Bryn Mawr Classical Review 97.7.16


Mogens Herman Hansen (ed.), Introduction to an Inventory of Poleis. Symposium August, 23-26 1995. Acts of the Copenhagen Polis Centre, vol. 3. Det Kongelige Danske Videnskabernes Selskab, Historisk-filosofiske Meddelelser, 74. Copenhagen: The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, 1996. Pp. 411, 16 figures, 3 maps. ISBN 87-7304-275-7.

Contributors: Mogens Herman Hansen, Thomas Heine Nielsen, Catherine Morgan, Jonathan Hall, Paula Perlman, Alexandru Avram, and Tobias Fischer-Hansen.

Mogens Herman Hansen and Kurt Raaflaub (edd.), More Studies in the Ancient Greek Polis. Papers from the Copenhagen Polis Centre 3. Historia, Einzelschriften, 108. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1996. Pp. 196, 1 figure. DM/sFr 68. ISBN 3-515-06969-0.

Contributors: Nancy Demand, Hugh Bowden, Thomas Heine Nielsen, James Roy, Antony G. Keen, Mogens Herman Hansen, and Pernille Flensted-Jensen.


Reviewed by Angelos Chaniotis, Department of Classics, New York University.

The Copenhagen Polis Centre (CPC) was founded at the initiative of Mogens Herman Hansen in order to compile an inventory of the archaic and classical Greek poleis, i.e., of the communities and settlements referred to by ancient sources as poleis. The ultimate aim of the project is to answer the question "what is a polis?" A team of specialists from various countries is currently involved in this project, and preliminary results of their research are being presented in the acts of the symposia organized in Copenhagen (Acts of the Copenhagen Polis Centre) and in collections of essays (Papers of the Copenhagen Polis Centre). Each series has produced, hitherto, three volumes. The two books under review here -- abbreviated as Acts 3 and Papers 3 -- are the most recent volumes of these two series. They contain both general articles on the project, its method, its sources, and its scope, and papers on specific questions concerning poleis of certain regions (Arkadia, Achaia, Boiotia, Crete, and the colonies of the west coast of the Black Sea, Italy, Sicily, and Egypt). Several important questions recur in both volumes, but also the other publications of the CPC: In what sense was the term polis used in archaic and classical sources? Are ethnic names a reliable criterion for the polis-status of a community or a site? Is autonomia (not "autonomy" or "independence") a requirement for polis identity? Are urbanization and town-planning essential elements in polis-formation? Are kingship and polis-ness mutually exclusive? Another common -- and very welcome -- feature of both volumes is the focus on hitherto neglected geographical areas.

Among the theoretical articles of the volumes, Mogen Herman Hansen's essay "POLLAXW=S PO/LIS LE/GETAI (Arist. Pol. 1267a23). The Copenhagen Inventory of Poleis and the Lex Hafnienis de Civitate" (Acts 3, pp. 7-72) occupies a central position. I have to treat it in more detail, since it is both programmatic and revealing about the perspectives and the limitations of the project. "One of the main objectives of the CPC is to build up an inventory of every single archaic and classical settlement which is explicitly called polis in contemporary sources. The main purpose of this investigation is to find out what the Greeks thought a polis was, and to compare that with what modern historians think a polis is. The concept of polis found in the sources and in modern historiography ought, of course, to be the same" (p. 7). In review of an earlier volume of the CPC (Studies in the Ancient Greek Polis, Stuttgart 1995, BMCR 96.10.11) Simon Goldhill has already raised two reasonable objections to this approach. Firstly, an inventory of the attestations of a word can raise important questions, but it cannot automatically reveal the term's meaning -- even less so when the CPC discards all attestations of the term used in a general way, i.e., without reference to a particular site (p. 12). Secondly, the concept of polis found in the sources -- if we assume that there is only one concept -- should not necessarily be the same with that found in modern historiography. Why ought the concept of modern historiography on the ancient Greek polis to be identical with that of Pseudo-Skylax, who uses the word polis when referring to the river Tyris in Skythia, or with that of the author of an Oropian decree (SEG XXXI 415-416) who uses to word polis to designate the place of origin of the visitors of the Amphiareion? A third objection has been raised by Peter Rhodes in M. H. Hansen (ed.), Sources for the Ancient Greek City-State, Copenhagen 1995, p. 91f. (quoted in Acts 3, pp. 18f.): "I suspect that we shall find that the Greeks themselves were not wholly consistent in their use of the word...; they were often not as tidy and systematic in their use of the language as a tidy and systematic scholar would wish, and the principle that any political entity which a Greek is known to have called a polis must have been a polis may not be a useful principle on which to base our research." Having read several of the CPC's volumes I find no reason not to share Rhodes' scepticism.

