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The frequency and distribution of stasis among classical poleis

Date and Time: 
Friday, February 5, 2016. 04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
Meeting Location: 
Building 110-112
Approaches to Data Scarcity in Ancient History
Meeting Description: 
Scott Arcenas is a fifth year PhD candidate on the Ancient History track of the Classics department. His interests include Greek Political and Economic History as well as Political Science more broadly.
Meeting description:
Stasis was “an essential aspect of the polis” (Hansen 2004). Several schools of thought exist regarding its frequency and distribution among poleis during the classical period. One holds that small poleis rarely experienced stasis, whereas large and/or powerful poleis did so frequently (Ruschenbusch 1978, Gehrke 1985). A second holds that stasis was rare from 500-431 but substantially more common during and/or after the Peloponnesian War (Fuks 1984, Austin 1994). A third holds that stasis was rare during periods of inter-state peace but common during periods of inter-state war (Ruschenbusch 1979, Lintott 1982, Gehrke 1985). In his paper, Scott Arcenas will interpret the first of these theories as a hypothesis and test it against a database comprising 400+ cases of stasis. He will argue that large, powerful poleis did not experience stasis more frequently than small ones. They only seem to have done so because we know much more about them.