States of Memory: The Polis, Panhellenism, and the Persian War

ISBN : 9780190673543

David C. Yates
360 Pages
161 x 161 mm
Pub date
Sep 2019
Send mail

The Persian War was one of the most significant events in ancient history. It halted Persia's westward expansion, inspired the Golden Age of Greece, and propelled Athens to the heights of power. From the end of the war almost to the end of antiquity, the Greeks and later the Romans recalled the battles and heroes of this war with unabated zeal. The resulting monuments and narratives have long been used to reconstruct the history of the war itself, but they have only recently begun to be used to explore how the conflict was remembered over time. States of Memory focuses on the initial recollection of the war in the classical period down to the Lamian War (480-322 BCE). Drawing together recent work on memory theory and a wide range of ancient evidence, Yates argues that the Greek memory of the war was deeply divided from the outset. Despite the panhellenic scope of the conflict, the Greeks very rarely recalled the war as Greeks. Instead they presented themselves as members of their respective city-states. What emerged was a tangled web of idiosyncratic stories about the Persian War that competed with each other fiercely throughout the classical period. It was not until Philip of Macedonia and Alexander the Great dealt a devastating blow to the very notion of the independent city-state at the battle of Chaeronea that anything like a unified memory of the Persian War came to dominate the tradition.


Note on sources
Introduction: The Collective Memories of the Persian War
Chapter 1: The Serpent Column
Chapter 2: Panhellenism
Chapter 3: Contestation
Chapter 4: Time and Space
Chapter 5: Meaning
Chapter 6: A New Persian War
Chapter 7: After Alexander
Conclusion: The Persian War from Polis to Panhellenism
Index Locorum
General Index

About the author: 

David Yates is an Associate Professor of Classics at Millsaps College and specializes in the history and historiography of archaic and classical Greece.

The price listed on this page is the recommended retail price for Japan. When a discount is applied, the discounted price is indicated as “Discount price”. Prices are subject to change without notice.