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Accustomed to Obedience?: Classical Ionia and the Aegean World, 480–294 BCE

by Joshua P. Nudell

University of Michigan Press, 2023


eISBN: 978-0-472-22105-9

OA eISBN: 978-0-472-90387-0

Cloth: 978-0-472-13337-6

About the Book
Many histories of Ancient Greece center their stories on Athens, but what would that history look like if they didn’t? There is another way to tell this story, one that situates Greek history in terms of the relationships between smaller Greek cities and in contact with the wider Mediterranean. In this book, author Joshua P. Nudell offers a new history of the period from the Persian wars to wars that followed the death of Alexander the Great, from the perspective of Ionia. While recent scholarship has increasingly treated Greece through the lenses of regional, polis, and local interaction, there has not yet been a dedicated study of Classical Ionia. This book fills this clear gap in the literature while offering Ionia as a prism through which to better understand Classical Greece.

This book offers a clear and accessible narrative of the period between the Persian Wars and the wars of the early Hellenistic period, two nominal liberations of the region. The volume complements existing histories of Classical Greece. Close inspection reveals that the Ionians were active partners in the imperial endeavor, even as imperial competition constrained local decision-making and exacerbated local and regional tensions. At the same time, the book offers interventions on critical issues related to Ionia such as the Athenian conquest of Samos, rhetoric about the freedom of the Greeks, the relationship between Ionian temple construction and economic activity, the status of the Panionion, Ionian poleis and their relationship with local communities beyond the circle of the dodecapolis, and the importance of historical memory to our understanding of ancient Greece. The result is a picture of an Aegean world that is more complex and less beholden narratives that give primacy to the imperial actors at the expense of local developments.
About the Author
Joshua P. Nudell is Assistant Professor of History at Truman State University.
"As Josh Nudell demonstrates in Accustomed to Obedience?, there were many types of Greeks who remained Greek despite the efforts at eradication. Perhaps, there is time—both for scholars and for popular admirers of Ancient Greece—to follow the Greek adage of “all things in moderation” and aim for a complicated and multilayered but nonetheless authentic and appreciative understanding of Greece."
— Voegelin View, Jesse Russell

“This is the first existing monograph on its topic, and it fills a major gap in the historical literature on Ionia, for which the preceding Archaic and subsequent Hellenistic periods have received far greater attention. Nudell offers a new dimension to studies of Classical polis identity and social development and contributes to scholarship on interactions between local and globalizing factors, or between cities and empires, in the ancient Mediterranean and western Asia.”
 — John Hyland, Christopher Newport University

"In this book, Nudell paints a rich picture of Classical and early Hellenistic Ionia, full of depth and detail, bringing the complex dynamics of Ionian political history into sharp focus. He offers us the first coherent overview of the period in Ionia, filling what was a conspicuous gap in the scholarly literature."— Bryn Mawr Classical Review

"Accustomed to Obedience? sheds valuable light on a region that is not only important in itself but also serves to exemplify the political realties of the vast majority of the Greek states, which worked within and around the grand imperial powers that tend to dominate modern studies of the Classical world... Nudell's study makes a positive contribution to our understanding of Ionia and rightly challenges that inclination to present Greek history exclusively through the lens of the great imperial powers."— The Classical Outlook

"Accustomed to Obedience? is a welcome addition to this scholarship, being the first monograph to treat the history of Ionia from 480 to 294 BCE, convincingly demonstrating that Ionia played an active role in events of this period."
— Choice, S. M. Burstein, emeritus, California State University, Los Angeles

To 1500, Greece, Ancient & Classical, Ancient, Europe, Literary Criticism, History
Open Access Information

License: CC BY-NC-ND