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Private associations abounded in the ancient Greek world and beyond, and this volume provides the first large-scale study of the strategies of governance which they employed. Emphasis is placed on the values fostered by the regulations of associations, the complexities of the private-public divide (and that divide's impact on polis institutions) and the dynamics of regional and global networks and group identity. The attested links between rules and religious sanctions also illuminate the relationship between legal history and religion. Moreover, possible links between ancient associations and the early Christian churches will prove particularly valuable for scholars of the New Testament. The book concludes by using the regulations of associations to explore a novel and revealing aspect of the interaction between the Mediterranean world, India and China.
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