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Chapter 11 - Conclusion

Associations in Their World

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 October 2021

Vincent Gabrielsen
Affiliation:
University of Copenhagen
Mario C. D. Paganini
Affiliation:
Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
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Summary

Following the overarching theme of associations’ regulations, the chapters of this book have provided the reader with different insights into a large variety of ancient associations that were embedded in as many local realities, in an attempt on the one hand to highlight similar patterns but on the other hand also to stress the vivacity and diversity of the fenomeno associativo, ‘associational phenomenon’: although common traits certainly emerge, one should in no way expect uniformity. The world of associations was in fact a complex one: this book has mainly explored associations active in the Greek-speaking world, but even in this ‘common cultural sphere’ one sees a great variety of different options at play, which mirror the character of their various societies. The ways in which associations operated were a result of the strategies adopted by them on the basis of the different challenges they encountered and the way in which they appear to us is also linked to the contingent production and preservation of the sources, which varied depending on location and time. It is therefore not surprising that the picture we have gained from late Hellenistic and early Roman Athens is a different one from that of contemporary Mantinea, for instance: in Athens, as we have seen in the discussion by Arnaoutoglou in Chapter 6, associations made full use of the polis’ general directions, trends and mechanisms in the regulation of members’ behaviour so as to enhance their profile and foster their autonomy, room of action or survival, by providing an image that matched the expectations of the public administration.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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