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Inscriptions as Honors and the Athenian Epigraphic Habit

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This paper argues that the great number of public inscriptions produced in Classical Athens is not directly related to Athens' precocious democracy and a democratic sense of what the citizen needed to know, but rather to a precocious Athenian culture of honoring, first the gods, then foreign benefactors, and then Athenian citizens individually and as groups. Honoring gods was a habit the Athenians shared with others, but the culture of honoring humans on stone was the historically contingent result of events in Athenian history, specifically maritime empire and then the reaction to the oligarchies of 411-10 and 404-403 BC.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2013

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  • Historia, first published in 1952 by Karl Friedrich Stroheker and Gerold Walser is an international, peer-reviewed journal on Greek and Roman antiquity. Articles are in English, German, French and Italian. It features original articles on Greek history, the Roman Republic and Empire as well as late antiquity. It covers all aspects of political, economic, religious and social life and deals with legal, archaeological, numismatic and epigraphical questions.
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