Berkeley, Calif. : University of California Press, c1997.
Book — xv, 296 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
Studying the economic and cultural upheaval that shook mainland Greece and the Aegean area in the eighth century BC, this work also looks at the role that poetry played in this upheaval. Using tools from political and economic anthropology, the author argues that between about 800 and 700 BC, a great transformation of dominant economic institutions took place involving wrenching adjustments in the way of status and wealth were distributed within the Greek communities. The text explores the economic organization of preindustrial societies, both ancient and contemporary, to shed light on the Greek experience. He argues that the sudden shift in Greek economic formations led to new social behaviours and to new social structures such as the "polis", itself a by product of economic change. Unravelling the dialectic between the material record and epic poetry, Tandy shows that the epic tradition mirrored these new social behaviours and that it portrayed the stresses that the economic change brought to the ancient Aegean world. Tandy brings the comparative evidence from other small-scale communities beset by changes, spotlighting the specfic plight of one community, Ascra in Boeotia, on whose behalf Hesiod sang his "Works and Days". (source: Nielsen Book Data)