Hansen is, of course, conscious of these problems, and in this paper he asks important questions: Is it legitimate to assume that all the Greeks thought the same thing when they were using the word polis? Is there no space for differences between the 6th and the 4th cent., between an historian and an orator, between the author of the decree of a Cretan polis and an Athenian poet? Who guarantees that "the Greeks" used the word polis consistently? Drawing upon the material collected for the inventory Hansen argues that a) the term polis was a loaded term and it did matter to the Greeks whether they lived in a polis or not, b) the Greeks were consistent in the use of the term, c) the concept of the polis did not change substantially between the late 7th and the 4th cent., d) the Athenian idea of a polis cannot have been radically different from what a non-Athenian thought a polis was, and e) in archaic and classical sources the term polis used in the sense of 'town' is applied only to towns which were also the political centers of a polis. Three useful appendices demonstrate the use of polis in the sense of akropolis, county, and town. These conclusions are, in general, persuasive and well founded. Especially, the first point is well taken. Unlike the word demokratia the term polis was not a slogan, but described the status of a community. Thus "its application to named communities seems only very occasionally to have been a bone of contention" (p. 18), and thus the designation of a community as polis certainly provides a reliable criterion for its inclusion in the inventory. To the literary examples of disagreement whether a community was a polis or not I should add a documentary source: in the letter of Nagidos concerning its relations to Arsinoe in Kilikia (SEG XXXIX 1426) the Nagideis cautiously avoid the use of the ethnic name Arsinoeis or of the word polis for Arsinoe, a city whose polis-status they recognized only after the intervention of a Seleucid governor (A. Chaniotis, Epigraphica Anatolica 21 [1993] 36f.).

The problems begin only when Hansen declares the common usage of the term polis (a town which is the political center of a polis) to be a law (the "lex Hafniensis de civitate"), thus raising expectations of absolute consistency. Statements such as the following recur in the CPC volumes: "In the Copenhagen Polis Centre we expect every polis in the political sense to have had an urban centre" (p. 33). Unfortunately, not every ancient source complies with this law. Divergencies and variations from the common usage are labeled as "errors" (p. 20: "we have found very few inconsistencies"; "they may not have been wholly consistent, but the margin of error seems to be in the range of one per hundred or less"). We will have to wait for the publication of the inventory to see if inconsistencies are really errors or rather evidence for varieties of usages. Hansen himself, an outstanding interpreter of sources and sagacious in discerning differences, usually avoids generalizations and repeatedly points out that we should take the provenance and the character of the source into account (e.g., Papers 3, p. 185). If some of the collaborators of the project had showed the same prudence and had resisted the temptation to apply CPC's laws in the interpretation of extremely problematic sources, some speculations and circular arguments, which I indicate below, could have been avoided.

Hansen explains in the same paper the method and the procedure applied by the research team in Copenhagen: first, they collect all attestations of the term polis and analyse how the term is used in every single case. Then they create an inventory of the attested poleis, adducing the relevant archaeological evidence as well. The collected material is organized according to forty-seven different criteria, such as, name, location, in what sense the community is called a polis, ethnic names, names for the territory and the population, attestations of tribal affiliation, membership in a federal state or an alliance, civic subdivisions, public architecture, constitution, mint, cults, participation in agons and in colonizations, etc. Hansen and his collaborators should be praised for the broad scope of their investigation. The one example of the database he provides (Tanagra, pp. 55-62) is impressive in its completeness and raises great expectations for the final publication. It is comforting to hear that the CPC is now affiliated with the other monumental project in the field of historical geography, the Atlas of the Greek and Roman World edited by Richard Talbert.

Another theoretical article by Hansen is devoted to "City-Ethnics as Evidence for Polis Identity" (Papers 3, pp. 169-196). He makes a sharp distinction between the "sub-ethnics", which indicate membership in a civic subdivision and always mark the bearer as the citizen of a polis, the "city-ethnics", which denote membership in a polis and are (only) primarily political, and the "regional ethnics", which indicate the inhabitants of a region (e.g., the Cretan, the Arkadian, etc.) and are not necessarily political. Hansen's meticulous study shows that in most cases it is possible to distinguish city-ethnics from sub-ethnics and regional ethnics, and that the attestation of a city-ethnic is a reliable criterion for establishing that a community had the polis-status (cf. the papers of Nielsen and Perlman summarized below). There are, however, several instances of a non-purely political use of city-ethnics (pp. 182-185). He regards as such, among other examples, the cases of persons from poleis that had been destroyed, who "kept on using their city-ethnic in spite of the fact that there was no longer any political community of which they were members" (p. 183). In this point generalizations should be avoided. For the Greeks the destruction of a city did not always mean the destruction of a political community. When the Cretan polis Lyttos was destroyed by Knossos ca. 220 BC, the entire surviving (male) population moved to Lappa, retaining of course the city-ethnic (Polyb. 4,54,1-6); the situation of the Lyttians is comparable to that of the Athenians before the battle of Salamis or the Plataians during the Peloponnesian War. The expatriated Lyttians still formed a "political community", retained their Lyttian citizenship and, presumably, their magistrates; it is even conceivable that they concluded treaties during the war, which finally led, a few years later, to the reestablishment of their city.

