Imperial Power and Local Autonomy in Greek Garrison Communities: The Phrourarchia and the Polis Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
  • Horne, Ryan
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History
  • From controlling cities within the Athenian Empire in the 5th century BCE to maintaining isolated outposts on the border of the Parthian Empire in the 2nd century CE, the institution of the phrourarchia was a critical component of Greek civic and military identity. Despite its longevity and importance to the Greek world, the office has long been overlooked in scholarship. The only broad overview remains a brief article in the Realencyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft (1941), while subsequent work has largely viewed the office as an isolated or regional phenomenon without considering its broader social or historical role. There has yet to appear a comprehensive investigation of the phrourarchia and its effect upon political and social life. My investigation addresses this deficiency. Focusing on the interplay of imperial power and civic identity, I argue that imperial powers used the phrourarchia to control local populations through ambiguous civic and military authority. Conversely, I show that a phrourarchia employed by smaller polities had clear, highly regulated legal and social constraints on its jurisdiction, remaining subordinate to local laws. I then examine the numerous strategies deployed by cities to navigate the complexities of the phrourarchia. In addition to the chapters of text, these findings are presented in a web-GIS application that for the first time places the phrourarchia within a broad geographic and temporal context.
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Sams, Kenneth
  • Lee, Wayne
  • Naiden, Fred
  • Sosin, Joshua
  • Talbert, Richard J. A.
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2015
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
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