BMCR 2005.04.51

Response: Bearzot on Rzepka on Bearzot

Response to 2005.04.11

Response by

First of all, I heartily thank the reviewer, Jacek Rzepka, for reading my book with accuracy and for his critical remarks, several among which I gratefully acknowledge. On this occasion I wish to consider some of them in order to clarify my point of view.

About the Italian translation of passages from Xenophon, I do not think that it fosters confusion over addressees. Since I wished to discuss some ideological issues, I had to quote Xenophon extensively, and thus the Italian translation with quotation of relevant Greek sentences (expressions) seemed to be the most appropriate solution.

As far as the definition of federalist controversies over autonomia is concerned, I actually considered not only federalism but also other forms of city unions. However, I think that the union of Argos and Corinth was an isopoliteia and not a synoikism, as suggested by other scholars (for example M. Sordi in her book “Storia politica del mondo greco”, 1982, and in a recent paper presented at a conference in Milan on March 18th, 2005), and that dioikism and synoikism of Mantinea were closely connected with the development of Arkadian federalism and thus closely pertinent to my discussion.

I deliberately omitted the analysis of federal states such as the Achaeans, the Acarnanians or the Aetolians because the book focuses on Xenophon’s contribution to the “federalist theory” and not on examples of federal states in the Hellenica. In my opinion, the passages from Xenophon on these states do not provide significant references to be discussed theoretically, as Rzepka observes (“In his description of the Achaean rule over Calydon, Xenophon uses neutral, technical language. This probably makes this episode uninteresting for Bearzot”).

About the comparison of Xenophon with other authors, I often discuss contemporary and later sources (for example Diodorus, who often reflects a different tradition about reported events). As for the Hellenica Oxyrhynchia, I am aware of the fact that it is very relevant in the ancient debate on federalism and for this reason I often referred to it in my book. Yet, my research explicitly focuses on the contribution of Xenophon, and, in my opinion, the analysis on the constitutional chapter of the Oxyrhynchus historian did not need to be rehearsed, as it had already been proposed by several scholars.

Finally, I think it is important to underline that synoikism is not the focus of my book (“Bearzot suggests that there existed linkage between synoikismos — representing the federalist movement in general — and the growth of democracy”), although I consider it in some cases. As for the linkage between federalism and democracy, it seems to be supported by some elements and it was undoubtedly favoured by Spartan politics, as suggested by several scholars, Larsen above all.