Although Nancy Demand's article "Poleis on Cyprus and Oriental Despotism" (Papers 3, pp. 7-15) is devoted to a particular region, its scope is more theoretical. Modern scholarship has denied Cypriot kingdoms the polis-status because of the monarchical form of government, the probable Phoenician influence, and their alleged similarity to "Oriental despotism", but, as Demand demonstrates, Cypriot kingship does not differ from early Greek kingship. I found her paper a brilliant demonstration of how the CPC can correct the Athenocentric and democracy-oriented approach to Greek polis which characterizes a lot of recent research. I could not agree more with her concluding sentences: "Mesmerized by the search for democratic origins, these scholars [I. Morris and others] seek in the polis something that occurred perhaps only occasionally and flickeringly, perhaps only in Athens and in the political theory that it engendered" (p. 15).

One of the tasks of the CPC is to examine in what sense the term polis is used by various authors. David Whitehead has already offered a stimulating article on Stephanos of Byzantion in an early volume of the CPC ("Site-Classification and Reliability in Stephanus of Byzantion", in D. Whitehead, From Political Architecture to Stephanus Byzantius, Stuttgart 1994, pp. 99-124), Oswyn Murray has surveyed Aristotle ("Polis and Politeia in Aristotle", in M. H. Hansen, ed., The Ancient Greek City-State, Copenhagen 1995) and M. H. Hansen has discussed the use of the word polis in Herodotos (Acts 3, pp. 39-54). Pernille Flensted-Jensen and Mogens Herman Hansen investigate "Pseudo-Skylax' Use of the Term Polis" (Papers 3, pp. 137-167). Although any kind of a toponym can be referred to by Skylax as a polis, the authors find that the site-classification in Hellas is almost always accurate. Thus their study confirms one of the basic laws of the CPC, that in classical Greek prose polis is applied to a town which was also the center of a polis in the political sense, although the authors admit that there are a few exceptions.

