I believe that studies by social anthropologists working in mainly rural communities located in present-day Greece may help to deepen our understanding of the Greeks of antiquity, and this is a belief that I have held for more than twenty years. It is a belief, moreover, which is steadily winning a general acceptance. To put it succinctly, ancient and modern Greeks can be shown to share values in common and, thus, one enables us to understand the other more clearly. But why should values have persisted, from Homer to the twentieth century? It is not, let me stress, because of ethnic continuity, but rather because both groups comprise small-scale subsistence agriculturists, working the land as a family unit; in other words, both groups represent what a social anthropologist would classify as peasant society, and communities of this type, however widely separated in time and in geographical situation, share common values and Mediterranean peasants perhaps to an especially great extent, though this is not a point I would wish to press. Greece, of course, has changed dramatically in recent years as the drift from countryside to city has intensified. But have the fundamentals of life also changed so very much? Not according to Renee Hirschon who speaks as follows of the preoccupations of those ‘heirs of the Greek catastrophe’, that is, Greeks expelled from Asia Minor in the early twenties and now settled in the Kokkinia district of the Piraeus: ‘In Kokkinia social live revolves around the division of the sexes and their complementray roles, while family reputation and prestige were principal concerns.