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New PDF release: Citizenship in the Western Tradition: Plato to Rousseau

By Peter Riesenberg

ISBN-10: 0807844594

ISBN-13: 9780807844595

Meant for either basic readers and scholars, Peter Riesenberg's instructive e-book surveys Western rules of citizenship from Greek antiquity to the French Revolution. it's remarkable to monitor the patience of significant civic beliefs and associations over a interval of 2,500 years and to benefit how these beliefs and associations traveled over area and time, from the traditional Mediterranean to early glossy France, England, and the USA.

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6 Changes in the nature of Spartan citizenship so closely accompanied Page 12 changes in the political position of Sparta in the Mediterranean world that one is tempted to establish a connection. In any event, under Rome Sparta became insignificant except as an intellectual and moral influence upon the military ethos of her conqueror. Like Athens and Alexandria, if without their books and scholars, Sparta was an education to the Roman world. Athens It is against this background that we consider Athens's historyunique, yet similar to that of its neighbors and available to us thanks to the surviving efforts of its own historians, orators, and philosophers as well as the more recent work of archaeologists, epigraphers, and other scholars.

Citizenship's survival derives from its usefulness to every kind of government and society. One of its functions is to identify members of the community who are to be protected and rewarded. Also, it contributes to the effectiveness of the individual and the family and thus has the potential for promoting distinction, or, in a more potent word, honor. While the ancient world was comfortable with personal honor, the Middle Ages was less so, but even during this long and extraordinary period, individuality often was grounded upon a legally defined condition of citizenship.

To put this survival during the Middle Ages in other terms, it might be said that in an era which recognized the validity of lordship, indeed, its necessity, in a period of endemic uncertainty of life, and violence, citizenship served as an analogue to vassalage, for the citizen was vassal to the suzerainty of his city. And, much as vassalage conveyed a freedom under the protection of the lord, citizenship implied, if not guaranteed, the auspices of the city in, for example, overseas as well as local trade.

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Citizenship in the Western Tradition: Plato to Rousseau by Peter Riesenberg


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