The rest of the papers in the two volumes are regional studies, all of them solid pieces of scholarship, which give a foretaste of the great contributions to political history and historical geography we may anticipate from the project. The region highlighted the most is Arkadia, a region which has attracted in the last decade much scholarly interest: M. Jost has studied its cults, L. Dubois its dialect and inscriptions, G. Thuer and H. Taeuber its legal institutions. Thomas Heine Nielsen's numerous and meticulous studies show how much work is still to be done, but also how many questions must remain unanswered because of the fragmentary nature of the evidence. Nielsen's legitimate response to the gaps of the sources is to operate with probabilities, based on parallels and on the working hypotheses of the CPC. Needless to say, this approach often entails circular arguments. In "Arkadia: City-Ethnics and Tribalism" (Acts 3, pp. 117-163, respondent James Roy) he analyzes the evidence provided by city-ethnics for the polis-status of a community. Although the Arkadian poleis had civic subdivisions, their names were not used as part of the personal name; thus Nielsen concludes that ethnics being used "as the third and political part of a name is an extremely good indication of the polis-ness of the site from whose toponym the ethnic is derived" (p. 131). This conclusion, the same as Hansen's (above) and Perlman's (below), is very convincing, but, unlike Hansen and Perlman, Nielsen is reluctant to make allowances for exceptions -- or at least for uncertainties. If I discuss this point in some detail, it is only because I discern a tendency in the CPC to force (admittedly well founded) generalizations upon the evidence. Based on the general conclusion that Arkadian ethnics indicate the existence of a polis, Nielsen suggests that this is true also for the ethnic names Parpylaios (SEG XVIII 157), Nestanios, and Phoriaeus (Steph. Byz., s.vv. Nostia and Phorieia). This may, indeed, be the case, but "very good indications" -- or even "extremely good indications" -- are not proofs. Nielsen may be right that "it is very unlikely that Parpylaios is a demotic", but there is a difference between "very unlikely" and "impossible". We know at least one other Arkadian ethnic (Stramboneis, known from an horos-inscription of Mantineia) which certainly is not derived from a polis, as Nielsen himself points out (p. 124). Why should we exclude the possibility that in the case of Stramboneis and Parpylaios we are dealing with territorial subdivisions or "sub-ethnics" (in Hansen's terminology)? The morphology of the name Stramboneis does not support Nielsen's assumption that they were a religious association or a clan, and at any rate it does not exclude the possibility of a territorial subdivision: Parpylaios = Para-pylaios (cf. E. Meyer, MH 14, 1957, 81) means "the inhabitant of a place near the gate (or the pass)". Having excluded with no good reason the possibility of a sub-ethnic, Nielsen adduces the toponym Pylai mentioned by Stephanos and concludes that (Par)Pylai "may very well have been a small polis." However, Stephanos calls Pylai a topos and not a polis. In other instances (see below) Nielsen bases his conclusion on the fact that Stephanos' site-classifications are usually accurate (a fact established by D. Whitehead, op.cit.). Here, however, Stephanos' unambiguous statement about Pylai is dismissed without any comment. In addition to this problem, it is anything but certain that Stephanos' Pylai (a widely diffused Greek toponym, which can be used for any pass from Macedon to Crete) is related to the ethnic Parpylaios. The cases of the ethnics Nestanios and Phoriaeus, for which Stephanos of Byzantion is, again, our only source, are equally problematic. Stephanos cites Ephoros, and D. Whitehead (op.cit.) has demonstrated that in most cases Stephanos reproduced his sources accurately. Stephanos explicitly describes Phorieia as a kome and not a polis. The question arises again: Are we to follow Whitehead's "law" that Stephanos' site-classifications are accurate and assume that Phoriaeus is an heretic ethnic which derives from a kome and not a polis, or Nielsen's "law" that Arkadian ethnics indicate polis-ness and assume that Ephoros (or Stephanos) was wrong? Or should we perhaps consider the possibility that the status of Phoriaeus changed? Unlike Nielsen, I think that we cannot answer these questions. Even the best source analysis has its limits. I would be the last person to discourage assumptions or even cautious speculations; but this example shows how inappropriate it is to declare common usages to be general laws, and to force them upon pieces of evidence which resist unequivocal interpretations. This becomes worse when the fragile hypotheses constructed in this way are taken as facts, which then support further assumptions. This is the case with Nestane: Nielsen assumes that Nestane was a polis because of the existence of the ethnic Nestanios, despite the fact that, again, Stephanos (s.v. Nostia) calls it a kome. In another article (Papers 3, p. 66) this assumption becomes the basis for the speculation that Nestane was a dependent polis situated inside the territory of Mantineia. In the second part of his article Nielsen treats Arkadian tribalism and shows that at least some of the fifty communities which made up the Arkadian tribes (ethne, phylai) of the Azanes, the Eutresioi, the Kynourioi, the Mainalioi, and the Parrhasioi, were believed by the Greeks to be poleis. He suggests very reluctantly (cf. p. 163) that in Arkadia the polis-structure predates tribalism and that small poleis united into tribal states because of their fear of larger poleis. There is no evidence for this hypothesis, and the traditional view, that the poleis arose within the tribal structure, is defended with good arguments by James Roy in a paper inconveniently printed in another volume ("Polis and Tribe in Classical Arkadia", in Papers 3, pp. 107-112). More successful is Nielsen's treatment of the question "Was there an Arkadian Confederacy in the Fifth Century B.C.?" (Papers 3, pp. 39-61). This had been suggested by some scholars on the basis of 5th century coins with the inscription ARKADIKON, but N. shows that our literary and epigraphic sources exclude the possibility of an Arkadian federal state with double (city and federal) citizenship. The Arkadikon coinage is either that of Tegea or, more probably, coinage issued by an amphictiony in connection with the celebration of a festival.

