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The Art of ForgettingDisgrace and Oblivion in Roman Political Culture$
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Harriet I. Flower

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780807830635

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807877463_flower

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Did the Greeks Have Memory Sanctions?

Did the Greeks Have Memory Sanctions?

Chapter:
(p.17) Chapter II Did the Greeks Have Memory Sanctions?
Source:
The Art of Forgetting
Author(s):

Harriet I. Flower

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807877463_flower.6

This chapter analyzes the function of memory and punitive sanctions of the Greeks that provide the essential background to later Roman practices, especially during the Republic, and to the culture of memory that was cultivated under Hellenistic influence in the wider world of the eastern Mediterranean. It points out that the attitude of the Greek city-states to memory sanctions is primarily revealed in their laws and statutes. The chapter notes that the internal stability of the individual cities depended on their being able to deal with threats, whether real or potential, from errant citizens who might disrupt the community or even overturn its government, sometimes seizing power and imposing a tyrannical regime. It observes that political strife (stasis) was endemic to Greek politics, and that patterns of repeated tyrannies or oligarchies were vivid in the collective memories of many cities.

Keywords:   memory, punitive sanctions, Greeks, Hellenistic influence, Mediterranean, laws, statutes, political strife

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