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Kinship in Thucydides: xyngeneia and relatedness between cities and ethnic groups

Fragoulaki, M.; (2010) Kinship in Thucydides: xyngeneia and relatedness between cities and ethnic groups. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London).

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This thesis studies the phenomenon of kinship in Thucydides’ History. Kinship is traditionally viewed in relation to the domestic domain. In Thucydides, however, xyngeneia/xyngenes – the terms denoting kinship – are more frequently used to indicate colonial and/or racial ties between cities. It is this type of xyngeneia, together with other types of relatedness between cities, communities and ethnic groups that are the focus of my investigation. Both these two categories of collective kinship ties were highly exploitable and effective in the sphere of politics, by the application of what has been termed ‘kinship diplomacy’. The constant reshaping of mythical narratives in relation to their historical and political contexts is central to my project. My thesis is divided into five chapters. Chapter 1 is a general introduction, including a typology of kinship, my theoretical underpinnings, and method of work. In chapter 2, I explore comprehensively the challenging variety of the language of kinship in Thucydides; in chapter 3, I discuss in detail the phenomenon of xyngeneia between a metropolis and its apoikia, in its ethical, emotional and practical dimension, through the case of Korinth and its two more conspicuous apoikiai in the work: Kerkyra and Syracuse. Chapters 4 and 5 concentrate on the two major belligerent cities, Dorian Sparta and Ionian Athens, respectively, and they both fall into two parts; their first part examines xyngeneia ties, and the second, ties of relatedness (i.e. types of connections outside descent). Both chapters offer discussions of test-cases, generally organised in terms of geography and ethnicity. Informed by recent anthropological work on social forms and experiences of relatedness, and by the sociology of ethnicity and emotions, and using kinship between cities and communities for the first time as an angle from which Thucydides’ text can be examined, my thesis aims to offer new insights from the narratological, stylistic and historical points of view.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Kinship in Thucydides: xyngeneia and relatedness between cities and ethnic groups
Language: English
Additional information: Permission for digitisation not received
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Greek and Latin
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/20217
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