Nielsen's third paper is a "Survey of Dependent Poleis in Classical Arkadia" (Papers 3, pp. 63-105). His starting point is one of the main theses of the CPC, namely that autonomia is not a requirement for polis-ness. This thesis is in my view one of the major contributions of the CPC, and has been applied very successfully by P. Perlman in the case of Crete (cf. below). In the case of Arkadia the evidence is more problematic, but Nielsen has made the best use of it, and his paper contains an abundance of original remarks on the political history of Arkadia. Nielsen attempts to identify in Arkadia "poleis on the territory of larger poleis". This phenomenon was first studied by Franz Hampl in a very important article not mentioned by Nielsen ("Poleis ohne Territorium", Klio 32, 1939, pp. 1-60; reprinted in F. Gschnitzer, Zur griechischen Staatskunde, Darmstadt 1969, pp. 403-473). Unfortunately, in Arkadia the evidence for the characterization of Nestane, Helisson, and Euaimon, as "Poleis ohne Territorium" is less conclusive than Nielsen is willing to admit. We have already seen that the case of Nestane rests on the ethnic name Nestanios, mentioned by Stephanos of Byzantion (see above). The only evidence that Euaimon remained a polis after its sywoikia (synoikismos) treaty with Orchomenos is again Stephanos, who calls Euaimon a "polis of the Orchomenians" quoting Theopompos. We encounter again the problem as to whether we should take Stephanos' information at face value. Nielsen thinks we should, despite the fact that, as I pointed out before, in other instances he disregards Stephanos' site-classifications: "The chance that Theopompos actually described Euaimon as a polis is not bad; D. Whitehead has shown that Stephanos was reasonably accurate when quoting the site-classifications of prose historians, and that he reproduces the site-classification correctly in more than 60% of the cases which can be checked" (p. 71). There is, however, good reason to regard Euaimon as belonging to that notorious 40% of inaccuracies. G. Thuer and H. Taeuber (Prozessrechtliche Inschriften der griechischen Poleis. Arkadien, Wien 1994, p. 134f., not mentioned by Nielsen) have observed that the treaty-oath and the clauses about division of land show that the treaty of synoikismos aimed at the settlement of a large number of inhabitants of Euaimon in Orchomenos; in that case Euaimon did not remain a polis. Finally, we come to Helisson; the question whether it remained a polis after the sympolity-treaty with Mantineia or became a kome is related to the interpretation of an admittedly ambiguous clause. I, personally, agree with P. Rhodes' understanding of this treaty: the polis (political unit) of Helisson was to be absorbed into the polis (political unit) of Mantineia, and to become a kome of Mantineia, but the polis (urban center) of Helisson was to remain as it was. Nielsen disposes of this view simply by referring to the investigations of the CPC, according to which when the Greeks used the word polis they invariably implied that the community in question was also a polis in the political sense of the word. This is, however, only a common practice, not a dogma, and all the articles quoted by Nielsen in support of this claim (p. 68 note 40) in fact contain numerous deviations from this praxis. To sum up: in Arkadia the existence of small poleis on the territory of larger poleis cannot be excluded, but it is far from certain. The treatment of the perioikic poleis (pp. 73-77) is more convincing, although Nielsen has overlooked F. Gschnitzer's treatment of Lision and Lepreon (Abhängige Orte im griechischen Altertum, Munich 1958, pp. 7-17). Both the minor poleis inside the territories of larger poleis and the perioikic poleis can be understood as dependent poleis; but when, in the rest of the paper, each and every member of a hegemonic symmachia, the Peloponnesian League, the Arkadian Confederacy, and the Arkadian tribal states is treated as a "dependent polis", I am afraid that a reconsideration of definitions is urgently needed. This is a big issue, which cannot be discussed in a review, but, in general, I agree neither with Nielsen's tendency to take the assertions of ancient historians about the limitation of the autonomia of certain poleis through the arche of a few major powers, uncritically, as evidence for their status as "dependent poleis", nor with his failure to distinguish between the term hypekooi, with which Thucydides describes the actual situation of the allies of Mantineia, and symmachoi, which describes the legal nature of their relation to Mantineia (p. 81). Again, I quote Simon Goldhill's review of an earlier volume: "In particular, recent work on ancient and modern political language has made it much harder to avoid the way in which each and every use of 'autonomia' by a Greek writer is not just describing how things are, but it is also staking out a political position and negotiating a set of power relations... Autonomia functions not just as the description of an objective state of affairs but also as a performative in the agonistic system of power plays that makes up Greek political life and its rhetoric." After overcoming my surprise to find a treatment of all Arkadian symmachiai, federal, and tribal states under the rubric "dependent poleis", I admired Nielsen's very solid treatment of the political history of Arkadia, although his study of the symmachiai would have profited if he had used the most recent treatment of the subject by E. Baltrusch (Symmachie und Spondai. Untersuchungen zum griechischen Volkerrecht der archaischen und klassischen Zeit, Berlin-New York 1994).

Besides Arkadia, Achaia is another region which has attracted much attention in recent years. Catherine Morgan and Jonathan Hall present a brilliant paper on "Achaian Poleis and Achaian Colonisation" (Acts 3, pp. 164-232, respondent Mogens Herman Hansen). They examine the literary, archaeological, and epigraphic evidence on poleis in the four -- geographically and culturally very diverse -- sub-regions of Achaia (the north coast, the area of Patrai, the area of Dyme, and the Pharai valley), as well as the relation between Achaia and the Achaian colonies in South Italy. With admirable clarity they demolish a series of unsustainable views on the early history of Achaia: before the 5th century BC there is no evidence for the emergence of Achaian poleis, for the process of synoecism, or for the commencement of urbanization. There is evidence neither for the Achaian League (with a cult center at the sanctuary of Zeus Homarios) nor for an Achaian political unity existing much before the late 5th cent.; there is, however, some evidence for an early less formal and looser association of the Achaian mere based on perceived ethnic affinity. Polybios' account of early Achaia reflects a constructed past which offered a legitimation of the Achaian League of his own day. In the Achaian colonies urbanisation, with a formal layout on a grid-plan, an agora, and monumental public architecture, is a relatively late development (of the 6th cent.); thus it cannot be used to support the view that poleis in mainland Greece predate colonization (cf. the article of Fischer-Hansen summarized below). The material evidence linking the Achaian colonies with Achaia is very thin (on the cult of Zeus Meilichios discussed on p. 212, one should now consult M. H. Jameson, D. R. Jordan, and R. D. Kotansky, A Lex Sacra from Selinous, Durham 1993). It is very likely that in the colonies an Achaian identity was constructed through opposition with the Dorians of Taras in the 6th cent.

