovered the fortune and bought shares. Husbands, sons, and contemporaries challenged their independence legally, financially, even violently, but new forms of wealth, education, and the law enabled these heiresses to insist on their own agency, create their own identities, and provide examples for later generations.
This invaluable introduction to the history of childhood in both Western and Eastern Europe between c.1700 and 2000 seeks to give a voice to children as well as adults, wherever possible. The work is divided into three parts, covering in turn, childhood in rural village societies during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; in the towns during the Industrial Revolution period (c.1750–1870); and in society generally during the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Each part has a succinct introduction to a number of key topics, such as conceptions of childhood; infant and child mortality; the material conditions of children; their cultural life; the welfare facilities available to them from charities and the state; and the balance of work and schooling. Combining a chronological with a thematic approach, this book will be of particular interest to students and academics in a number of disciplines, including history, sociology, anthropology, geography, literature and education.
In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the internal migration of a growing population transformed Britain into a 'society of strangers'. The coming and going of so many people wreaked havoc on the institutions through which Britons had previously addressed questions of collective responsibility. Poor relief, charity briefs, box clubs, and the like relied on personal knowledge of reputations for their effectiveness and struggled to accommodate the increasing number of unknown migrants. Trust among Strangers re-centers problems of trust in the making of modern Britain and examines the ways in which upper-class reformers and working-class laborers fashioned and refashioned the concept and practice of friendly society to make promises of collective responsibility effective - even among strangers. The result is a profoundly new account of how Britons navigated their way into the modern world.
Written as a narrative history of slavery within the United States, Unrequited Toil details how an institution that seemed to be disappearing at the end of the American Revolution rose to become the most contested and valuable economic interest in the nation by 1850. Calvin Schermerhorn charts changes in the family lives of enslaved Americans, exploring the broader processes of nation-building in the United States, growth and intensification of national and international markets, the institutionalization of chattel slavery, and the growing relevance of race in the politics and society of the republic. In chapters organized chronologically, Schermerhorn argues that American economic development relied upon African Americans' social reproduction while simultaneously destroying their intergenerational cultural continuity. He explores the personal narratives of enslaved people and develops themes such as politics, economics, labor, literature, rebellion, and social conditions.
A History of South Australia investigates South Australia's history from before the arrival of the first European maritime explorers to the present day, and examines its distinctive origins as a 'free' settlement. In this compelling and nuanced history, Paul Sendziuk and Robert Foster consider the imprint of people on the land - and vice versa - and offer fresh insights into relations between Indigenous people and the European colonisers. They chart South Australia's economic, political and social development, including the advance and retreat of an interventionist government, the establishment of the state's distinctive socio-political formations, and its relationship to the rest of Australia and the world. The first comprehensive, single-volume history of the state to be published in over fifty years, A History of South Australia is an essential and engaging contribution to our understanding of South Australia's past.