Another region highlighted in the two volumes is Boiotia. M. H. Hansen presents a preliminary "Inventory of Boiotian Poleis in the Archaic and Classical Periods" (Acts 3, pp. 73-116), a solid work of scholarship. Sixty-five settlements are known in Boiotia, twenty-seven of which are presented in detail, since they were certainly, probably, or possibly poleis. In two papers Antony G. Keen ("Were the Boiotian Poleis Autonomoi?, Papers 3, pp. 113-125) and Hansen ("Were the Boiotian Poleis Deprived of their Autonomia During the First and Second Boiotian Federations? A reply", Papers 3, pp. 127-136) exhaust all the arguments in favor (Hansen) and against (Keen) the assumption that the members of the Boiotian Confederacy automatically lost their autonomia. I found Keen's arguments more convincing, but this does not diminish in any way Hansen's important contribution, which is to correct the prevailing view that autonomia is a requirement for polis-ness.

With her article "PO/LIS Y(PH/KOOS. The Dependent Polis and Crete" (Acts 3, pp. 233-285, respondent Pierre Ducrey) Paula Perlman returns to a well-known, but quite controversial subject: the existence of dependent poleis on Crete. The most recent discussion can be found in my book Die Verträge zwischen kretischen Poleis in hellenistischer Zeit (Stuttgart 1996, pp. 160-168, 381-420), to an earlier version of which P. occasionally refers. While earlier scholarship studied the dependent communities in general ("abhängige Orte" according to F. Gschnitzer, "abhängige Gemeinden" according to me), Perlman's scope is distinctly different. Addressing a question central to the CPC's project, she clearly shows that political independence is not a criterion for polis-ness. Her contribution goes further than that, since Perlman also offers an excellent treatment of the terms used for dependent communites (hypowoikos, epoikos, chorion, kome, pp. 237-244), studies in detail the "sub-regional" ethnics (i.e., "city-ethnics"), demonstrating that in most cases they indicate the existence of a polis (not necessarily an independent polis, cf. below), and treats the dependent communities of Gortyn in the plain of Mesara. Perlman has a very good knowledge of the sources and avoids the methodological mistakes and misconceptions which characterize many old and recent studies of Crete (most recently S. Link's lacunose book Das griechische Kreta. Untersuchungen zu seiner staatlichen und gesellschaftlichen Entwicklung vom 6. bis zum 4. Jahrhundert v. Chr., Stuttgart 1994). She takes into account the regional diversities and the chronological changes, rejects Sparta as a model for interpretation of Crete, and does not ignore the Hellenistic evidence for the study of archaic and classical Crete. It is not possible to list here the countless cases in which P. clarifies controversial issues. A good example is her discussion of the hypowoikoi mentioned in a treaty between Gortyn and Lato (I.Cret. I,xvi 1); she rightly rejects the predominant view that they were a dependent population of Lato, identifies them correctly with a dependent population of Gortyn (cf. Chaniotis, op.cit., p. 230f. with different arguments), and suggests plausibly that they may have been the inhabitants of Pyranthos and Rhytion (pp. 239-242).

I have three suggestions to make, two of which concern methodological issues; the third remark concerns the topography and political geography of Crete. (a) For a better understanding of the dependent poleis of Crete one should take into consideration their genesis and the great variety of reasons which led to their development (conquest, treaties, the revaluation of subordinate settlements, internal colonization, etc.; cf. Chaniotis, op.cit., pp. 160-164). Several communities which we know as dependent poleis in the Hellenistic period -- and are excluded from the list of independent poleis (p. 282f.) -- had probably been independent poleis in the archaic and/or classical period (e.g., Lykastos and Rhytion, mentioned in the Homeric "Catalogue of the Ships", Diatonion, Rhizenia, Setaia, and Stalae). (b) Equally important for the more accurate understanding of the status of dependent poleis is their comparison with subordinate communities which did not have the status of a (dependent) polis. More specifically, a study of the community on the small island Kaudos, which had autonomia, eleutheria, autodikia, and its own magistrates, but is not referred to as a polis (see now Chaniotis, op.cit., pp. 407-420), should not be left out of this investigation "for reasons of topography and chronology" (p. 279 note 137). (c) Several assumptions concerning the location and the status of several Cretan communities are problematic, basically because Perlman often follows Paul Faure's notoriously speculative localisations of Creten poleis. Although she admits that these localisations are controversial (p. 259 with note 138), she tends to present them as facts (see, e.g., p. 269, the figures in pp. 282f., and the map on p. 287). A characteristic example is the identification of Apollonia with Prinias (pp. 262f.). Pliny (nat. hist. 4.12.59) leaves no doubt that Apollonia was a city on the north coast of Crete (cf. Ptol., Geogr. 3,15,5), consequently it cannot be located on a mountain at a distance of more than 20 km from the sea (cf. H. van Effenterre, Cahiers du Centre G. Glotz 4 [1993] p. 15; Chaniotis, op.cit., p. 286 note 1537). Similar objections can be made to the localization of Bionnos at Kerame and Dragmos at Kastri (p. 282; see Chaniotis, op.cit., 184 note 1127, p. 381f.), the Ertaioi (if this is really a city-ethnic) at Kasteriotis, Allaria at Chamalevri, Pelkis at Kontokynigi, to mention only a few examples. Although K. Rigsby has shown (REG 99 [1986] pp. 350-353) that a polis Bene did not exist (cf. here, p. 266), Bene is continually mentioned among the dependent poleis of Gortyn (p. 259, 268, 270). There is no evidence whatsoever for the assumption that Modaioi is the name of a federation (p. 255, 286). The ethnic Sisaioi, known from a Hellenistic boundary stone (SEG XXV 1022) is missing; the name of the ancient settlement (polis?) Sisai still lives in the modern toponym Sises. P. leaves the site-classification of Mitoi, Prepsidai, Setaeitai, and Stalitai (p. 256-258) open. Mitoi (and not Mitioi < Mitos) is, however, a place-name (I.Cret. I,xvi 5 ll. 53f.: E)M MI/TOIS) and not an ethnic. In the case of the collective Prepsidai, known from a fragmentary archaic inscription from Dreros, its ending (-idai) indicates that it is not a city-ethnic, but the name of a clan or a tribe. As for the Stalitai and Setaitai, their status as dependent poleis of Praisos is unequivocally attested by the treaty with Praisos. The clause concerning commands given by the Praisian magistrates to the Stalitai and the Setaitai refers to them as poleis (I.Cret. III,vi 7 B 17f.: O(POTE/RAI W(=N TA=M PO/LEWN). Perlman is undoubtedly right when she uses the lists of theorodokoi as evidence for the existence of a settlement or even a polis (cf. P. Perlman, "Theorodokountes en tais polesin: Panhellenic Epangelia and Political Status", in M. H. Hansen, ed., Sources for the Ancient Greek City-State, Copenhagen 1995, 113-164), but not every polis which appointed a theorodokos was an independent polis. The Delphic list of theorodokoi (ca. 230/20) mentions Matalon, which had been an independent polis earlier (Staatsverträge III 482 II, ca. 259/50 BC; see Chaniotis, op.cit., p. 33 with note 151), but by the time the list of theorodokoi was written down it had become a dependent polis of Phaistos (see Polyb. 4,55,6 on events of ca. 220 BC, with Strab. 10,4,14; cf. Chaniotis, op.cit., p. 161 note 1036). Thus five sites which are regarded as independent poleis only because they appear in the Delphic list of theorodokoi (Bionnos, Lasaia, Pelkis, Phalanna, and Oleros, pp. 282f., fig. 1.1) may well have been dependent poleis in the late 3rd cent. (cf. Chaniotis, op.cit., 12f. note 36). As a matter of fact, Oleros was almost certainly a dependent polis of Hierapytna (Chaniotis, op.cit., p. 105 note 628 with bibliography), and there is a small possibility that Psycheion was a dependent community as well (Chaniotis, op.cit., 382). Despite these objections in details, Perlman's treatment of the Cretan dependent poleis is a very important contribution to the political geography of Crete.

In addition to Morgan and Hall's paper on the Achaian colonies (see above), three other papers are devoted to Greek colonies. Alexandru Avram ("Les cites grecques de la cite ouest du Pont-Euxin", Acts 3, pp. 288-316, respondent John Hind) discusses the chronology of Greek colonization in the western coast of the Black Sea in light of Pseudo-Skylax and the archaeological record. It is safe to assume that around 500 BC five Greek poleis existed in this region: Istros, Apollonia, and Odessos, founded by Miletos, Mesembria, founded jointly by Chalkedon and Megara ca. 520, and Kallatis, founded by Herakleia towards the end of the 6th cent. The other Greek colonies were either founded later or became poleis later; some of them were dependent poleis of Istros (Nikone, Orgame) or dependent communities of Mesembria (Anchialos, Naulochos); other poleis (Tomis, Bizone, Dionysopolis) should be regarded as secondary foundations of poleis such as Istros, Odessos, and Apollonia, that acquired the status of a polis after the 3rd cent. A study of the institutions and the cults of the five earlier poleis reveals an origin from Miletos and Megara.

Tobias Fischer-Hansen ("The Earliest Town-Planning of the Western Greek Colonies, with special regard to Sicily", Acts 3, pp. 317-373, respondent Erik Oestby) moves to another region of early colonization, Sicily, and asks the question if the foundation of colonies gave an impetus to the development of town-planning in the Greek world. The archeological evidence from Italy is scanty. There is evidence neither for fortification walls (apart from Siris) nor for organized agoras (with the possible exception of Metapontion); only in Taras may the main axis of the 5th century town go back to the foundation time, while in Kroton the division of the territory into three nuclei suggests town-planning. More conclusive evidence for early town-planning comes from Sicily (Syracuse, Akrai, Kasmenai, Naxos, Himera, Kamarina, Megara Hyblaia, Selinous, and Gela). In fact, the evidence from Gela, which is studied in more detail, proves the existence of a preconceived urban structure. Thus, Fisher-Hansen argues convincingly that the Western Greeks proceeded autonomously with respect to early town-planning (division of land into lots, preoccupation with orientations, development of the per strigas system, temene, civic centers) and that town-planning should be regarded as a basic element in polis-formation.

Hugh Bowden's paper "The Greek Settlement and Sanctuaries at Naukratis: Herodotus and Archaeology" (Papers 3, pp. 17-37), originally part of his PhD dissertation Herodotus and Greek Sanctuaries (Oxford), seems an intruder in these volumes, since it is devoted to a very specific question. B. makes a good case for the accuracy of Herodotos' account of Naukratis as a settlement founded at one time for Greeks drawn from different poleis. The exact chronology remains a problem, since the earliest pottery which can indicate firm occupation of different places in the site is traditionally dated to ca. 615-610 BC, whereas Herodotos attributes the founding of Naukratis to Amasis, forty years later. Instead of assuming that Herodotos was wrong, Bowden prefers to lower the chronology of archaic Greek pottery, a suggestion which deserves serious consideration, but also needs further investigation. Bowden does not mention an inscription from Priene, the dedication of a mercenary who served under Psametichos I (O. Masson and J. Yoyotte, EpigrAnat 11 [1988] 171-179), which sheds some new light on late 7th cent. Greek presence in Egypt and shows that the possibility that Naukratis was founded under Psammetichos I should not be ruled out. Bowden discusses the distinction between the polis and the emporion at Naukratis and provides parallels for the joint foundation of sanctuaries by a number of Greek poleis. In two points I cannot share his scepticism towards earlier scholarship. Bowden doubts whether the dedications to "the gods of the Hellenes" (TOI=S QEOI=S TW=N E(LLH/NWN, the restorations are certain) found in the Northeastern Area of the settlement should be associated with the Hellenion, as suggested by D. G. Hogarth (pp. 22-24). One or two dedications would justify Bowden's claim that this phrase "would seem to be a convenient grouping for a dedication at any sanctuary, by any dedicator"; but twenty-two dedications with the same text are a safe indicator of a specific cult place. I also think that M. M. Austin was right in assuming that a fourth century Athenian proxeny decree for a man described as Naukratites (IG II2 206) is proof for the existence of citizenship at Naukratis (p. 30, cf. Hansen, Papers 3, p. 185).

To sum up: both volumes contain stimulating papers on a variety of subjects, from regional history to the history of international law, from topography to the history of urbanization, from the history of institutions to political history; and more fruits are to be expected. One may disagree in details or be reluctant to accept the working hypotheses and the first general conclusions of the project as "laws" with absolute and unlimited value, but no serious research in Greek history can ignore the publications of the CPC. Some general results begin to stand out. We should forget the conception that autonomia is a criterion of polis identity. Ethnics can be, if correctly recognized and cautiously used, a reliable criterium for the polis status of a community. Urbanization, especially in the colonies, can be seen as an important element of polis-formation. And most sources are most of the time consistent in the use of the word polis to denote a town which is at the same time the political center of a polis. Historians, historical geographers, epigraphers, numismatists, and archaeologists can look forward to the publication of the Inventory of Greek Poleis, hopefully in the near future.